pipe thread ?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jhouse, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. jhouse

    jhouse New Member

    Sep 30, 2007
    hi, been lurking around here for a while, first time posting.

    i'm installing a new b-w electric water heater in my crawl space and ran into a problem with the threaded ends. they're both bubbling out water past the threads.

    my installation went as follow: wrapped the steel pipe thread with about 3 turns of teflon tape clockwise. tightened the copper fitting with a 2 inch pipe soldered on. dropped the 90 deg on the 2 inch pipe and soldered.

    when i filled the tank up, i noticed the leaks so i drained it some and popped off the 90 on the hot side. i tightened it down some more but then the steel pipe in the tank started turning. now when i unscrewed it, the whole hot side piece unscrewed with it. it has some type of red sealant on the hot side threads.

    i'm thinking that because of the short distance to the 90 where i have to solder the heat is affecting the thread seal. plus i've got to make sure i reinstall the hot side correctly as well.

    what would be the best way to properly seal the threads and is there a way to not have so much heat hit the threads? maybe a damp rag wrapped around the fitting? or would that prevent the pipe from being soldered?

    unfortunately there's just not much overhead room to work with.

    thanks in advance.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Those 3" pieces should have given adequate isolation unless you severly overheated the next solder joints. We cannot tell you what you did, or did not, do correctly, but you could just have a bad heater with leaking connections.
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  4. bigrebnc1861

    bigrebnc1861 Plumber

    Nov 19, 2005
    Kannapolis N.C.
    next time

    Use a dialectic union, next to the water heater. You won't have to worry about over heating the connection at the heater.
  5. jhouse

    jhouse New Member

    Sep 30, 2007

    dang, please don't be a bad heater with a leaking connection.

    well, i just went shopping and picked up some new pipe and 90's and some new 3/4 pipe connecters. also got a nice ball valve to replace the leaking cold water shut-off spigot. i reinstalled the hot side with some thread locker/sealer. what a pita to get that heater on it's side. bad enough i had to take all 47 gal of the water out of the crawlspace in buckets but then i had to slowly walk the bottom out just to get it to tip down between the joists. 38" of clearance sucks.

    it's possible i overheated it like you said, i'll be a little more careful with the mapp gas this time. the other thing i noticed was the teflon tape i was using looks awfully thin like you could almost see light through it. i chucked that and am going to use some that's a little thicker this time and give it a coat of teflon paste as well.
  6. TMB9862

    TMB9862 New Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Teflon tape is supposed to be thin. I always use pipe dope then wrap it in teflon.
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