More Water Heater Problems

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by molo, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    855
    Location:
    cold new york
    I just installed a used AO Smith electric water tank (for myself) It is leaking around the top element.
    1. Can this be fixed? If so, what do I need to do?
    2. Also I tried draining this tank and nothing would come out. I know its not plugged up because when I started filling it it saw pouring out the drain, so I tightened the drain. Now that it's full and the element area is leaking I decided to drain it off and remove the element. It won't driain. Whats the secret?

    Thanks for all the help,
    Molo
  2. solsacre

    solsacre Plumber

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Arkansas
    OK It's used?

    Use compressed air to drain it (not over 150psi)

    Pull the element and put a new gasket in.

    Why are you installing a used water heater.... why is it leaking.... is this your water heater? or did someone tell you it works?..... Is it the right element?

    I never like to reuse old parts.

    good luck

    dances-with-pumps
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2007
  3. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    855
    Location:
    cold new york
    Solsacre... It's not new, i stated that in the first sentence. I don't have means to hook up 150psi, Is there another way to drain this thing? Do I have to cut pipes etc. to relieve pressure?

    TIA,
    Molo
  4. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    855
    Location:
    cold new york
    LOL,

    Did you look at the timing of the last two posts solsacre?? How funny You edited your post to state that you understood it was used and not new only seconds before I posted again that it is used.
    Anyway..... Yes I bought a used tank from a place that gives a 30 day warranty on its stuff. The elements appear to be original and there is a leak around the top element. Also as I posted above I don't have means to put 150psi on it. Is there another way of draining it?

    :p :p
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2007
  5. solsacre

    solsacre Plumber

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Remove the old drain (it's not working) with the water off of-course

    Install a 3/4" nipple and a full port ball valve.

    Add another nipple and a 3/4 X hose fitting. Then Drain it under full pressure letting the city, or well pressure push the sediment out.....

    After the sediment is out, pull the supplys

    and let gravity do it's job......

    Then if it's not your waterheater......

    eather fix it or shove it up the person's $$$ that sold it to you.


    good luck[SIZE]

    dances-with-pumps
  6. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    855
    Location:
    cold new york
    How much will an element cost me for this AO Smith? Can I just get a gasket? So I have to open up the hot and cold going into it in order to get it to drain?

    TIA,
    Molo
  7. solsacre

    solsacre Plumber

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Arkansas
    If the water heater is under pressue you should have lotes of water flowing....


    If it's not under pressure than it may be vacume locked.....


    but you've already removed one water heater and have installed another, so I assume you understand the basics.:eek:

    I don't know if you can get "just a gasket" for a water heater.............


    PERSONAL OPINION(AO smith suck on electronics)

    $10-$20 For an element.... change the whole thing. or return the water heater under your 30 day.


    good luck


    dances-with-pumps
  8. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    855
    Location:
    cold new york
    Thanks solsacre,
    I appreciate the help on this one. I believe that it might be vacume locked. What is the best way to fix that? In the past I have just opened up the cold and hot and let it drain. I have also seen people open up the TP Valve, but have heard that opening that valve too many times is a bad idea??

    Thanks
    Molo
  9. If you think that element is the original in the tank, replacing the element will not be the fix. Sounds like the tank is junk. Possibly a leak through the threads which more than likely is a downer.

    I do hope you don't have to replace that heater twice though.

    How much did they sell you this tank for?

    I remove tanks sometimes that are not leaking but I would never consider reusing a water heater even if its free.
  10. solsacre

    solsacre Plumber

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Opening the hot and cold should work like you think it should.... You've changed a few of these it seams... so your basic system should work... so what's diffrent this time????

    RETURN THE WATER HEATER FOR YOUR 30 DAY WARRANTY.


    you sound like you've changed out enough to know better.....

    Your time is never worth the headacke of used equipment.


    Put in a new one and call this a learning experience.


    good luck

    dances-with-pumps
  11. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    855
    Location:
    cold new york
    This has been a huge learning experience! This is for myself that's why I bought a used one. I payed $70 for it. I'm still considering replacing the element to hopefully stop the leak.
    As far as draining it there is nothing different this time. I've just seen a couple of different methods and was wondering if I could avoid cutting the cold supply. (there is a ball-valve but no union on the cold) There is a union on the hot so thats no problem opening that side.
    TIA,
    Molo
  12. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    855
    Location:
    cold new york
    You still home sols?
  13. solsacre

    solsacre Plumber

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Introducing air into the W/H through the supplys, whether the hot cold, or opening up a hot side in the house once the water heater supply is off will allow nature to take it's course, if it will not then there is a problem with the drain valve, gravity or sediment......


    replace the drain valve, or add pressure (compressed air.).

    good luck

    dances-with-pumps
  14. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    855
    Location:
    cold new york
    Interesting,
    I just saw "ruggeds" comment that replacing original elements will not stop the leak at the element. Why is that?

    Molo
  15. solsacre

    solsacre Plumber

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Remove the pressure from the water heater.


    dry around where you see dampness.....


    be very carful to notice where you find water....


    he suspects that because a water heater that is 5-10? years old didn't leak in it's last life.... why should it leak now..... he thinks that it may be the tank it's self... if it is than you have to replace it.


    If you are positive that it is from the gasket of the element an replacing it should do the job..... but save yourself some time..... make sure that you know where the leak is from.

    With the pressure off if you don't see the leak then add the pressure and watch with intensity....... know where it's coming from... not think where it's coming from.

    good luck

    dances-with-pumps
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