where can I get a Bradford White gas water heater to install myself?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by gnatlee, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Occupation:
    Robber, with some DIY on the side.
    Location:
    USA
    He may have HJ but not all homeowners are dummies. My licensed plumber offered to reinstall my old PVC schedule 40 TPR valve discharge line on my new Bradford. "No thanks", I said, "I'll do that myself".

    I promptly went out and bought a 5' length of 3/4" copper which discharges 4" from the ground.

    He thought schedule 40 would have been alright, when all along it was a code violation I had not bother to fix from the previous owners.

    You didn't use schedule 40 did you?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    Aug 31, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
     
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Aug 31, 2004
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    Cave Creek, Arizona
    18"

    The National Gas Code removed the 18" requirement if the heater is not subject to vehicle damage. But not all municipalities have adopted it yet. I just tell the inspectors it has been approved and they go their merry way. Some did not even know what the FVIR components did.
     
  4. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE

    1. Wrong. PRV or pressure reducing valve is to reduce high incoming water pressure to a normal level.

    Also, there is no drainage line for a PRV.

    2. Wrong. The expansion tank doesn't "help" the PRV. It protects pipes, fittings and fixtures downstream from the PRV from excessive pressure caused by thermal expansion (see explanation of thermal expansion earlier in this thread).

    3. Again, the PRV and expansion tank are intended to prevent harm to the house's piping and fixtures - not to protect the city's valves.

    I have never heard of excessive water pressure causing a CO leak (but maybe I have missed something).

    4. Correct.


    SO - are you really sure you want to be doing this yourself? I have done a lot of DIY plumbing but have not/will not replace a WH - mostly due to working with gas lines. I recommend you have this done professionally.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
  5. gnatlee

    gnatlee New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Hi all,

    I have to admit that I have been schooled by those that took the time to reply. First thank you Macplumb777 for bringing up the points, and then Gary to provide answers, and then Steve to correct my mistakes. I have learned from this forum and appreciate the shared knowledge.

    I have located my water heater, expansion tank, and will now look for a PRV. I'm doing the job tomorrow.

    I'll update with my finished job.

    Thanks all.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gnatlee View Post
    Hi Macplumb 777


    About Installing Water Heaters
    #1 What Is A P.r.v. And When And Why Is It Used ?
    #2 What Is A Thermal Expansion Tank And When And Why Is It Used ?
    #3 What Doe's All This Have To Do With Installing A Water Heater
    #4 What Is A T&p Valve And Why Is It Used.

    To add to Gary's answers.

    1. Pressure release /relief valve is to prevent backflow of heated pressurized water from going back to the city's water source. Mainly a problem if the new housing developments are highly crowded and the city need to increase the water pressure to feed the development's water pressure needs. I doubt that my existing water source in this community modified the water pressure, they would have notified the home owners to install or retrofit PRVs into their water heaters. But to make sure, I'll ask my water department tomorrow.

    IF the PRV is installed, the released water (very hot at this point, would drain to a plumbed drainage.

    2. The thermal expansion tank is pressurized tank with a rubber bladder installed between the PRV and the heater. it just collects the backflow from the water heater thereby helping the PRV and protecting seals and valves.

    3. number 1 and 2 are mainly to protect the city's water valves and safety of the house lines and helps prevent the collapse of the inner flue vent and prevents carbon monoxide being released into the home.

    4. T/P (temperature and Pressure release valve) comes into play to relieve the pressure build up in the heater. normally set at 150 psi.

    and yes, the T/P valve has to be plumbed to a drain as well.

    In addition, California requires two sesmic straps, with the lower one being at least 4 inches from the thermostat. and a drip pan is recommended. The heater has to be raised 18 inches above the floor.

    Short of buying a $135 2007 CPC book, I think I covered the important things.
    and I'll call the local water utilities to inquire about the city's water pressure. If it's above 80 psi, i'll install a pvr and an expansion tank too.

    So how about telling me where to buy a highly regarded Bradford White 40 gallon natural heater with FVIR, low NOX and at least 40000 btu in San Diego so that I can install one myself?

    Thanks

    1. Wrong. PRV or pressure reducing valve is to reduce high incoming water pressure to a normal level.

    Also, there is no drainage line for a PRV.

    2. Wrong. The expansion tank doesn't "help" the PRV. It protects pipes, fittings and fixtures downstream from the PRV from excessive pressure caused by thermal expansion (see explanation of thermal expansion earlier in this thread).

    3. Again, the PRV and expansion tank are intended to prevent harm to the house's piping and fixtures - not to protect the city's valves.

    I have never heard of excessive water pressure causing a CO leak (but maybe I have missed something).

    4. Correct.


    SO - are you really sure you want to be doing this yourself? I have done a lot of DIY plumbing but have not/will not replace a WH - mostly due to working with gas lines. I recommend you have this done professionally.
    Last edited by SteveW : Yesterday at 10:15 PM.
    Reply With Quote
     
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Dec 15, 2007
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    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
  7. gnatlee

    gnatlee New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Well,

    I don't know if it's genuine concern or something else. Instead of giving pointers on how to do things safely and correctly, some people here would rather insinuate my stupidity. and how I'll kill my family because of a water heater diy job. Assuming that I'll do it incorrectly. Phrases like...Darwin was right? That I'll die off because of my stupidity? Sure, I'm not a licensed plumber, but I'm not stupid. In fact, some license plumbers I'm sure are stupid. I've read threads in this forum where these so called licensed plumbers make mistakes too.

    IF so many diy who buys water heaters from places like lowes or home depot, really killed off they families, blew up their houses, wouldn't you think that they would stop selling to DIY?

    but rest assured, I will check my gas line for leaks with soap, and I will vent the gas correctly.
     
  8. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Sorry if some of our posts are blunt but -

    Let's look at the facts (as I see them, at least):

    1. You have come to this site requesting advice, and have received advice, including from experienced, licensed plumbers (not me, I am a DIY like you);

    2. You have rejected the advice given;

    3. You have demonstrated that, while you are an eager learner, you are new to plumbing.


    Basically, what we are trying to tell you is that replacing a WH is NOT a very good way to break into plumbing. Of all residential plumbing jobs, installing a WH is perhaps the most risky since it entails working with water (under more than usual pressure due to thermal expansion), gas or electricity, and lethal exhaust gases. A simple slip-up in any one of those areas could have serious consequences.

    It is your choice, whether to follow the advice you've received.
     
  9. westcoastplumber

    westcoastplumber Plumbing Contractor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Occupation:
    c-36 plumbing contractor
    Location:
    los angeles
    I will sell you a 40 or 50 gallon Bradford White, for $1500 Cash and deliver one to you.

    I bet you are not aware of the SQMD req's, so my heater will look like no other sold in your area.....makes it worth gold:p
     
  10. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Dec 15, 2007
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
    [​IMG]

    Good Luck!
     
  11. gnatlee

    gnatlee New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Hi Steve,

    1. I came to this forum looking for a place to buy a Bradford White. I didn't ask for advice.

    However, I was offered advice such as..

    I need an expansion tank....i got one

    I need to read up on local requirements... i did so

    I need to install a PRV if I don't have one....I got one, but didn't install it because I found out after the fact that i have one already installed by the water main coming into my home.

    So, I didn't reject the advice. I rejected people telling me that I shouldn't do it because basically they assumed that I am incompetent to do my own plumbing.

    I do appreciate people's help and advice, so please don't get me wrong. But some people are judging me to be stupid right? Some even calling an ass now and saying good luck in a sarcastic tone.

    And I'm not trying to break into the plumbing business at all. I consider DIY as a way to save money and to learn new things, in a way it's like a hobby. Sure, if I'm not careful, I'll kill myself and blow up my family, but I am extremely careful.

    So thank you again for everyone's input, except for those that calls me an ass or thinks I'm stupid.

    It took me 5 hours to do everything, but I'm done, and I'm proud of my work. and I tested for leaks both water and natural gas. I've installed the thermal expansion tank, so the tank shouldn't blow up or the flue shouldn't collapse. I've basically taken all the precautions you guys have pointed out. so Thank you again.

    Sorry if some of our posts are blunt but -

    Let's look at the facts (as I see them, at least):

    1. You have come to this site requesting advice, and have received advice, including from experienced, licensed plumbers (not me, I am a DIY like you);

    2. You have rejected the advice given;

    3. You have demonstrated that, while you are an eager learner, you are new to plumbing.


    Basically, what we are trying to tell you is that replacing a WH is NOT a very good way to break into plumbing. Of all residential plumbing jobs, installing a WH is perhaps the most risky since it entails working with water (under more than usual pressure due to thermal expansion), gas or electricity, and lethal exhaust gases. A simple slip-up in any one of those areas could have serious consequences.

    It is your choice, whether to follow the advice you've received.
    Reply With Quote
     
  12. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I offered the advice of calling a pro and the reasons why.
    You rejected that advice!
    This advice was offered out of concern for the safety of you and your family!

    Now, You have installed it yourself and out of the same concern I ask that you post pictures of your finished installation showing:
    The overall installation from a distance.
    The flue connection
    The gas connection
    The earthquake strapping
    The T&P drain
    So that we may offer advice to any hazards obvious in the pictures.

    Unless of course you had the installation permitted and inspected. In which case the inspector would have hopefully caught any problems.

    If you did not have it permitted and inspected in addition to posting the pictures asked for I would hope that you do ask the local building department for an inspection.

    Sometimes it is very difficult to protect someone from themself.
     
  13. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    If you are in San Diego, you are not part of the SCAQMD, so any water heater will cost you about 50% LESS than if you were up in LA or Orange county.

    Bradford White chooses to be a professionally sold/installed brand. That's about the end of the story.

    The GE brand sold at HD is a very good water heater. As with any unit you purchase and install yourself, they will cover warranty for the WH, but you do it yourself. HD installs for about $300 these days in San Diego. The $80 permit fee is extra, but you have to pull that permit regardless of whether they do it or you install it yourself.

    Any issues with earthquake straps, flex supplies, and TP discharge have to be up to present code prior to inspection.

    Despite dire predictions, this is a job which is done EVERY DAY by homeowners in San Diego. Just accept the advice that you are dealing with water, gas, flames, and carbon monoxide, and do it right...and get the inspeciton! You can pull an "EZ Permit" by phone in San Diego. You never even have to go down to city hall.


    The home stores sell installation kits which will use compression connections to 3/4" copper pipe, so soldering is not required. If your WH shut off valve is old, it should be replaced, and a compression-connected ball valve is available.

    The flue connections and the TP discharge are both critical elements, and you may need help in this area.
     
  14. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I sincerely hope that we can look at your pictures and say nice job!

    Please post them!
     
  15. gear junkie

    gear junkie Plumber

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    Feb 14, 2008
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    government
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, IPC country
    Where in the codes does it say that pvc is not allowed on the TP discharge line? He might have been trying to save you some money.
     
  16. gnatlee

    gnatlee New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    my install pics

    wholeheater.jpg

    tanktop.jpg

    sidetank.jpg

    gasline2.jpg

    thermaltank.jpg

    The gas line is new, the gas valve is old looking with dust but works fine.
    Soap tested and has no leaks.

    The lower sesmic strap is newly added, and the wood water heater stand is the original from the original builders, but I just removed the drywall and added a center brace for added support as well as a new 3/4 inch thick board.

    The thermal expansion tank is relatively light, but is supported by a ladder holder. The hot and cold water hose, is flexible and the yellow gas line is slightly longer than I need, but it'll be good because slightly longer means more give when an earthquake should hit.

    The 50 gal tank is a little off centered on the platform because it's a little fatter than the original 40 gallon one. and I couldn't recenter it because the original house gas line is in the way on the right side. But even though it's off center, the whole water heater is on the platform. The stand platform is made with many 2X4's and is quite strong.

    I will pull an EZ permit tomorrow from the city. Thanks for that pointer Jimbo.

    Again, thank you all.
     
  17. gnatlee

    gnatlee New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    more pics

    fluecon.jpg

    gas.jpg

    I guess, there are people who skimp out there, but hopefully I didn't to your standards. Thanks for the looking out.
     
  18. elvisclock

    elvisclock Guest

    Wow! Nice job, I doubt any of us could have done better. I know I have never thought of the ladder hooks to support the expansion tank.
     
  19. gear junkie

    gear junkie Plumber

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    Feb 14, 2008
    Occupation:
    government
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, IPC country
    That was an awsome job. You definently showed this plumber a thing or two about plumbing. The ladder hook was a good show of ingenuity. You'll definently pass inspection. You should show those pics to any local trade schools on how not to install a water heater.

    Thank goodness for job security.
     
  20. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
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    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Where is the drip leg on the gas connection?
    Gas valve looks funky... I don't believe it meets code.
    Nice hangers on the expansion tank! Next time duct tape it to the wall!
    In addition, California requires two sesmic straps, with the lower one being at least 4 inches from the thermostat.
    I'll let the Cali guys weigh in on the rest! Here we don't have the same Shake N Bake requirements!

    Thank you for posting the pics!
    And let us know how the inspection goes
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
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