water leaking from the draft diverter/flue

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by kingpho, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. kingpho

    kingpho New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    La Crescenta
    There is a big metal tube right in the middle of the WH that goes from the top all the way to the bottom in length. About 1 inch from the top, there is a small whole, big enough to be covered by a tooth pick. I don't know if the whole has always been there or not but there's a strong amount of water shooting from that whole. I turned the cold pipe knob off to stop the water feed but that doesn't stop the water from being sprayed out of this tiny whole. The only way to stop it is to turn the MAIN of for the whole house.

    Thanks for your help.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    You need to replace your water heater...there is no way to fix this problem except to keep the water off...You should be able to turn the water off above the heater and have water to the rest of the house until you get it replaced...
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  3. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    Water heater leaking ! !

    Bad news and more bad news !

    You need a new water heater and you need the shut off valve on top of wtr/htr

    replaced many times i do this when doing a wtr/htr changeout because it

    sounds like you have a gate valve and 90% of time these go bad over the years

    that is why we use ball valves these days,

    you also need a thermal expansion tank installed on cold water tank inlet

    because the type of leak you describe is caused by too much pressure on tank !

    Whatever you do ? Do not repeat do not get a whirlpool or american wtr/htr

    brand heater,

    go only with a bradford white or rheem/ruud brand heater for best results ! !

    See flame guard water heaters and plumber marks post on subject ! ! !
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    You only need an expansion tank if you have a PRV and/or check valve installed on your system, which creates a closed system....having a leak there is not proof of needing an expansion tank...
  5. kingpho

    kingpho New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    La Crescenta
    Thanks so much for your help. There were some technical terms that you guys used and I don't know what they mean. I'll ask for a description later but 1 quick question. What do you guys think about tankless water heaters? Particularly gas. This is an old house and it only has 100 volts for the whole house so an electric one is out of the question.

    Please bare in mind that due to finances I would have to install it myself. I might not know the terminology of things but I know how things work in general. I would say that my handy-ness is about a 70 while a professional is 100.

    They seem to be $1200 while regular WH are $500 - $600. Does the tankless save me money in the long run? Do they last longer? Does it save water bill? Does it waste less water? Is it instant hot water? How big does the tankless have to be if our current one is 40 gallon WH? Are as easy to install as the regular WHs?

    Thank you so much for your help. This forum is awesome!
  6. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    At the bottom right of the page you will find a Forum Jump...if you click on it there is a drop down menu and you will find tankless water heaters...and all the information you want...and more...

    MY recomendation is just replace the one you have....but the choice is yours...
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,251
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tankless

    The first thing you have to understand is that you CANNOT always just replace a tank type with a tankless. There are chimney/flue issues and possibly gas sizing problems. IT is not a DIY project for someone at the 70% level. The cost of the heater is often only part of the true cost of changing it.
  8. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Messages:
    2,784
    Location:
    01609

    What he said- get the installed price (less rebates), including gas line & venting upgrades to make cost comparisons. If it's more than 2.5x the installed price of a 0.60+EF tank, it's unlikely break even in under 20 years (unless fuel prices triple.)

    If you have hydronic heating (forced hot water radiators/baseboards/radiant floors) an "indirect tank" running off the heating boiler will be more expensive than a regular tank, but will (usually) last several decades, and outperform both on combined heating/hot water efficiency, and is (usually) sufficient for nearly-endless hot water like a tankless, with none of the quirks of tankless HW heaters. It simplifies exhaust venting/backdrafting issues too, since you have only the single burner to be concerned about (the boiler.)

    Some steam heating boilers are suitable for this sort of retrofit too.
  9. Doherty Plumbing

    Doherty Plumbing Journeyman & Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    810
    Location:
    Penticton, BC
    Installing a tankless system is anything but cheap.

    You need the tank, plus some form of storage tank (to get rid of the cold shot tankless HWTs give you) and a bunch of extra material.

    Get a HWT to the same specs you've already got and this will be the cheapest, easiest way to replace the old tank.

    Not only that a HWT is much cheaper to maintain/repair then a tankless water heater.
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