Imploding water heater?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Dilbert, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Dilbert

    Dilbert New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I recently replaced some pipe in my basement. I put them back in the same locations and didn't make any changes to how things ran.

    While I am not a plumber, and don't play one on TV, these were not bent in like this last week.

    Could it be something I did, or is there a bigger problem with my water heater?

    Thanks, Cliff

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  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Did you close both the inlet and outlet of the water heater than allow it to cool?

    Kinda the opposite of thermal expansion...
  3. Dilbert

    Dilbert New Member

    Messages:
    6
    After I reconnected?
    It was disconnected for several hours, and turned off most of the day.
    Then I turned the water back on, refilled the tank, ensured there were no leaks and turned the pilot on.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,824
    Location:
    New England
    A related question, maybe I'm missing it, but where it the T&P valve?
  5. Dilbert

    Dilbert New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Umm, as I said in the first post, I'm not a plumber, just a guy with a lot of tools who is a little too fearless.

    What is a T&P valve? I guess just asking that question means I'm in trouble.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    What I'm asking is if there was anytime when the water heater was in effect a closed container while it was cooling. If you were to take a 1 gallon tin and heat it in a pan of boiling water then screw on the cover and take it off the heat it would collapse....
  7. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The T&P valve is seen in the first and last picture side mounted next to the yellow energy guide label...
    The smoke pipe installation doesn't look to good.
  8. Dilbert

    Dilbert New Member

    Messages:
    6
    This isn't impossible.
    I turned off the supply to the heater, then turned it off. I thought I drained it too.
    It may have cooled while warm, with no way to relieve pressure, either negative or positive.
    It's not leaking now, other than looking terrible, did I cause permanent damage?
  9. Dilbert

    Dilbert New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Is it OK? This was the one that was there, I put it back where it was.
    I agree, but this was not me. :)
    I did not move the heater, this is the way it was when we moved in last year.
  10. Have a licensed plumber replace the water heater before you end up on the 11 0'clock news with family members scattered all over your front lawn.
  11. Dilbert

    Dilbert New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Is this a real concern, or are you being facetious?
  12. You have a malfunctioning water heater in your home that's allowing the structure of the device to collapse.


    How many lives are you willing to gamble on this situation?


    Shut the unit down


    Most if not all would be on the phone with a plumber getting scheduled to have that device looked at, diagnosed and replaced.


    It can't be made any clearer than the concern that led you to post these pictures and start a thread over it...is it?
  13. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    No he's not it is a damaged pressure vessel and should not be used.
  14. bad water heater

    It looks like it has overheated some time in the past..

    close to the boiling point..

    I think you would be wise to change it out, it really does

    look like it has been stretched out to its limit...


    you ought ot change it before it takes out a room or two..


    [​IMG]
  15. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    Water heater

    I know exactly what happened to your water heater i have seen that many times before ! !

    You have a excessive pressure bulge, caused by not having thermal expansion tank inSTALLED per mfg's spec's
    you need the tank between the shut off ball valve and the water heater, when you turned the water heater off it caused excess
    pressure to build up and invert the tank ! ! !
    YOU HAVE A CHECK VALVE ON THE COLD WATER INLET, YOU MUST HAVE THERMAL EXPANSION TANK BETWEEN ANY VALVES AND THE WATER HEATER

    If you look in the fire box you will see the tank setting down on
    top of the burner,

    this will cause carbon monoxide because the burner cannot burn correctly,
    so yes shut heater down now ! !
    And get replaced a. S. A. P. Be sure thermal expansion tank is moved to after the shut off valve or you could have the same problem again
    e-mail me if you have any more questions
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  16. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States

    also have plumber correct your vent problem, it may have been that way when you moved in, ! !
    But it is you and your family that will suffer because of the incorrect install of this water heater
    thats why you should always have a professional do the install and get it inspected by your town people
  17. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Judging by what I see in the back ground (DWV) and the heater vent I will guess this was a DIY install...It does appear that there is an expansion tank (failed?) but perhaps that tank is part of the heating system...can't tell from the pic
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2008
  18. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,309
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tank

    Whatever the reason the tank was subjected to pressure beyond its working pressure, and maybe even beyond its test pressure. The top "bulged" up, but the flue liner held the center down which is why the pipes bent inward. Discard the tank because it has been damaged beyond repair and its integrity has been compromised. At this time there is no way to tell why it happened.
  19. RRW

    RRW New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Illinois
    Thanks hj for the explanation of why the pipes showed the way they do. It makes sense. One question, would this type of flexing cause the glass liner to crack and greatly shorten the service life even if it did not fail from other reasons?
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