Can I fix this water heater or is it time for a new one?

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Mjchevalier

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I have an older water heater in my townhouse and my wife noticed there was some water pooling up on the top of it. I took some pictures and have attached them. The water seems to be coming from right where the union nipple goes into the water heater. I am getting the most water from the cold supply but the outgoing hot line is also leaking as well as the relief valve connection. They are all leaking right at the top of the water heater as the unions go into the heater. Can this/should this be repaired or am I looking at a replacement? If this can be fixed, what parts would you recommend I replace while doing it?

Thank you. I am on a very tight budget and would like to be able to safely save the water heater if possible.
 

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Reach4

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If this is from a leak, rather than rain blowing in the vent, time for a new WH.

Do you know how old the WH is? If not, post the brand and date code if label or serial number if not. This is just out of curiosity rather than a determining factor in getting a WH.

This is something worth borrowing to fix. People often borrow for less-important things.

I am not sure what Chicago thinks of DIY for this.
 

Mjchevalier

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If this is from a leak, rather than rain blowing in the vent, time for a new WH.

Do you know how old the WH is? If not, post the brand and date code if label or serial number if not. This is just out of curiosity rather than a determining factor in getting a WH.

This is something worth borrowing to fix. People often borrow for less-important things.

I am not sure what Chicago thinks of DIY for this.


Thanks Reach4,

I could not find a date code but the serial # is RMNG0802401721 and it is a Richmond 6 year warranty heater. I took a picture of the label. Thank you. FYI, I have installed 2 water heaters in the past but they were identical to what was there.
 

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Sylvan

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Whoever put the piercing ( needle valve) attached to the tubing needs to have their license revoked.
 

Reach4

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I could not find a date code but the serial # is RMNG0802401721 and it is a Richmond 6 year warranty heater.
August, 2002.

The new one will not be a drop-in replacement. They build them differently now.
 
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Terry

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17 years on the old one? And there are leaks? If time isn't valued, then perhaps replace the top nipples and unions, and reinstall the T&P and hope those were the only leaks. They entire tank could go any day though.
Why the 1/4" off the hot side? I hope you're not drinking from that.
 

Mjchevalier

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If this is from a leak, rather than rain blowing in the vent, time for a new WH.

Do you know how old the WH is? If not, post the brand and date code if label or serial number if not. This is just out of curiosity rather than a determining factor in getting a WH.

This is something worth borrowing to fix. People often borrow for less-important things.

I am not sure what Chicago thinks of DIY for this.


Thanks Reach4,

I could not find a date code but the serial # is RMNG0802401721 and it is a Richmond 6 year warranty heater. I took a picture of the label. Thank you. FYI, I have installed 2 water heaters in the past but they were identical to what was there.
Humidifier, I'll bet.

You got that right. Aprilaire it is. I inherited this mess when I moved in 3 years ago. The Aprilaire doesn’t even work so I will remove the 1/4” line when the new on goes in.

Do you guys know if the new gas water heater can use flexible water connections? Like Sharkbite stuff or similar? I assume the gas line has to stay all black pipe to the water heater, right?

Thanks for the help!!
 

Phog

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It's completely up to your local code, which can say the exact opposite thing in 2 different jurisdictions. Sharkbite sells braided stainless water heater hookup hoses with integrated ball valves, one pipe thread end for the water heater, and the other push fitting for your house plumbing. But you may or may not be able to use them in your area. Some areas require flex connections for gas (earthquake country), others require black iron right up to the appliance and prohibit flex. And so on.
 

Reach4

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A lot of people use saddle connections with no problem. I used one when I installed my Aprilaire, but it was not right above the WH, and I drilled a hole rather than trying to pierce galvanized. I intend to replace that pipe with pex, and will put in a tee at that point. I have bought the parts, but have not treated it as a priority.

Do you guys know if the new gas water heater can use flexible water connections? Like Sharkbite stuff or similar? I assume the gas line has to stay all black pipe to the water heater, right?
Best IMO are corrugated copper or stainless, but they are probably forbidden in Chicago for reasons different than any official stated reason. Type L copper is not that hard to work with however. The the new lead free solders and tinning flux are nice to work with if you clean the joint have dry pipe.
 

Mjchevalier

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Thanks everybody for the wisdom you have shared with me. I just bought a new Rheem 40!gallon, 9 year warranty gas water heater and I have a local independent plumber coming out next week to do the install properly.

This is a fantastic resource and I feel lucky to have found it. Thank you Terry Love!!
 

Jadnashua

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Some humidifiers call for hot water, but in my limited experience, cold works just fine. Needing one in the first place, though, may indicate that the house is leaking too much, and some air infiltration sealing can resolve that issue.

Over the last 17-years, the codes have probably changed where you live, and they may require the installation of an expansion tank to prevent problems, if not now, down the line. The feds are mandating check valves (eventually) be installed on public water supply taps, and without an expansion tank, you're water heater will then start to discharge from the safety T&P valve unless there's already a leak somewhere in the house to relieve the expanding water and resulting pressure spike.
 
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