Water heater inlet corrosion

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by bTim, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. bTim

    bTim New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    MD
    Hello all. Just stumbled across this forum and seems like there is a lot of knowledge here.

    I just had a water heater installed just over a year ago and noticed today that the inlet pipe is badly corroded and slowly leaking water.

    I have the installer coming out tomorrow, but I want to have some information before talking with him if possible.

    One thing I noticed in addition to the corrosion is that the Draft Hood was never secured in place. The screws were left laying on top of the unit along with the leftover pipe from the job.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    --Tim

    [​IMG]
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  2. DaveHo

    DaveHo New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    SE PA
    I'm not a pro, but the biggest problem I see is that the hood is backdrafting. The shrunk insulation & upturned plastic collars are proof of that. Of course the leak isn't good either. Whats the rest of the flue piping look like?

    -Dave
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,763
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    He will have to change out the nipple coming out of the tank.
    Unless I have plastic lined nipples, I like to use brass. I don't think many other plumbers carry brass, they cost about 2 bucks more. But they are permenate too.
    I can reuse a brass nipple after twenty years and they are still like new. Normally if the nipple is plastic lined you're okay too. It may be that small leak wound up causing the corrosion. , and he needs to put in a couple of screws to secure the hood.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  4. bTim

    bTim New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    MD
    I wonder if that would account for the faint gas smell i get from time to time.

    The rest of the flue piping:

    From above water heater to wall:
    [​IMG]

    Wall connection:
    [​IMG]

    Wall looking back to heater:
    [​IMG]


    I did notice a few small pinholes on the pipe leading to the wall and a rust hole at the wall connection. Can I just tape that up with some metal duct tape?
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,804
    Location:
    New England
    The rust is likely caused by condensation. The condensation is caused by poor draft. The gas smells are from poor draft. I'm not sure that that flue pipe would pass code with the very long, low rise...it would cool off too much before it then tried to rise out the chimney. It is the hot gasses rising up the flue that tend to 'pull' the rest along and keep everything moving. If it cools off too much along the way, it can act like a plug, and prevent the gasses from rising and they spill out the point of least resistance. Hope you have a good, working CO detecter...

    You should fix the problem of the rust, not try to put a bandaid on it. This may require moving the WH closer to the vertical flue stack or getting a power vent type that can blow the gasses out rather than having them rise naturally.
  6. bpetey

    bpetey New Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    CA
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,804
    Location:
    New England
    True, CO is odorless, but incomplete combustion can smell. A gas supply leak can be dangerous as well, so isolating and fixing that is important. They do make some very sensitive NG detectors that should help pinpoint if and where it is leaking.

    If you take a match or a small candle and hold it near the bottom of the vent hood, does the flame and smoke get drawn into the flue?
  8. ilya

    ilya In the Trades

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Akron Ohio
    That connection was surely leaking from day one. All around poor workmanship. Terry, I like brass too. It's great for going from galv to copper. I thought I was the only one!
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