dangerous water heater?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by heyzeus, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. heyzeus

    heyzeus New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    my nat gas water heater which reads 'do not convert' all over it, has been converted to propane. what are the consequences of this?
    i learned of this because when i moved in, none of the gas appliances worked correctly and there were leaks. after a month i talked the landlord into paying for the propane co to send a guy over. he finished the conversions on the stove and heater, but refused to touch or light the water heater to avoid liability.
    i had to light the water heater myself, because i need hot water.
    my landlord knows about all this but doesnt care.
    so...what will happen?
     
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    heater

    IN the first place you cannot convert it to propane directly because the pressure regulator is set for natural gas and cannot be adjusted to the higher LP pressure. Second, once you install the proper thermostat for LP, then the nut on the burner tube is backwards because the LP one is a left hand thread, so you also have to convert the burner tube, and probably the burner as well since it may not be made properly for LP. By the time you are done, figuring labor and material, plus the time to obtain the parts, (and because the manufacturer does not want it converted it may not even furnish the parts), you would have been better off installing an LP heater in the first place, and you would have warrantee on the heater and the installation. Which you do not have now, which is why he would not light the heater.
     
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  4. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer...to be caring and loving to a
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    bad news -----very bad

    an HJ stated......dont fool around with it.....

    just go buy one that is made for propane....

    propane is actually MUCH more lethal than natrual gas

    because the fumes lie low to the floor and you dont know

    you have a gas problem till you reach down and try to light

    the propane heater......

    then you are in for a trip to the hospital.....

    when I was about 22 I burnt my beard and eyebrows off and burnt the tip of my nose fooling with one....
    and I was very lucky not to have been blinded....only thanks to
    my glasses.....


    Even if you live in a trailer down in some gulley in Kentucky
    spend the money and do it right
     
  5. heyzeus

    heyzeus New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    somebody has already fooled with it, because it makes hot water. i've been using it all along.buying anything is out of the question, as i can barely pay my rent. its my landlords job to buy something, but i know she will not. she wont even buy a smoke detector.
    what are the consequences of continuing to use it? will a carbon monoxide detector tell me if it is leaking?
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2006
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    leak

    Abou the only way you will know if it is leaking is if you have a propane gas detector, which you don't, or smell the propane which you might not since the fumes are at the floor, or it explodes and takes you and your house with it.
     
  7. heyzeus

    heyzeus New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    well, the gas guy checked for leaks, and found none.
    i suppose i could rent a detector just to make sure.
    my only other option in this matter is to break the lease, move, and possibly be sued for 8 months rent.
     
  8. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area

    Fire departments give away smoke alarms all the time for free.......so that is a non-issue. Get one and keep batteries in it.

    Until you get a professional in there and determine the gas valve on that tank, everything here is speculatory. It might of been switched with the proper gas valve/burner assembly and it's operating without error.
     
  9. heyzeus

    heyzeus New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    ok, well a professional visit is unlikely. i can afford a smoke detector, and a gas leak detector.
    guess ill do that.
    thanks for the help.
     
  10. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area

    Contact your local division of housing/building/construction and explain the possible situation. If that becomes a dead end then contact your local housing authority and they have programs that enable professionals to perform work duties that are government subsidized. Just takes some footwork on the net/phone.
     
  11. molo

    molo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Cold New York
    Heyzues,

    Why are you allowing yourself to be victimized in this situation? Your landlord sounds like a real creep. Landlords are required to provide safe living environments in return for the rent they collect.

    Here's the deal: 1. Almost all states require the landlord to provide fire detection devices, and some require carbon monoxide detectors.
    2. Almost all states enforce this by requiring certificates of occupancy for multi-family dwellings.
    3. A Certificate of Occupancy is only issued after an inspection is done.

    My point is this. You have rights! If you feel you are getting a bum deal contact local and state officials if you have to. :cool: You are paying for a product, (in this case it is an apt.) and you have the right to demand it be safe. When products such as cars or even kids toys are determined to be unsafe the law requires those companies to eat the loss and do a recall. This is also true for housing. You should look into the local and state housing laws and know exactly what is required of your landlord. You would be surprised. With that knowledge you might be less worried about walking out of a lease, especially if she's in violation of state and local housing laws! Maybe you'll be the one suing her for the rent she illegaly received while she allowed you to live in an unsafe and uninspected environment.

    Don't be pushed around by a slum-lord,
    Molo
     
  12. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer...to be caring and loving to a
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    landlords

    some are good and some are bad......

    some of them wont do anything for their tennants
    when they want them to leave....

    cold water seems to hasten getting rid of trouble...

    I have seen that numerous times...
     
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    detector

    A good gas detector is going to cost you a lot more than you think it will. It is not like a smoke detector that you pay $9.95 for an hang on the wall.
     
  14. heyzeus

    heyzeus New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    i got her to change the water heater.
    thanks for the help.
     
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