Just notice some water around the anode rod nut.

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by mnalep, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. mnalep

    mnalep Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Redford, Michigan
    Was checking out my Whirlpool hot water heater, and I notice some water around the 1-1/16 nut, where the anode rod is screwed into the tank.

    I am thinking water may be leaking from the anode rod nut, and that if I get a new anode rod and replace the old one, that may solve my issue. The tank is 12 years old, but I was expecting at least 15 years, and maybe 20 years out of it.

    I though to try and use an electric impact wrench (230 ft lbs of torque) to remove the old anode rod.

    What do you all think?
    Do these nuts leaks often?
    Would the new nut (and teflon tape on it), on the new anode rod, seal it back up?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2019
  2. phog

    phog Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Time for a new water heater. At 12 years, you typically don't spring a superficial leak. This is just the first of more leaks that are coming -- possibly very soon. You have limited time now to shop around and get a new unit on your own terms. Use the time wisely.
     
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

     
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The anode rod is NOT the problem. Replace the tank.
     
  5. mnalep

    mnalep Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Redford, Michigan
    I was hoping it was the nut/bung hole, not the anode rod itself, that was the problem?
     
  6. mnalep

    mnalep Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Redford, Michigan
    I was wondering if maybe I should just get a new tank too. (I was hoping I might stop the leak and get another 3-5 years out of this water heater, if these anode nuts leaked often, and were replaced typically. Sounds like they are not.
     
  7. phog

    phog Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Yeah it's an understandable thought, but unfortunately not the case. What you are seeing is a pinhole caused by corrosion from the inside out. The corroded area will continue to deteriorate and at some point the pinhole will suddenly turn into a geyser without any warning. It could happen at any time. You're actually kind of lucky you found the leak at this pinole stage.. much more pleasant than having a flood & paying a plumber emergency rates to replace the tank on short notice. Good luck.
     
  8. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida Broad-Wing Hawk

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    The leak can be at one of the water fittings and the water flows where gravity takes it.
     
  9. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    From what you are writing, it's clear that you are determined to get between 15-20 years out of this old WH. Problem is the WH has other plans.

    That's fine, so just do nothing and let it leak.
     
  10. mnalep

    mnalep Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Redford, Michigan
    I was shopping for a new tank at HD. I was looking at the flexible water lines they sell for the hot/cold water lines, - which would make this job muh easier.

    But, the HD guy said I could use flex lines, but if I sell, or get inspected, that codes say I am supposed to have 18" of solid pipe, so the flex lines would not pass an inspection. I tried to find out what the code actually is in Detroit, but I can't find anything using Google search.

    Does anyone know, or know where I could can look up the code for this?

    My other thought, if I did not use flex lines, was to try and unscrew the dialectic unions where the existing copper lines attach to the galvanized nipples in the tank, But they look very corroded, so I'm not sure they will screw off. Would CLR help break up that corrosion?

    Or, If I can't unscrew the existing dialectics, then I guess I need to cut the copper lines, and solder in some new copper pieces, with new dialectics. Or use shark bites maybe.

    Then I noticed that the existing copper coming out of the cold water shutoff does not have a dialectic either. Should there be a dialectic there too? Or is it sufficient to have one where the cold line enters the tank?

    I've also seen several YouTube videos where the installer simply put copper lines over the tank nipples, and referred to the nipples as dialectic unions, since they have a plastic lining inside the galvanized nipples coming out the the tank. Are those correctly considered to be dialectic fittings?





    upload_2019-1-9_22-1-8.jpeg

    upload_2019-1-9_22-3-17.jpeg

    upload_2019-1-9_22-4-2.jpeg
     
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Those are what people are referring to when they say dielectric nipples.

    A dialectic is an insulator. Is dielectric nipple a misnomer? Doesn't really matter.
     
  12. phog

    phog Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    I don't know the answers to most of your questions well enough to give advice. But one thing I will say is that there is very little chance of your new water heater simply screwing into the old water connections. It will almost definitely be a different height (taller), unless you've specifically sized your new unit to fit exactly in the same height. So plan on doing some minor plumbing reconfiguration -- to your flue vent as well as the water. It looks like you have plenty of space there to work with so it shouldn't be that difficult.

    EDIT -- Meant to mention before, the brass valve body of your cold inlet valve is probably a sufficient transition to prevent galvanic corrosion without needing a dielectric union.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Some places require flexible supply lines, some require rigid, some allow either.

    As to the 18" mentioned...if you're using say corrugated copper or SS lines, they work. That 18" comes into effect with a gas fired WH and plastic such as CPVC or pex, not a metal, corrugated supply line. The issue is to keep plastic away from the WH, especially the flue, which could get hotter than the plastic can handle.
     
  14. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida Broad-Wing Hawk

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    It sounds like you are going to install this yourself. As far as code it is always seem to be a local decision for this connection. If you go with copper cut the pipe above the elbows and sweat in new fittings. This way you don't have to fight with the unions.

    A second option:
    Your water heater will come with new nipples that act as a heat trap so the heated water doesn't migrate up to the pipe as readily. To save a lot of headaches now, I would use flex lines. If you ever need to sell the home and a home inspection does not mean you need to fix everything but at your discretion. By the time that happens a new water heater may be needed. To keep it simple cut the copper several inches below the elbows to the length that would accommodate this shark bit flex connection. This eliminates fighting with the unions above. When you cut the pipe with a pipe cutter, clean the copper with a scuff pad for a smooth surface. Push on the Shark Bite then thread on the fitting at the nipples with a wrench. Only use Teflon tape at the nipples.

    But don't forget the T&P pipe that will need to be worked in and proper flute connection that is the most important part. Right now it is angled, it should be vertical. From the picture there appears to be no screws holding the vertical portion of the flute.


    https://www.homedepot.com/p/SharkBi...PIPHorizontal2_rr-_-301492142-_-300593719-_-N



    [​IMG]
     
  15. phog

    phog Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    I would like to second this. When you sell the home, the buyer will have a private engineer's inspection. It will not be thet municipal code inspector looking to "bust" you, it will just be a private individual whose job it is to advise the buyer about any deficiencies with the house.

    This engineer might note that the water heater installation is not to local code as a footnote in their report to the home buyer, but will very likely also say that it is working fine as-is & not an issue that needs to be addressed (assuming you do a sound job on it of course).

    The home buyer can then try to haggle a few extra dollars out of you on the purchase price if they really want to, or cancel the sale in extremis. But most likely, they will just accept it as-is.

    I would venture to guess that just about every home sale inspection report in the world notes several things that are not to current code, not least because codes are ever-changing. What the buyer really will care about is whether it's functionally deficient or unsafe.

    Finally please note that I'm not advising you to ignore local code, it's always the best policy to follow code guidelines. I'm just telling you there aren't likely to be serious consequences to a future home sale.
     
  16. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Upon sale, there may not be a city inspection, and the buyer's inspector may decide the flex is as good or better, or may not notice.

    Tape only if you are not attaching a flex line to the nipples. I think the flex line would normally have a gasket, so no tape in that case.
     
  17. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida Broad-Wing Hawk

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    You’re correct. Only would need tape with a copper pipe with a female fitting.
     
  18. mnalep

    mnalep Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Redford, Michigan
    I assume you were saying that this is the misnomered 'dialectic nipple' :

    upload_2019-1-10_16-58-53.png
     
  19. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    That looks more like a dielectric union to me.

    This is what a dialectic nipple looks like:[​IMG]
     
  20. mnalep

    mnalep Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Redford, Michigan
    I am planning on a DIY install. Thanks for that video. Very thorough. There are screws at the vent hood, just hard to see. (One is where that indent is).

    I sure like the idea of using flex lines with the sharkbite to connect exiting copper to the new tank's nipples! I think I'll do that.

    But just to clarify in my mind, when you said: 'If you go with copper cut the pipe above the elbows and sweat in new fittings. This way you don't have to fight with the unions." - wouldn't it be easier to cut the copper below the elbows, so then I would only need to solder straight copper to the nipples, and not have to worry about replacing those elbows (which are needed if I keep the tank in the same place on the floor as it is now. (I think I may need to as there is another tank behind it, and also I would then not have to reroute the venting). Also, if copper pipe was used - would the fitting still need to be a 'dialectic type', and sweated on, as currently exists, in my pictures above?)
     
  21. mnalep

    mnalep Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Redford, Michigan
    Ah. OK. That is what I was wondering. So, with those nipples - there would be no need for a dialectic union? There could be just a female copper fitting soldered onto a copper pipe and threaded over those dialectic nipples?
     
Similar Threads: notice water
Forum Title Date
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Hot water siphoning from cold water inlet into cold lines Mar 18, 2019
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Water heaters in sequence Mar 17, 2019
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Water Heater overheating in combustion chamber? Mar 16, 2019
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Musty smell/smelly air from water heater Mar 15, 2019
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Rheem Water Heater - "normal" sediment or defective water heater? Mar 14, 2019

Share This Page