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Thread: Water Heater Cold Water Inlet "Overflow"

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  1. #1

    Arrow Water Heater Cold Water Inlet "Overflow"

    Location: Spring Lake, NC

    Water Heater: Electric, Bradford White

    Model #: M250S6DS2

    Concern: Cold Water Inlet "Overflow" Is Active

    *SEE PHOTOS

    Hello, my name is Rod. Thank you for taking the time to assist me. Please forgive my ignorance of water heater know-how. This is precisely why I request your assistance. (smile) Firstly, I do not know if what I refer to as the "overflow" is indeed an overflow. But, it is definitely attached to the cold water inlet. I recently had my water heater wrapped and noticed some water underneath it yesterday. Not a lot of standing water, but enough to tap your finger against it and make a small 'splash'. You can see in the photo the area beneath the drain valve I had wiped dry. I unwrapped the unit and proceeded to trouble shoot- the drain valve was dry, as well as the TPRV discharge tube. But I did notice moisture coming from a 1/2" PVC tube connected to the cold water inlet.

    This is what I refer to as an overflow, if that is correct. I wiped the area dry and directed the PVC tube into a bucket. I checked the bucket 24 hours later (today), and it had about an inch of water in it. The area around the base of my water heater was dry. So, the water heater itself is not leaking.
    Of course, the water came from the PVC tube attached to the cold water inlet.

    If this is an overflow, please enlighten me on how it is activated, and how often this should occur.

    If it is not an overflow PVC tube, please educate me on its purpose along with anything I should be concerned about.

    Thank you for your time.
    -Rod










  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member Probedude's Avatar
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    Remove the insulation where that pvc pipe attaches so we can have a better look.

    - it's not an overflow but maybe there's a valve under there for an ice maker or RO unit that is no longer installed.

  3. #3

    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by Probedude View Post
    Remove the insulation where that pvc pipe attaches so we can have a better look.

    - it's not an overflow but maybe there's a valve under there for an ice maker or RO unit that is no longer installed.
    What's an RO unit do?

    Hopefully these will help for you to explain my problem. BTW, I purchased my home new in 2005. There have not been any mods to the unit since then.

    This tube should not be leaking, huh? A course of action is appreciated.

    Thank you!
    -Rod






  4. #4
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Chicago, IL
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    ok I have to say this is the first time I seen a valve like that. At first I was thinking it was a stop and waste. But if it where a waste drain off wouldn't water come out of that constantly like full flow. I hope the other guys can enlighten this young Chicago boy on that valve.

  5. #5

    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    ok I have to say this is the first time I seen a valve like that. At first I was thinking it was a stop and waste. But if it where a waste drain off wouldn't water come out of that constantly like full flow. I hope the other guys can enlighten this young Chicago boy on that valve.
    I never paid much attention to it before. But upon closer examination I thought it was odd too. Especially since I was thinking it was an overflow.
    But then I thought, "Why would there be an overflow on the cold water inlet?". But of course, I'm not up on water heaters so I brought my question here.

    Now I'm wondering... did the plumber do a sloppy job by using the wrong cold water shut-off valve.? One that has an extra valve, and he decided to run a PVC pipe from it?

    Then my next question would be, "Why didn't the inspector catch this?".

    Perhaps I'm jumping to conclusions...

  6. #6

    Arrow

    BTW, I did run my shower HOT to see if any water would drain from the PVC and into the bucket once cold water came in to replace the outgoing hot.

    Nothing happend while the shower was running. Nor did anything happen within 5 minutes of shutting the shower off.

    But when I checked it about an hour later, there was a little water in the bucket.

    So, how long does it take for cold water to replace outgoing hot? How long before the cold water flows into the water heater?

    This is what I was trying to figure out while I was trouble shooting it.

  7. #7

    Default

    My only guess is that the mystery line goes to a non-existent expansion tank.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #8

    Arrow

    Quote Originally Posted by Verdeboy View Post
    My only guess is that the mystery line goes to a non-existent expansion tank.
    If that's it then my valve is upside down, huh?

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