Water Heater leaking from top hot connection

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kubstix

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Can anyone tell me why the Electric water heater is leaking from the hot connection? It is 100% not the fitting. It is coming from underneath the white cloth below the threaded connection, filling up the void here (I just cleaned it), and dripping down the side of the tank. I just relieved some air from the pressure release so I don't know if maybe that will help, and only running 65lbs of pressure. Thank you.

PXL_20211026_220145038.jpg
 

Jeff H Young

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might not be obvious but its very simple its either the water heater or it isn't the water heater and its the joint leaking . you say its not the joint so you need a new heater or you've mis diagnosed
 

Terry

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I can't see what you have there, but if it's leaking where the tape is, and it's a flex connector, it may be that the tape is the problem.
Flex connectors come with rubber seals on the ends. Tape just causes problems.

What fitting are you using for the finale connection?
 

kubstix

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I can't see what you have there, but if it's leaking where the tape is, and it's a flex connector, it may be that the tape is the problem.
Flex connectors come with rubber seals on the ends. Tape just causes problems.

What fitting are you using for the finale connection?

Do you recommend me not using tape on new hoses? I got new 2 hoses coming tomorrow. My cold water hose is 100% leaking for sure ever so slightly but it rusted the top for sure. Hot water, I just don't see anything wet near the tape or threads. But definitely trying hoses first.

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Jeff H Young

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Tape only on bottom threads of pipe nipple. On top where the flex screws on no thread tape. More chance of causing leak than stopping one on the water supply line.
I may have misunderstood original post. Sounds like the problem is a minor fix!
 

kubstix

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tape only on bottom threads of nipple. on top where the flex screws on no thread tape more chance of causing leak than stopping one on the water supply line.
I may have mis understood orginal post sounds like the problem a minor fix!

No I think you understood it. The cold line is 100% leaking no doubt, I can see the leak here on the hose so that one is easy fix. The hot water I am not so sure it is the hose but we are certainly going to try before I go and spend $600 on a water heater. I cannot see any wet spots around the tape, nor the threads or hose fitting on the hot side, but I suppose it could be underneath the tape.

So just so I understand this. Tape on the water heater connectors only on bottom portion of the threads? And no tape where hose screws to copper nipple? What about pipe dope as well? Thank you.
 

Jeff H Young

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No I think you understood it. The cold line is 100% leaking no doubt, I can see the leak here on the hose so that one is easy fix. The hot water I am not so sure it is the hose but we are certainly going to try before I go and spend $600 on a water heater. I cannot see any wet spots around the tape, nor the threads or hose fitting on the hot side, but I suppose it could be underneath the tape.

So just so I understand this. Tape on the water heater connectors only on bottom portion of the threads? And no tape where hose screws to copper nipple? What about pipe dope as well? Thank you.
I use tape and dope on the bottom of nipple and nothing on top. shouldn't need dope on the nipple where the supply line goes on . you seem on track good luck hope its clear!
 

kubstix

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Changed both hoses, but the hot water outlet is still filling up this pocket with water. Unfortunately it's looking like I may need a new water heater. This whirlpool lasted 9 years (well water). So now AOSmith or Rheem?
 

John Gayewski

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Changed both hoses, but the hot water outlet is still filling up this pocket with water. Unfortunately it's looking like I may need a new water heater. This whirlpool lasted 9 years (well water). So now AOSmith or Rheem?
That's a coin flip. A.O. is what my local plumbing supply store sells. How about this, whichever one has a brass drain valve. If neither, buy a separate drain valve and install it with the new heater. Get a ball valve boiler drain. Also should be checking your anode every year or so. When you get your new heater break open the anode and tape and dope it back in.
 

Jeff H Young

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uncertain if you removed the nipple and either replaced or cleaned it up and reinstalled , but after this much time lets be sure we are not replacing a good tank.
 

kubstix

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uncertain if you removed the nipple and either replaced or cleanned it up and reinstalled , but after this much time lets be sure we are not replacing a good tank.

The actual Nipple on the water heater?

*Edit
Wow, just watched a youtube video. I was unware you can tighten/replace these. How do I tighten this baby or loosen it up without destroying the threads? This is definitely where water is coming up from. But I have no leverage to grab onto anything with a wrench except the actual threads to get this out. Thank you!
 
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Jeff H Young

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The actual Nipple on the water heater?

*Edit
Wow, just watched a YouTube video. I was unware you can tighten/replace these. How do I tighten this baby without destroying the threads? This is definitely where water is coming up from. Thank you!
I'd use a pair if channel lock pliers between where the threads are . but I think I'd replace the nipple with a new one if there is a wide enough place use a pipe wrench if it won't damage threads .
Admittedly I don't always check the nipple on a new installation sometimes (rarely) one is loose but got slapped with a leaky nipple a year or so ago and it woke me up Gotta check it the factory sometimes leaves one loose. So I'm back to doing what I never should have stopped checking the nipple for tight.
 

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I have not done it, but one way to pull a nipple I have seen recommended is to put a 5/8 bolt into the nipple, and use a pipe wrench or maybe big locking pliers to turn the nipple. Don't worry about messing up the threads on the old nipple. The new nipple should be dielectric type (common), or brass.

Can you tell where the water appears
 

Jeff H Young

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BTW just use a pipe wrench take old nipple out replace with slightly longer nipple so you don't damage threads !
 

kubstix

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I have not done it, but one way to pull a nipple I have seen recommended is to put a 5/8 bolt into the nipple, and use a pipe wrench or maybe big locking pliers to turn the nipple. Don't worry about messing up the threads on the old nipple. The new nipple should be dielectric type (common), or brass.

Can you tell where the water appears
Just watched a guy in a video do this with a $5 nipple kit at lowes/home depot. Seems pretty easy to do this method. Thank you.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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Just watched a guy in a video do this with a $5 nipple kit at lowes/home depot. Seems pretty easy to do this method. Thank you.

I wish you good luck with that.... and you better think about what you are about to do.... if the picture here is what you plan on removing and replaceing....
#1 you better have some decent pipe wrenches to work with
#2 hopefully you have at least an inch or more of exposed
clean nipple sticking out of the top of the heater... It dont look like you have anything to really grab onto

#3 If all you have to grab onto with your wall mart wrenches is a small amount of threaded nipple sticking out of the top of the heater you will probably just chew up the threads and ruin the end of the pipe and then it wont budge..... and then you are totally screwed...boned, hung out to dry.

I have done this to myself before... the nipple turned out to be about 5 inches long and went deep down into the heater... It was a newer A.O Smith water heater and I just knawed on the top and made a mess of things......

You know, I love that u-tube.... they make everything look easy peasy...

Terry, we ought to do some u-tube videos on how to totally
break it off in your own ass.......lol
 

Terry

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Most of the plumbers on here don't spend a lot of time fixing old water heaters. Run out, fix a leak on an old water heater, get a call the next month wanting a warranty call on that repair, and it's just an old water heater in it's last legs.
Most condo associations want them replaced at ten years. It's a gamble after that. Yes, they could last 20 years, but they could also fail the next day.
 

kubstix

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Didn't end up doing anything. I unscrewed the relief valve and saw the entire inside of the tank was completely rusted out, so did a full replacement. Thanks though everyone helping out, I really appreciate it. I learn more and more about plumbing everyday because of you guys.
 
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