Working with black gas pipe and water heater.

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by sschoe2, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    When you can after the closing, run hot water from a faucet and listen to the water heater as it warms up the water. If you hear gurgling it means the heater is lined with hard water deposits and maybe time to replace the heater. Turn off the gas and open the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater. If no water comes out it is plugged up with deposits.
    If your in the city of Chicago, the water is much softer than well water in other parts of Cook County.

    https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/water/supp_info/water_quality_resultsandreports.html
     
  2. sschoe2

    sschoe2 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2018
    Location:
    Chicago
    Well the chimney sweep company was unable to change the liner. The water heater assuming it enters the chimney does so above where the old furnace did and behind my finished basement bathroom. The water heater is in a mud room, beside that is the finished bathroom, and beside that is the crawlspace and furnace whose ceiling is lower; at ground level because it is on the other half of the split. The mudroom and bathroom ceiling is below the floor of the second story with the bedrooms and master bath. So there was no way to access it without ripping out the back wall of the bathroom.

    I put a CO detector right next to it and I plan to just use the water heater until it goes and have it replaced with a powerventing model that will blow right out the side of the house and cap the chimney.

    If I put that primer mentioned on it will it help protect it from corrosion in the meantime?
     
  3. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    Another option is an electric water heater. Those who have gas get paranoid when it comes to electric water heaters. Cost wise it may more to heat the water than gas cost but you eliminated your chimney draft problem and a lot of other costs associated converting to a direct vent. Millions of homes in the south have electric water heaters and they do last longer than gas units. One problem for your area is the inlet water temperature is colder than in the south and then the recovery rate is longer compared to gas. My average electric bill is $150 a month. Less in winter more in summer because of AC. I estimate that the cost for heating water is roughly $60-75 per month.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
    Dana likes this.
  4. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    01609
    +1 on the electric water heater solution.

    At Chicago's summertime outdoor dew points and comparatively cool subsoil basements tend to feel damp & smelly during the summer months unless using a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier turns the latent heat of vaporization of the moisture in the air into sensible heat (hot air in the basement), which isn't always desirable. A heat pump water heater takes that latent heat of vaporization into heating the water inside the insulated tank, killing two birds with one stone. It's a lot more expensive up front than a standard electric tank, but it's a lot cheaper to operate (about 1/3 the cost, might even be cheaper operation than a standard gas-burner), and does double-duty reducing the humidity in the basement. Since recovery times are dog-slow in heat pump mode (or even in "hybrid" mode, much slower than a gas-burner) be sure to size it for the largest tub you'll need to fill. (Unless you have a soaker tub or a multi-spray shower or a half-dozen people showering in the morning most families do fine with a 50 gallon.)

    Ten years ago this was a fairly new product offering with lots of design & manufacturing kinks to work out- don't be scared off by bad reviews about reliability from 2010 or 2012. Those kinks by and large have been worked out- newer versions are more efficient & reliable than what was around even a handful of years ago.
     
  5. phog

    phog Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Sorry about the failed chimney liner installation. Hopefully they didn't charge you a whole bunch just for the attempt. I do think your new plan will work out just fine; do keep an eye on the CO detector as the weather gets colder just in case.

    For the corrosion, sure you can paint the top with rust-inhibiting primer like POR-15 if you like, and it might help prevent further corrosion. I don't think it will make any functional difference with the life of your tank, it would mostly be a cosmetic thing. But have at it, if it makes you feel good ;)
     
  6. sschoe2

    sschoe2 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2018
    Location:
    Chicago
    Just $100 I had them inspect the chimneys and fireplace and said both were fine.

    It is plenty cold today here in Chicago. 20 deg F and so far it hasn't gone off so hopefully that means the CO is venting just some of the acidic moisture is condensing and ending up on top of the tank.
     
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