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Thread: Water Heater Plumbing questions...

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  1. #1

    Default Water Heater Plumbing questions...

    I need to install a water heater in a cinder block shed. I have a (PVC) cold water supply line coming through an outside wall to the place I want the (electric) heater to sit. I will be having an electrician run the electric lines to the location. I would like to do the plumbing myself, but I was hoping for a little advice. For the moment, please do not worry about building codes. This will be in a rural area with no codes. I do want it to be safe and effective, but I do not have to worry about building codes. The building does not and will not contain flamable materials, so I intend for the heater to sit directly on the floor.

    From the heater area, I need a straight run of cold and hot water piping about 35 or 40 feet down the side of the wall to two sinks sitting side-by-side. I also need to make an approximately 4 foot run to another sink with both hot and cold water. I intend to sit the heater in a pan with a drain running through the cinder block wall to the outside. I also plan to run the pressure relief line through the wall to the outside using copper tubing.

    All the piping running to the sinks will be mounted on the cinder block walls approximately 12 inches from the floor.

    Now for my questions...

    On the heater supply line, should I go from PVC to a flexible copper supply line and into the heater? If not, suggestions please?

    From the outlet of the heater, can I go again with a short run of copper (couple of feet) and then transition to some type of plastic pipe (PCV, CPVC)? I do not want to have to run copper if I can avoid it--due to the expense and the need to solder. (I am fairly sure I could successfully solder the copper, but I do not have the torch, solder, etc, and I do not wish to buy it for such a small job). If plastic pipe, what type?

    The pipes (whatever they turn out to be) will be exposed to florescent lighting and no sunlight.

    Also, I do not care if this installation has to be repeated in 5 or 6 years. I only need something that will be reasonably reliable for 4 or 5 years.

    Any advice, thoughts, comments, appreciated!

    --Art

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by art0859 View Post
    For the moment, please do not worry about building codes. This will be in a rural area with no codes. I do want it to be safe and effective, but I do not have to worry about building codes.
    It doen't matter where you are codes need to be observed! They protect you and others from an unsafe installation.

    Is this building subjected to freezing temperatures?
    Is this a stand alone shed or connected to your home?
    Is it PVC or CPVC pipe you are talking about? There is a difference!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    It doen't matter where you are codes need to be observed! They protect you and others from an unsafe installation.

    Is this building subjected to freezing temperatures?
    Is this a stand alone shed or connected to your home?
    Is it PVC or CPVC pipe you are talking about? There is a difference!
    Note: I said I wanted a SAFE installation even though I would not be subject to building codes.

    Building is totally detached and not part of my home.

    Inside of building is air conditioned and heated and therefore not subjected to freezing, outside less than 3 days per year on average below freezing. (In case I was not clear in the first post, the piping will be on the inside wall and not the outside, so freezing should not be an issue.)

    I do not know yet if pvc or CPVC supplying the sinks. That was one of the issues upon which I wanted advice. PVC is coming in from the outside (as I stated in my first post). I plan on PVC for the cold side, but the hot side is where I need help.
    Last edited by art0859; 05-19-2008 at 09:25 AM.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    As far as codes go, I believe even Alaska has a code to contend with.
    In the boondocks there may not be an inspection but there is a code!

    Under many codes PVC is prohibited in a building while CPVC is not.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    As far as codes go, I believe even Alaska has a code to contend with.
    In the boondocks there may not be an inspection but there is a code!

    Under many codes PVC is prohibited in a building while CPVC is not.
    Thanks Redwood for your review of codes. I do not believe I ever said that this installation was in Alaska--or even in the states.

    If it will make you feel better, then pretend I am in an area with strict building codes. Bottom line is I am not interested in the minutiae of building codes right now since despite what you may or may not think, I do not have a code nor permitting to contend with in this particular situation. I do want it to be safe and I have no problem following a code, but I do not have to in this situation. The only thing I am interested in is advice on how to plumb for the water heater.

    Thanks again for your interest in making sure that I stay legal though.

  6. #6
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    You must be in the United States because this is the only country that I have ever been in that is backward enough to still use water heaters in the style used here.

    In Europe, we got rid of them decades ago.

    Saying that, I love my water heater. It's an eyesore, but by God they are easy to replace compared to the alternatives. This is the only place where as a DIYer I can fix my own hot water!

    "Cinder block", "feet" and "inches" are also terms rarely used outside of the colony.

    Now if you'd said "breeze block", "meters" and "mil", I would have believed ya!
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 05-19-2008 at 11:33 AM.

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