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Thread: Water Heater leaking from T&P valve

  1. #16
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runs with bison View Post
    Jim,

    My original point, which has been distorted by Deadwood's errant crusade, was to determine if it was thermal expansion. I gave several ways of doing so: passive as in waiting overnight and active as in doing the test oneself by discharging hotwater and monitoring pressure during recovery. Only a simpleton like Deadwood/Redstraw would have to stay by the gauge the whole time. (Even you fell for his strawman claim about what I was saying, nothing is more irritating that having a buffoon like that shape one's image. Just another reason to loath a disengenous scumbag like him.) Afterall, that's what the red needle is for on the test gauge and is how I've used it. Furthermore I went into several "why's" of how this could be happening now but was not observed before. (I could have/should have added that other unrecognized changes such as fixing a dripping faucet or replacing a toilet/fill valve could also reveal the sort of symptoms observed.) This was to answer the OP's question in an inclusive enough way to help him find the solution. I made the assumption that the OP needed a bit more thorough analysis and reasoning based on their initial post.

    A key consideration is how high the pressure is getting. If it's not getting anywhere near 150 then the T&P should not be opening. If it is getting that high then it is either a supply issue, or thermal expansion. Unless the main pressure is close to 150 even a failed PRV wouldn't be the primary culprit although it could very well be a contributor. As it is, the OP probably knows the approximate main pressure for the 275 units already. It is hilly here and in some low lying areas near the water towers/pumps the pressure is close enough to 150 psig that plumbers have commented to me about T&P relief/PRV problems in those areas.

    But what do I know? I'm just an engineer who quickly figured out that the BW pimps' longtime theories on the Flamelock problem weren't accurate much of the time...and also figured out that the shared Unitrol Robert Shaw valve was the culprit in a large quantity of the problems...something that could save a homeowner around $800 compared to following Deadwood's standard "advice." Going counter to some clique's theories is nothing new to me, I've been through these sorts of root cause battles with other engineers and corporate execs before and have the battle scars to show for it. The underlying system doesn't care how we think it works, what matters is whether we interpret the data correctly to understand it and then profit from understanding it. I've had R&D Directors tell me I didn't know what I was talking about with a system that had been running 20 years, then a year later recall that mistake when toasting the success of my solution to a long standing problem, admitting,"You know, I thought you were nuts when you said it worked like this..." I let the data, observations, calculations, and established engineering principles guide me to the root cause and solution, not the opinions of a PhD chemist, MS engineer, master plumber, operator, or mechanic.

    Heck if you want a real laugh, ask Deadwood to regurgitate and interpret the legal boilerplate in BW's comments on water heater jackets. He couldn't reason his way out of paper bag.

    So what really matters is whether or not the OP gets enough of an explanation to determine what is happening and why, not what Deadwood thinks or what I think.
    Give it a rest Laddy!

    No where in this thread was it discussed about replacing the water heater with a Bradford White, Whirlpool water heater problems, Robert Shaw gas valves or, any of the like. Your inability to separate issues from one thread to another is muddying up the messages of many threads and is off topic in many cases.

    The testing to determine whether a thermal expansion tank is needed is a simple and quick test that we plumbers have outlined above and really doesn't require overnight pressure testing or, monitoring to see the pressure increase to 150-psi with watching for a T&P discharge. we simply see the pressure climbing from the thermal expansion and go ahead with installing a thermal expansion tank. It's that simple!

    The primary difference between a plumber and an engineer is we plumbers bring a broad base of knowledge to our customers and look out for their interests. You as an engineer bring highly specialized knowledge in a specific area of expertise to the table. In some cases this is similar to a horse wearing blinders which limits its broad view.

    I'm going to bring in an area of engineering that your narrow focus has ignored in this debate. Your insistence on the pressure being allowed to go to 150-psi before saying the thermal expansion is "the" problem actually allows another factor to come into play. The tank of the water heater is a pressure vessel and part of its design is an expansion and contraction that occurs with changes in pressure. Each cycle of pressurization has an effect on that pressure vessel in the form of metal fatigue and in the case of a glass lined tank on its liner. Eventually these pressurization cycles will cause enough cracking of the glass lining and fatigue cracking of the metal that a premature failure of the tank will occur. This process happens with many different types of pressure vessels every day and was demonstrated in a dramatic fashion a few years back on Aloha Airlines Flight 243.





    I respect your knowledge as an engineer with your discussions on thermo dynamics but at some point the discussion shows the limitations of your being a specialist which by definition is someone who knows more and more about less and less. Really try sticking to what you know best, it will make you appear to be much more intelligent than trying to bounce everything I say back at me or, carrying your narrow discussion across every thread on the board. Solutions to many problems are quite a bit simpler than you imagine. In this case the installation of a thermal expansion tank is justified and will minimize the pressure cycling keeping the pressure stable at the supplied pressure within a couple of pounds. If the supplied pressure is above 80-psi a PRV should be installed on the system, this is where 24-hour pressure monitoring would apply.
    Last edited by Redwood; 02-01-2010 at 06:12 AM. Reason: correcting flight #

  2. #17

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    You actually call people "scumbags" and for what reason?



    Quote Originally Posted by Runs with bison View Post
    Jim,

    My original point, which has been distorted by Deadwood's errant crusade, was to determine if it was thermal expansion. I gave several ways of doing so: passive as in waiting overnight and active as in doing the test oneself by discharging hotwater and monitoring pressure during recovery. Only a simpleton like Deadwood/Redstraw would have to stay by the gauge the whole time. (Even you fell for his strawman claim about what I was saying, nothing is more irritating that having a buffoon like that shape one's image. Just another reason to loath a disengenous scumbag like him.) Afterall, that's what the red needle is for on the test gauge and is how I've used it. Furthermore I went into several "why's" of how this could be happening now but was not observed before. (I could have/should have added that other unrecognized changes such as fixing a dripping faucet or replacing a toilet/fill valve could also reveal the sort of symptoms observed.) This was to answer the OP's question in an inclusive enough way to help him find the solution. I made the assumption that the OP needed a bit more thorough analysis and reasoning based on their initial post.

    A key consideration is how high the pressure is getting. If it's not getting anywhere near 150 then the T&P should not be opening. If it is getting that high then it is either a supply issue, or thermal expansion. Unless the main pressure is close to 150 even a failed PRV wouldn't be the primary culprit although it could very well be a contributor. As it is, the OP probably knows the approximate main pressure for the 275 units already. It is hilly here and in some low lying areas near the water towers/pumps the pressure is close enough to 150 psig that plumbers have commented to me about T&P relief/PRV problems in those areas.

    But what do I know? I'm just an engineer who quickly figured out that the BW pimps' longtime theories on the Flamelock problem weren't accurate much of the time...and also figured out that the shared Unitrol Robert Shaw valve was the culprit in a large quantity of the problems...something that could save a homeowner around $800 compared to following Deadwood's standard "advice." Going counter to some clique's theories is nothing new to me, I've been through these sorts of root cause battles with other engineers and corporate execs before and have the battle scars to show for it. The underlying system doesn't care how we think it works, what matters is whether we interpret the data correctly to understand it and then profit from understanding it. I've had R&D Directors tell me I didn't know what I was talking about with a system that had been running 20 years, then a year later recall that mistake when toasting the success of my solution to a long standing problem, admitting,"You know, I thought you were nuts when you said it worked like this..." I let the data, observations, calculations, and established engineering principles guide me to the root cause and solution, not the opinions of a PhD chemist, MS engineer, master plumber, operator, or mechanic.

    Heck if you want a real laugh, ask Deadwood to regurgitate and interpret the legal boilerplate in BW's comments on water heater jackets. He couldn't reason his way out of paper bag.

    So what really matters is whether or not the OP gets enough of an explanation to determine what is happening and why, not what Deadwood thinks or what I think.

  3. #18
    DIY Member Hillbilly Man's Avatar
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    That be some strong talkin Bison.
    To me i'm a wundrin whether your a



    or, a



    cause you sure like ta



    Jess my $0.02
    Hillbilly Eng-in-ear
    Moonshine Maker
    Dumb as a Stump

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member misterfixer's Avatar
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    Sorry for taking so long to return. We had significant weather in NC this past weekend. We will be installing an expansion tank in this apartment tomorrow. A bit of engineering will be necessary because of the CPVC piping. The boss wants to be sure we have the tank well supported. Pressure readings seem to stay in the 60 psi range, so that is what we will preload the tank to before installation. Thanks for your replies.

  5. #20
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    let us know if that works...The problem is if the PRV and /or check valve is on the building main every unit will require a tank or you can place 1 big one where the PRV is...

  6. #21
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    hello
    misterfixe i think you need consult any nearby Hot Water Heater Replacement professional company that may be reliable

  7. #22
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; think you need consult any nearby Hot Water Heater Replacement professional company that may be reliable

    That description may be an oxymoron, because heater "replacement specialists" do not want to fix problems. The LAST thing I would do in this situation is install a new water heater. It will have EXACTLY the same problem as the old one, until you determine what is causing the symptoms, and it DOES look like a classical case of thermal expansion. BUT if there are multiple heaters connected to a common pressure regulated water line, ANY ONE of them, or a combination of heaters, WILL cause the symptom you describe, not necessarily just the heater you are working on.

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