Top leaking hot water heater

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by urbs00007, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. urbs00007

    urbs00007 New Member

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    Rheem gas hot water heater. 2014 date of mfg and installed. leaking from top of tank. hot and cold connections are clean, no water or corrosion. its coming from around a plastic collar that has a bolt in it. assuming that's the anode. could it be the anode is loose? can I drain the tank and lift up the top of the tank cover to see where its leaking? or is it always a failed weld joint? is 6 years the average life of a water heater? are Rheem units cheaply made? thanks, john
     
  2. plumber69

    plumber69 In the Trades

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    I had a new one leak on the threads of the anode
     
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  4. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    6 years is not average thats a short life but it happens but usually not that fast. You might get lucky and find something fixable. Ive never took the sheet metal off but you could or even cut a bit of it off . what the heck your just going to throw it away if its not fixable its just a jacket. But Personaly I dont waste my time or customers money. On my own I might experiment
     
  5. urbs00007

    urbs00007 New Member

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    thanks for responding. It's my water heater at my home. I'm a tig welder. I don't know how these tanks are constructed, but I'm assuming the top cover is just a cosmetic cover. watched a video showing a plumber replacing water connection nipple. he put the knob to pilot and drained down the tank into a bucket. is that how to handle shutting down the tank operation to work on it?
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    If your WH has a pilot ("vacation") yes.

    That is the easy part. Take pictures, in case you want to show us later.

    It will probably take a big impact wrench to pull the anode. 1-1/16 socket. They torque those way tighter than you would expect, and then they get more stuck with age. So it does seem unlikely to be able to leak at the threads. It sure would be nice if that is the problem.

    Use PTFE tape with the new anode. Don't worry about the electrical connection for the anode to do its job. The threads cut right through the tape.
     
  7. urbs00007

    urbs00007 New Member

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    thanks. 3 ft pipe on ratchet got the anode out no problem. 1 inch left of anode. going to replace with one from home depot.. is teflon tape enough to seal threads? how many wraps around?
     
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    IL
    Wraps -- there are differences of opinion.

    In PTFE tape, there are different types. Density and thickness vary. Some have a lot more PTFE, and some have a lot more filler.

    I would consider 3 to 4 wraps of the yellow tape they recommend for gas, or the pink Oatey tape or other tape with a density above 1. PTFE itself has a density of over 2.

    Maybe 8 wraps of the cheap tape, but not as good as less of the better stuff I suspect. I am not a pro.
     
  9. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    only needed to drain a little water but thats fine. Teflon tape and or pipe dope should seal it > You didnt say that was source of leak no need buying an anode on a prayer . Just nipple is good enough for testing. And yes the sheetmetal is cosmetic. Good Luck
     
  10. urbs00007

    urbs00007 New Member

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    anode was gone. replaced and so far no leak. lets see how long this water heater lasts! going forward, anode every year. thanks everyone.
     
    Jeff H Young and Reach4 like this.
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