Water heater-wet spot

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Mike50, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Circular Wet spot directly underneath water heater in garage. (no pan) Seems to have slow leak into corner of bedroom. It's due date is up. Is it shot??
    Just checking the obvious here....

    thanks..

    Mike
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    If there are no leaks on the top at the inlet and outlet and at the T&P the only other places are the thermostat and drain cock. If none there then the tank needs to be replaced. Look with a good light to be sure. You need to find a water trail leading to the floor or a drip.

    What brand is it and how old is it?
  3. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Cass, I checked and there are no leaks from any piping anywhere. The tank is flush with the ground and that is where leak (wet spot) is coming from.
    It's a Reliant 501 5 year tank.
    Was here when I moved in----February of 2001.

    I check it after showering. Maybe it's my imagination but the tank is clearly making
    a whoosh-wave sound. Laboring slightly.

    It IS however next to washer which had some issues a couple years back.

    Mike
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2006
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    For some reason I was thinking it was a gas heater.

    Did you check the elements for leaks?
  5. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Cass, I am unable to closely inspect anything--just had a angioplasty thing done.
    My trusted plumber friend is out of town. damn...

    I'm getting it replaced. It's due and water is leaching up the wall...
    What is *price range* for 40 gallon installed iyo. Brands??

    Mike
  6. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I have no idea what the going rates are in your area. Get a couple of prices since the plumber you trust is gone.
  7. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Thanks Cass. My guy quoted me 450-500 installed. Just called Local Rooter and was quoted 750 installed.
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    If you can wait for your regular plumber it looks like he can save you some $$$$$. If not get 2 more prices.
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,245
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    heater

    Unless you are by yourself, a 40 gallon heater is almost too small these days with the lower temperature recommended for safe use. $500 is closer to the correct price assuming it is not buried behind a water softener or furnace.
  10. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Thanks..
    This is a small leak. No panic.
    All 3 guys quoted me 750-795 installed.
    I'm waiting for my plumber friend on Tuesday...


    Mike
  11. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    Lately I've been figuring $200 plus cost of materials. Last job I did came to $515 for a 50 gal replacement where a 30 gal was... in a mobile home. The rooter folks are always going to be much higher and give you a much better written warranty.
  12. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    I have an easily accessible electric 40 gallon. No corrision or whatever...
    Thanks to this board--I know when I'm getting hosed.
    Merry Xmas Ho-Ho-Ho

    I guess when you use the "L WORD"-A Surcharge applies.

    The L Word is of course L-E-A-K lol


    Mike
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2006
  13. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Messages:
    551
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    If 3 local plumbers quoted you similar numbers, you are not getting hosed. Every area has different prevailing rates. When I install a heater, I use all brass fittings, remove the plastic drain valve and replace it with a fullport ball valve with a hose adapter. Some plumbers or handymen can do it cheaper, but not better.
  14. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    I waited and my guy quoted me 625. No haggling. Very happy with result. Pan-blanket as well.
    Glad I waited. I told him when we met 2 years ago I would send him a very lucrative business/residential account. It paid off in spades with multiple remodels-same family. It's all good...

    M.
  15. vaplumber

    vaplumber Guest

    Sounds like you did good with the pricing in your area. Considering pan/blanket you did well... And you know the man's work who did the job. At that age for that tank, replacing was the best choice. No use wasting money on trying to chase ghosts.
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,245
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    heater

    The pan is a bonus if it was piped to a drain. The blanket can be a negative. Some heater manufacturers, especially for electric heaters, discourage their use. How much "better" can an RR written guarantee be? The only thing they could guarantee is the water heater and the manufacturer already warrantees that.
  17. 007plumber

    007plumber plumbing contractor

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    georgia
    007plumber

    a water heater pan is worth its weight in gold! recently a relative of mine who owns a condo that he uses as a second home and rents out called me about replacing the water heater. It was located in an outside storage closet on patio. The inside wall was also the wall to the bedroom. The tank had a decent leak and ran under the shoe plate. It was not noticed until a renter called and said the floor was wet. By now the water had saturated the sub-floor,damaged the floor joist,mildew in the wall and termites for good measure. Items replaced : joist,subfloor,several studs,sheetrock,carpet and re-painted walls. Total price : $12,000 not including new water heater,which I installed for cost. Needless to say we went back with a pan and drain. Local code did not require pan because of location of heater but sometimes it's up to us to go beyond the minimum requirement to avoid such a catastrophe. Pan costs $15.00, brother-in-law for a plumber-PRICELESS!
  18. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    007... I tend to jack them (electric WH) up on blocks above the pan to keep the bottom of the water heater from rusting out. It also gives the rats a better place to hide.
  19. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    That's an important post imo. I in fact already DO have some minor water damage because I previously had No pan. (see earlier post). That's why I insisted on one. I'm having mine hooked to an exterior pipe which will gravity drain down my driveway as I live on a hill in the event of a leak. (It won't be noticable...and behind washer-dryer units.)
    Pans are cheap but price is not an issue in my tiny mind. Hell...I'd pay 200 bucks for one if I had to.

    Think about it--40 gallons of rushing 120 degree hot water can easily be a small Disaster!

    No problem with garage rats--or anything else uninvited for that matter. I have 2 fearless pitbulls.
    Their motto: "Go ahead-make my day" LOL :D

    Mike
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2006
  20. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    For some reason I have about a half cup of water in my pan from the new tank. My guy has to come back to reconnect the swamp cooler valve and wrap the blanket-so It's no big deal but I'm curious....

    This is a Bradford White.
    Why is it that you have to decode manuals to figure out how long the tank is guaranteed for..? Im still not sure. It's 6 or 10.

    M.
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