Master Plumber and hot water heater swap out
Contacted licensed plumbing company on Thursday last week around lunch to go ahead and swap out a hot water heater (from gas to electric on plumber's advice since I've had to replace the thermocouple 2 times on the existing Whirlpool...the class action law suit on them makes the part free, but labor ain't cheap). To speed things up, because I know how long Augusta Plumbers take to do the most remedial tasks with every excuse in the book, I disconnected the gas line and water lines from the existing gas water heater, delivered the new electric water heater and placed it next to gas water heater on the day before the Plumbers were given the go-ahead to do the swap out. There are no pipes to sweat, only a few lines to connect along with just connecting the newly run electrical line. Several days prior to Thursday, I had the Plumber's preferred Electrician run a line from the breaker box, that is within arm's length of the water heater you see in the picture, up through the attic and back down the wall.
1. Why would the electrician put a junction box right there in the middle of the wall? I've only had to add a junction (I'm no electrician by any means) if I guessed the distance wrong and had to add to my run, and I only did that when I was running expensive copper wire over 150' in a crawl space up and out to a hot tub. This was the Electrician's response to my question, which made absolutely no sense at all: "He said there was no access to drill a hole via attic, so he had to run down the wall."
2. Wouldn't you say it would take a licensed Plumbing company, like, an hour to do the swap out? This house is a ranch, you could back your truck up to the front door, the laundry room is about 6 feet from the front door, and there are no step-ups/step-downs in the entire path.
Tomorrow makes one week that it's not done. The plumber has made 2 trips out so far. First they said that the Electrician didn't label the breaker, so they couldn't figure out which breaker went to the water heater - so they left. I asked if they had ever heard of a multi-meter, and that I was pretty sure even my mom could figure out which breaker went to the water heater. Below are the pictures I took a few hours ago. I mean honestly, is it just me, or is this task really that hard? Anything else you see that's not quite right? I depend on you guys because it really is that bad in Augusta.
Plumbers stumped by breaker.
Basement Lurker: I think much of the problem here is that our code standards and/or inspections are so low. When the standards are so low, business owners do the bare minimum just to meet the low standards. They continue this nonsense because, a. everyone else is doing it, and b. they can get away with it especially if the home owner doesn't know any better. To make that even worse, you're labeled as a PITA if you say anything about it. I'd much rather be a labeled a PITA than let this garbage slide.
The problem with the junction box is that there is no transition. The line was run outside the wall from the ceiling all the way down. It's flex conduit on top:
and the same flex conduit on bottom:
The only time you'd actually add the junction, is when you were swapping it out the next time and needed more/less line. I got an electrical inspector friend of mine to look at this thread earlier today. He laughed and said, "yeah, they were just piecing together some spare wire to use on your job. It meets code, but it's poor craftsmanship."
Jimbo: the electric panel box is in the same room and within arm's length of that hot water heater. Oh he was completely serious about his guys leaving because they couldn't figure out which breaker went to the hot water heater. Keep in mind this home is vacant. They could have just cut the main breaker off and problem solved.
Concerning the PVC, you're right, it is in fact PVC.
I borrowed this from another discussion about T & P Relief Piping:
I suppose I'll call the master plumber on Monday and ask him to:
Discussion re: T&P Relief Piping
Here is where things get a little confusing. In the city where I am a building inspector, we use IAPMO's Uniform Plumbing Code. Section 608.5 says the material for T & P R piping may be; galvanized steel, hard drawn copper, CPVC(PVC inadequate), PB or listed straight sections of relief valve drain tube. We, therefore, except CPVC or PB(but rarely see it). I can only assume it would be the same for BOCA and SCCBI, but I will look into this.
Only problem with the allowance of CPVC or PB for this application is that their temperature ratings are well under 210 degrees F. (CPVC=165 degrees F., PB=?__?), certainly well under the temperature of steam at 150 PSI.
The consensus amongst inspectors I've talked to is that the acceptance of these materials is adequate because the pressure relief of an over temperature or over pressure condition is so intermittent and short term that CPVC or PB are adequate materials for this application.
a. put my gas line shut off valve back (there was a double shut off valve there where the tenant had the option to use a gas dryer. Instead of capping the shut off valve to the gas water heater, he removed both shut off valves and capped the entire line. That's not what I asked him to do.
b. replace that PVC with CPVC T & P Relief piping and let him swear up and down that he puts PVC on all water heaters for T & P Relief and passes inspections in both Counties.