HELP! - Strange Rust on (2) NEW Heaters

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RehabMD

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Hello all


I fear a dispute with waterproofing contractor so need some advice

I have two new water heaters in a duplex (one in each respective basement)
-Model: Rheem 50gal Heaters (Purchased at Home Depot)
-Electric heaters
-Expansion Tanks
-Dehumidifiers running 24/7

Heaters were installed by a licensed plumber and working for seven (7) months. They haven't gotten much use, we are still doing rehab. Ten (10) days ago, Basement Waterproofers CUT the water supply lines to heaters to move them away from the wall and install sump pumps. When they cut the water supply lines, water splashed all over the units from above.

Today, (10 days later) I notice rust in BOTH Electrical Junction Boxes on the heater lids. The styrofoam underneath is rust colored now. (Photo Album) Is this because the water sat on the lid and seeped into the unit? Or is this a defect that's been rusting for months from within?

Waterproofer argues the rust is old and splashing from cut water lines never caused a problem before. I will cut out the foam protection under the junction basin to assess moisture/rust. I think they are liable if heaters are damaged.


What does everyone think? Your help is truly appreciated!

-Christian
 

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Jeff H Young

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I doubt it'll hurt. you got a sump and de humidifier could be damp down there I'd say keep it dry down there and keep an eye on it
 

RehabMD

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Thanks Jeff!

If water seeped into the heater via junction box... should I be concerned?
 
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John Gayewski

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Without knowing exactly what those boxes looked like prior to them cutting the water lines, you have no claim against them. A guessing game won't do.

As stated whatever moisture needs to dry out of the air and by extension the water heater jacket. It'll be fine. This will happen naturally when the water heater heats and evaporates the water. Getting the waterproofing done is more important than these boxes. They are likley cheap and easily obtained from the manufacturer if you want to replace them.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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This kind of rusting moisture natrually happens in water heaters...its no big deal..
leave the contractor alone unless he is the guy who installed the heaters in the first place.

Note--- that the way that those thermal expansion tanks are mounted is very shitty indeed....
You need to maybe get some bailing wire or some #12 copper wire and support those tanks
that are literally hanging in the air..... the weight from those tanks will eventually cause you trouble
or a potential flood on those fittings that are under stress.... .....

just figure out a way to wrap those tanks with some wire and hang it to the overhead wooden rafters
to eliminate the weight drag on the fittings.....
 

RehabMD

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Just figure out a way to wrap those tanks with some wire and hang it to the overhead wooden rafters
to eliminate the weight drag on the fittings.....

OOF! Thanks for catching that Mark. Never thought about problems a full expansion tank could cause.

Thanks!!!!
 
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