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Thread: Water Heater Connectors Leaking

  1. #31
    DIY Junior Member jasonbaur's Avatar
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    Alrighty, well I will purchase one tonight online any recommendations brands etc would be helpful. Here is the video I saw well 2 videos actually same guy showing these videos of the tanks gone bad if anyone cares to check it out link below.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ske4M4-gS5A
    http://www.youtube.com/user/DUNBARPL.../6/V_k3Lltxbgc

    Last edited by Terry; 11-16-2010 at 06:09 PM.

  2. #32
    DIY Junior Member jasonbaur's Avatar
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    I went ahead and purchased the expansion tank online 2 gallon one as recommended, I made sure not to purchase the brand shown in the video for obvious reasons. I went to a plumbing supply store today but I wasn't able to get in, not open to the public is that common in this trade? Anyway I found another supplier I will try tomorrow, called and made sure its open to the general public hopefully they carry the fancy flex lines.

  3. #33
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Many supply houses are only open to the trades.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #34
    DIY Junior Member jasonbaur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Many supply houses are only open to the trades.
    Bummer, guess they don't want newbie customers walking in like me asking a million questions .

    On a different note I was doing some research on water heaters and came across this video. Its rather scary whats lurking in homes just a few feet away when this is possible. Not to mention a fun watch


    Last edited by jasonbaur; 11-17-2010 at 05:34 PM.

  5. #35
    DIY Junior Member jasonbaur's Avatar
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    Update, no more leaking supply lines but I still have the pressure increase problem. I purchased the expansion tank and before I could install it I had to turn off the heater/pilot and drain all the hot water out of the tank so that I could sync the house pressure with the expansion tank pressure, well turns out the pressure still raised slowly from 40-60 within minutes which would have to be a bad regulator. I also got an email back from my city's water utilities and there is no back flow prevention systems installed to the houses so its not a closed system, that's why the old heater never had an expansion tank I'm guessing. I am going to place a call to wilkins tomorrow the manufacturer of the regulator and see what parts I need to repair the unit hopefully.

  6. #36
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Exactly! I think the guys giving all this advice should chip in and buy you a new pressure reducing valve. Really, its disgraceful that these thermal expansion tanks are being reccomended and used when most if not all PRV's have a built in thermal expansion bypass. I wish I had found this thread earlier.

    You were told to put in an expansion tank when it was clear that you had a bad regulator, and the pressure in the house probably exceeded the rating of the tank - which would NEVER do anything to help a run wild regulator, except to perhaps blow up or blow a bladder.

    Did'nt anyone notice that his system worked for 20 years without high pressure or an expansion tank?

    If anyone doubts the reliability of the thermal expansion bypass, then add a 75 psi or adjustable 8$ well-type pressure relief valve. Only THAT will save you from 150 psi water and tell you real quick that your regulator AND its thermal bypass failed....
    A 2 gallon expansion tank is just a nothing under those conditions. Save them for CLOSED boiler systems.

    Here is the link for a watts chinese one. Click on "additional information" http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/WAT...AH6?Pid=search

    Water heater flex line have "loose threads" and are irrelevant to sealing. The sealing surface is the face of the nipple. Almost all nipples have a surface totally unsuitable for sealing to a washer and should be sanded or filed flat and de-burred. If I had a "Master plumber" in my house and he did not do that, I would send him home quick.

    I would have re-used the old tubes with the new washers after making the nipples ends flat and smooth. Okay, plumbers scream, but 95% of leaks are at the connectors from bad nipples and overtightening. The copper in those tubes is good quality. The braided SS with vinyl inside I WOULD change often.

    You would be better off buying a NEW valve if you can find the same configuration... Graingers has many, and look for one made in the USA. Here is one that costs LESS THAN the Chinese model!

    http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/CAS...MY6?Pid=search

    and here is the spec sheet showing the expansion bypass:

    http://www.cashacme.com/_images/pdf_.../EB45_Spec.pdf

    So who is going to man up and apologize to this poor guy?

    Or buy his expansion tank for where it could be useful?
    Last edited by ballvalve; 11-24-2010 at 01:16 PM. Reason: further scolding, detail USA valve CHEAPER than Chinese

  7. #37
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you look at post #30, I said if everything is static and the pressure rises, the PRV is bad. This is not bad advice.

    A bypass, if it exists in the PRV, won't open until the house pressure exceeds the incoming pressure. This could be quite high. Plus, it may not work. An expansion tank is required when the system is closed, and will keep the internal pressure essentially constant. In most places, you have a PRV, you are supposed to have an expansion tank. It will also prevent the house pressure from rises, which was indicated was 130# at the street, which is TOO high, even with a bypass that MIGHT limit it to that value.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #38
    In the Trades Jerome2877's Avatar
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    If anyone doubts the reliability of the thermal expansion bypass, then add a 75 psi or adjustable 8$ well-type pressure relief valve.
    Are you saying to add this instead of an expantion tank? This would cause that relief valve to release on a regular basis (not designed for this) as the pressure to the house is too high and as Jim states would not allow the bypass to work. You would owe him for all the water that would waste! lol

  9. #39
    DIY Junior Member jasonbaur's Avatar
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    I just want to say I appreciate everyone's advice information and suggestions. If anything it was my own doing not able to explain the situation correctly, but I am glad this happened its been fun and quite educational for me. I was able to speak with Wilkins and they relayed me to a reseller who sells the repair kit, they have high hopes for my particular situation which sounds like its simply changing out some O rings/seals. I also had a professional plumber come out in hopes maybe he would be able to repair it but he wouldn't only offered to replace it with a new one $300 labor included, I told him if the repair kit fails I will call him back. No worries concerning the expansion tank I am sure that will sell very easily on **** as I got it for a great price only $40 online.

    Happy Turkey Day!

    PS thanks for the information on the regulators ballvalve, those are a lot cheaper then the plumber offered me all were over $170 good find. Perhaps I will purchase one of those regulators and hire a plumber just to install it which I hope will be cheaper then $300 as the repair kit by itself I think will cost me $40 waiting for a call back from the company.

    Hmm I just found these 2 threads and that's the exact model I have, doesn't look to hopeful on repairing it.

    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...ducer-bleed-up
    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...Reducing-Valve
    Last edited by jasonbaur; 11-25-2010 at 02:35 AM.

  10. #40
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    The reason most plumbers replace, is that to repair is a typical two visit job. One trip to identify the PRV, then back to the shop to find and order the parts, add about one hour here for all the time that takes, assuming that someone will mail the part, and you don't have to make a separate trip across town for it.
    The the second trip, or is this really the third trip, where you actually get to make a repair. Of course, if the plumber had replaced the part on the first trip, then the one hour wasted looking and getting parts would never have happened, and the third trip to make the repair would never had been needed.
    So yes, if the homeowner had identified the needed part, ordered and paid for it, then they could have made the repair, or at least had it ready for the plumber on his first trip.
    This is the same reason that plumbers have a hard time not "losing money" on some toilet repairs for old Kohler one-piece toilets.
    One trip out to identify
    Second trip to gather or mail order parts from the factory,
    Third trip out to make the repair,
    And then the homeowner wonders how so much time and money has accumulated on the repair.

    So if you wonder why I have sold hundreds and hundreds of the Toto one-piece toilets now, one flapper, one fill valve in the van, and I can fix any of them.
    That and the local hardware store carries parts for Toto, but not Kohler. Ironic isn't it?

  11. #41
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    If you look at post #30, I said if everything is static and the pressure rises, the PRV is bad. This is not bad advice.

    A bypass, if it exists in the PRV, won't open until the house pressure exceeds the incoming pressure. This could be quite high. Plus, it may not work. An expansion tank is required when the system is closed, and will keep the internal pressure essentially constant. In most places, you have a PRV, you are supposed to have an expansion tank. It will also prevent the house pressure from rises, which was indicated was 130# at the street, which is TOO high, even with a bypass that MIGHT limit it to that value.
    Yes, you got that correct, but he doesnt have a closed system, there is no check valve. He does not need the tank. He didnt have it for 20 years. He is with 20 million others in the same situation.

    In my experience the bypass opens at some point close to the set-point house pressure, but I have no documentation at the moment to back it up. I do have a few houses with the same situation and with a pressure gauge in the house and I never see a pressure rise even after a 3 week vacation with two water heaters on. Incoming is 100psi and inside stays at 55.

    As I noted, an adjustable 1/2" $8 well pressure relief valve set to 80 or 100 psi will announce the regulators demise.

    I would buy the Cash-Acme, made in America, cheaper than the Chinese Watts, and get the plumber to come out and install it. Better fit and finish too.

  12. #42
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    PS thanks for the information on the regulators ballvalve, those are a lot cheaper then the plumber offered me all were over $170 good find. Perhaps I will purchase one of those regulators and hire a plumber just to install it which I hope will be cheaper then $300 as the repair kit by itself I think will cost me $40 waiting for a call back from the company

    Absolutely. Do the Cash- Acme . Graingers will sell it to you. I would take a photo of your regulator and the actual new regulator to the plumbers shop at 4:45 pm when the boss might be there and get a quote for the install. Then you will not have Terrys correct situation of "one more part" to go to the shop for.

  13. #43
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    In my experience the bypass opens at some point close to the set-point house pressure, but I have no documentation at the moment to back it up. I do have a few houses with the same situation and with a pressure gauge in the house and I never see a pressure rise even after a 3 week vacation with two water heaters on. Incoming is 100psi and inside stays at 55.
    A bypass can ONLY work when one side has higher pressure than the other, so for a bypass to open, the pressure in the house has to be at or try to get above that of the supply...there isn't a pump in the PRV to push that excess water back through the PRV against the prevailing incoming water. If your pressure doesn't rise, you have something leaking.

    A PRV is essentially a one-way valve. Yes, some have a bypass, but you have the thing for a reason...to keep the house water pressure at your specified, lower, safer, pressure. Without an expansion tank, that won't happen if everything else in the house is working properly. And, it is code to have one with a PRV most places.

    Push on both sides with the same pressure, nothing happens.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  14. #44
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Sounds like we need some Mfgr's information to resolve this debate.

    No Mfg. would announce a thermal/ pressure bypass if it only worked at incoming pressure, because they are rated to 300 psi. So we might assume the regulator leaks a few drops....

    and if incoming is 130 or 300 psi, do you think that the 2 gallon expansion tank is going to absorb the whole cities pressure? No it will just blow up. Unless the 150 psi reg on the water heater goes first.

    But installing a seperate 70 psi relief inside the house backs up everything and we need not debate much more.

  15. #45
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Everyone should watch that video of the failed expansion tank . How many homeowners check their tanks? Most have no port to do so anyway, and when the bladder fails, the upper part rusts and pollutes the whole water supply. I would guess most expansion tanks after 5 years are doing nothing anyway, and get changed only when the top half finally rusts through.

    I would much rather plumb an adjustable relief valve to a drain then have the potential [certainty] of a failed tank.

    Same thing goes for failed well bladder tanks, a huge influx of muck goes into the drinking water when they fail, and few discover it for months or years. A glasslined tank, or galvanized tank, with all its shortcomings will never give you a shot of 10 year old toxic sludge.

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