Natural gas union on a hot water heater

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by rioguia, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. rioguia

    rioguia New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Maryland
    I have to replace my Whirlpool Flame Lock water heater. I am having a little problem removing the natural gas feed to the tank. Can anyone tell me which way to turn the union to unscrew the attachment?

    I need to know:
    1. should I use the large wrench on the union to hold the pipe steady or am I turning it (clockwise / counter-clockwise)?
    2. alternatively, am I turning to small wrench on the bottom of the union and turning there (clockwise / counter-clockwise)?

    See picture

    Thanks for you help in advance.
  2. a small queston for you

    I dont mean to be sarcastic here....and usually I
    try to be more helpful........but

    if you dont know how to take a gas union off a water heater without asking advice on a plumbing forum......

    do you think it a good idea to attempt to tackle the job in the first place??



    it appears from the photo that you want to crank it counter clockwise?

    dont get yourself in troubles...
  3. rioguia

    rioguia New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Maryland
    I still need help.

    Are you telling me to crank the large wrench counter-clockwise?
  4. Herk

    Herk Plumber

    Messages:
    547
    Location:
    S.E. Idaho
    From what I can tell by the photo, your silver-colored wrench is in the correct position, but you may need a larger backup wrench.

    And what Mark said is probably true: you're risking the life of yourself and your family as well as major property destruction if you mess up. It's not what you know about plumbing that will get you into trouble, it's what you don't know that you don't know.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,383
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    If you really look at a union, you can see which way the come off. I'd replace that solid plumbing with a flex pipe made for gas. Hope you know enough not get get another Whirlpool.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,018
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    union

    The big nut has thread on one side of it. That thread unscrews counterclockwise from the half of the union on that side. In your picture it appears that the threaded half is on the bottom.
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Hold the black wrench steady, pull the blue wrench towards you.
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,383
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    If you try to go the wrong direction, it will not move, but you won't hurt anything. I second the opinion that you don't have the experience to be messing with gas. Call a licensed professional.
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Gas...
    The energy source that can make your house sneeze...
    One minute you own a fine home...
    and the next minute you have a vacant lot with a pile of toothpicks in it!

    [​IMG]

    Seriously! Hire a plumber for the gas work!
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