water heater installation

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by billhayton, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. billhayton

    billhayton New Member

    Messages:
    10
    A condominium here in california needs an electric water heater replaced. THe water heater is in a closet in the middle of the kitchen with no drain reachable. This condo was built in 50's. Only way to run drain for pan or pressure relief would be to go through about 20 feet of cabinets to exterior wall. What are my options if I want to stay within plumbing codes here in CA?

    THanks
    Bill
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I don't know CA code but as strict as they are it wouldn't surprise me if they required a sump pump or condensate pump of some sort.

    Check your code book.
  3. put it in a pan

    We run into this all the time and usually
    it goes back in exactly the way we find it because
    it is "grandfathered in" long before the codes
    were updated...


    Usually ... the homeowner simply refuses to
    pay for any expensive updates so we make them sign off on it
    or they will go elsewhere...

    Home Depot or Lowes will only install the heater ,,, they wont
    make any upgrades like that to the home for what they are being paid

    Call Home Depot or Lowes and see what they have
    to say about installing a heater for you and doing things up to code........



    If you are worried about water

    you can raise it up on 8 in blocks if you have the head rooom
    and then put it in an alluminum pan....

    probably the easiest thing to do would be to get a condensate pump.. and pump
    it to the laundry drain....

    the condensate pump will handle a medium
    amount of water.....but no ta full blown release of the
    pop off valve
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Nor will the condensate pump handle the temperature! Therefore it will not even come close to meeting code!
  5. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    What temp, if any, are they rated for?
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,021
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pump

    It is irrelevent because they would overflow immediately when the T&P valve discharged. The only two options in this area would be to go through the cabinets or relocate the water heater.
  7. sjsmithjr

    sjsmithjr Geologist

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Check the specs, but a steam condensate pump should be around 250 F temp rating. I have no idea if it's legit to use one in the described application or if you could find a suitable one that could handle the flow. How much water can a TP valve pass per minute?

    -Sam
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    While a pan is used for a T&P discharge, and a condensate pump may not keep up with an large flow, emergency discharge from a T&P, a condensate pump could easily take care of a slow leaking tank or slow leaking T&P and would prevent carpeting, Etc. from getting wet in a finished basement.
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Open 3/4" pipe at 80 PSI. you figure it out!

    HJ has said it all!
  10. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I'm sorry but I agree with hj.

    I guess you didn't read my post.

    Can you tell me the brand of pan that will handle the water flow from a wide open, 3/4", T&P, dumping water at 80PSI, and not over flow the pan.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2007
  11. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    A water heater pan with the usual hose drain will not handle a 3/4" pipe at 80 psi either.

    Most T&P Valves are set at 150 psi relief. The purpose is to relieve the pressure that results if the temperature control fails. They will close when the temperature and pressure and lowered but will usually continue to drip.

    Typical water supplies don't have the pressure to maintain a steady flow through a T&P valve unless it has tripped on over-temperature.

    Most of the occurrences of water from a water heater are tank failure that starts with a leak, or a trickle from the T&P valve. If you get a really big flow the hose connected to a 6" deep pan is not going to handle as much water as a reasonable sump pump.
  12. I have no clue about CA plumbing codes, but I do know a little about basic real estate law after 21 years in it.
    Residences, when sold, only have to meet the codes in force "at the time that they were originally built". (Additions also must meet the codes in force when they were built, which may be different, of course.)
    If not, almost every home sold would have to be completely remodeled to meet ALL code changes since they were originally built, making home ownership out of reach for most of us.
    I would think that this water heater could be replaced as it is, unless the owner, at their option, wanted to pay for an expensive upgrade to meet the latest code.
    To be sure even the left coast wouldn't make a major expense burden out of a common water heater replacement, or I would think that it could succesfully be challenged in court.
    But then again...LOL
    Mike
  13. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego

    Don't know about your state, but in California, when real estate changes hands, the water heater is an item which must be brought up to current code. The usual offenses are lack of earthquake straps, lack of flex connectors on gas and water, and TP discharge. All of these have been code requirements on new installs for so long, that it doesn't come up so often any more, but once in a while.

    For gas WH, the solution was use of a Watts 210 hi temp gas shut off, and a pressure relief on the cold pipe outside the dwelling. On an electric, I don't know what they do to meet the temp relief. Probably just what happened to the current poster! Almost all gas in my neck of the woods, so I don't see these. And most WH are in the garage. Most condos were built post 1980, and by that time electric rates had gone so high that new construction was almost all gas.
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