Help, Is This An Emergency???!

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by iampanicking, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. iampanicking

    iampanicking New Member

    Messages:
    2
    I just noticed a slow but steady stream of water coming from my hot water heater. Is it getting ready to blow??? I still have hot water. How will I know if this is serious? Please advise!! I noticed a small puddle last week but now it is a small, slow flow, HELP! Am I in trouble here? Should I stop doing laundry, does that affect anything? Am I going to lose water? Is there any way to guess how much time I have? What will happen if it "blows"??

    Reason for my panic is my husband is out of town and I am freaking out and don't have a clue where to start to buy a new one and how much I can expect to pay, plumber fees and all. Will they bill me or do I have to pay on the spot?

    It is a 65 gallon - Miser 8 - whatever that means. It is gas that runs through the furnace I guess and vents to the outside of the house. We really cant afford this now. Can you help me understand what an average installation/removal cost would be? Also, should I buy it through the plumber or see if I can find someone to take me to Sears? SO confused...all assistance is GREATLY appreciated! THANK YOU!

    :eek:
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,917
    Location:
    New England
    Where is it leaking from? A valve, through the walls of the water heater, out the bottom? It could be as simple as replacing the temperature/pressure safety valve. They sometimes go and the actual heater is fine. If it is not a valve, then the heater probably needs to be replaced. If you don't have a drain, or if the water will cause damage to the surrounding areas, you may want to turn off the gas to it and shut off the water coming in (hopefully, you have a shut-off valve for the water heater input). You could also either put a hose on the drain valve or use a bucket to empty the thing. Wait until it cools off first, though - could take many hours depending on how hot it is set to and how good the insulation is. The thing won't blow up (unless the safety valve is defective), but it could dump all of its hot water on the floor and if you haven't closed the input valve, the cold water will continue to flow, creating a mess. The leaking water could douse the pilot light, but again, the safety circuit should shut off the gas once the thermocouple cools off (pretty quick if it got doused with water).
  3. iampanicking

    iampanicking New Member

    Messages:
    2
    one more question

    thanks - it is 15 years old so needs to be replaced. Do I need to do this on Monday??? What can I expect for average cost of heater and installation? Any brands you are able to recommend and any other advice? THANK YOU SO MUCH!
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,917
    Location:
    New England
    Hopefully, someone that does this on a regular basis will answer your question. The cost depends on where in the country you are, and the type of heater and its size you choose to replace it with. They should also check the flue to make sure it is in good shape. Many of the newest, most efficient hot water heaters are vented through the side wall, rather than up through the roof. If your old one lasted 15 years, you certainly got your moneys worth out of it. The new gas water heaters are more expensive than the older ones, even those of as little as a year or so ago because of new federal safety regulations that required everyone to put in some more safety features. From what I hear, that added about $100 to what they cost prior to this change. I'd get on the phone Monday and call some people to get an idea of costs; just make sure you compare apples to apples - i.e., the same size, the same length of warranty, efficiency. If you have a plumber you've used before and trust, you should call him. Many places will replace a water heater the same day.
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