Illinois plumbers cannot work on water heater older than 10 years?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by TSM, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. TSM

    TSM New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2019
    Location:
    Chicago
    A local plumber would not replace my drain valve insisting Illinois law states that they are not allowed to work on a hot water heater older than 10 years old.
    Is this accurate?

    Thanks
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I don't know if its a law there, but many plumbers don't like working on water heaters that are 10 or more years old. Normally you can figure that most water heaters last ten years without a problem. After ten years, most anything can happen, and with that in mind, working on one and then having it leak right after you leave makes for an unhappy homeowner wanting a refund on the work. Most of us feel that if you're having problems and it's that old, you're better off spending the money towards a new tank and not wasting money on something that old. Many condo associations require replacement at ten years. They don't like the gamble of letting tanks on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor leaking downward through all of the lower units. The insurance hits get huge.
     
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  4. TSM

    TSM New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2019
    Location:
    Chicago
    Thanks for the feedback Terry. I can certainly understand balancing the cost of the repair (with limited service life remaining) against a new tank. It was just presented that this is the law in Illinois. I searched the relatively new Illinois plumbing code, but do not see anything related to this.
    I just feel like I was boxed in unfairly.

    I will take it up with plumbing company.

    thanks again,
    Tim
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I suspect you are saying that you bought a new water heater having been told an intentional misrepresentation.

    Changing out the plastic drain valve was pretty easy DIY for me on a 12 year or so old WH. The thread is 3/4 NPT.

    I replaced my plastic drain valve with several parts: nipple, full flow drain valve, GHT adapter. There are now available brass full flow drain valves, which I would have used instead.
    Rheem AP12231C-1 Overall Length (in.): 6-1/8
    Rheem SP12231B Overall Length (in.): 3-3/4

    Those cost more than your average brass drain valve, but the full flow could be useful for inserting a cleaning probe if you think you might want to do that.
     
  6. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
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    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    It sounds like the plumber was lazy and made this up to me.... or he is afraid to touch it....

    If you have an extremely old water heater with a plastic drain valve it could literally
    break off in his hands when he touches it .. they get very brittle over time
    Once you snap it off , then you got to chisel out the plastic left
    in the threads.....
    then you got to re-tap the hole just to get the new brass valve to thread in right.

    all this with 40 gallons of hot water pissing out at you ... good times, good times :p:p
    I have done this a number of times and hopefully its in a basement with a drain nearby
    cause if you cant drain down the heater, its gonna be a wet and wild experience....
     
  7. TSM

    TSM New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2019
    Location:
    Chicago
    Thanks for the input.
    Yes, it is a plastic drain valve. Tank is about 15 years old in the basement and near a drain.

    I ended up buying the new tank from them yesterday because I assumed no plumber would touch it due to this law or ordinance that I cannot find.
    Just did not like how he selled it as it is the law, etc.
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I suspect he was in salesman mode.
     
  9. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of

    I wonder how much he over-charged you for the heater??
     
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