Examining my 17 YO AO Smith to determine if it is repairable.

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DEDon

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Well, what I should have started, this afternoon, is a new Thread. I'll get used to these forums, eventually.:)
I replied to the thread:
https://terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?24063-When-do-you-need-to-replace-a-water-heater
and continued a conversation about When-do-you-need-blah-blah-blah, but I should have started this: a new thread because, my unit is a A.O.Smith and not a Bradford White.
Any how, to follow my proceedures, if you are curious, you'll need to go to that thread, started by Roger8, I think. He has some good questions and replies but, the thread wasn't fresh and mine is a different brand. So, here we go with my continuation/ examination of my gas hot water heater.

I removed the drip pipe from the original pressure release valve and then removed the valve, itself. OH MY GOODNESS!!! Take a look! DSCF1977_2.jpgDSCF1978_2.jpg

Is that scary or what?!!!
The tank is still draining but, I don't know if I can flush all of this crap out of the tank or not. I have my shop vac jerry rigged to be a wet-dry vac I hope that I don't ruin it. I'm going to try to suck some of this out as I flush it. Oh boy!:eek:

I came back and edited from this point, adding a question:
Is there anything in "usaual" code that would prevent me from extending my exit from my sump ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE, so that it would throw the water farther away from the house? I have a concrete tray below the exit pipe that gives an additional 2 feet or so "direction" to the exit water but, my trench, beyond that point it apparantly not sloped enough and the water is laying around the foundation more than I would like it to...see the pic
DSCF1979_2.jpg
Underneath the river rock is plastic liner material that lines the earthen troughs, directing the water away from the foundation. I am wondering if it would be allowable or appropriate to extend the exit pipe, angling it downward toward ground level. ???
 
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Wraujr

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Saw the plumber on This Old House, flush someone's HW after it was over ten years old. Caught debris in a 5 gallon drywall mud bucket. Did it because homeowner wanted it done. Two weeks later tank failed, started to leak and had to be replaced. Plumber's "experienced opinion" was that flushing old tanks just leads to failure... Not saying this will happen, just commenting.. Good luck.
 

Gary Swart

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Investing time and money to attempt to squeeze any more life out of a 17 year old water heater is definitely makes no sense (or cents) at all.
 

DEDon

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Well, I think that I have heard enough. I think I am going to go with a Rheem 40 Gallon replacement unit. Now I have a new question. Will it be possible for me to use the existing "direct vent" set up with a new Unit? I have peeled the silicone bead that had the exhaust pipe attached to the venting unit, as you can see. Here is what the upper portion of the heater looks like...DSCF1980_2.jpg

It looks like there may be some fabrication to do with regard to the electrical hookup from the vent motor to the thermostat unit...Are these connectors "standard" or does each brand of water heater have its own special male connectors that have to be spliced in?
DSCF1981_2.jpgDSCF1982_2.jpg

Thanks for the advice regarding replacement. I can be a bit too focused on the repair issues at hand, sometimes, to realize that replacement is necessary. I don't want to spend the money but, the only one that is really going to be upset, here, is the Secretary/Treasurer.
 
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Cwhyu2

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Yes you can use your exsisting vent.
 

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Cacher_Chick

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A new direct vent water heater will come with a new blower and safety control system.
Do not try to retrofit your old direct-vent blower to a new water heater.
 

DEDon

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Thanks for all of your comments. I simply flushed the 17 YO and put 'er back together with a couple of new valves and when she breeaks I'll replace her. She's heating a little better since I slapped her around.
Just can't believe the prices of new power vented Gas Water heaters! Pure insanity! I guess if I was making what a plumber makes, it wouldn't hurt so much...oh well. Again, thanks!
 

DEDon

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What product pricing doesn't cause "sticker shock" today? I continued my education, online, yesterday. I realize, now that I have no other choice other than a power vent unit. Now I realize that some of my questions were generated out of ignorance. I apologize for taking a cheap shot at plumbers and their income. It takes years of apprentiship to become a good one. If someone could direct me to their choice for a 40 Gal Pwr Vnt'd Nat Gas Hot Water Heater, I want to compare my options. I found a BW MITW40S6FBN but are there less expensive models out there.
 

hj

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1. NOW, you know why it is recommended that the T&P valves be tested at least yearly, and preferably every month.
2. If you HAD tried to reuse the power vent, you would have had to make "unapproved" modifications to the new heater to control it.
3. We usually use which ever brand our supply house carries.
4. Connecting the copper water lines DIRECTLY to the tank is also not a good idea, and would have been rejected during inspection in most areas.
 

Wraujr

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Explanation

hj, could you please expand on this statement..
"Connecting the copper water lines DIRECTLY to the tank is also not a good idea, and would have been rejected during inspection in most areas"

All the homes in my neighborhood (new construction 1993, Smith gas water heaters) have 3/4" copper soldered
to copper nipple screwed into hw tank with thread paste. No thermal check/ball valves, etc. Clearly all were
approved and inspected by county inspectors. 18 years later no problems/leaks/etc. County water.

Thermal checks valves I understand for "efficiency" to keep heat from migrating out, and while may be code
required in some areas, they are not needed for "correct" operation.

I thought the "shiny couplings" (sorry the names escapes me) that prevent galvanic problems, were for connections
other than copper. Please expand further.
 
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