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Thread: Water heater inlet corrosion

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member bTim's Avatar
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    Unhappy Water heater inlet corrosion

    Hello all. Just stumbled across this forum and seems like there is a lot of knowledge here.

    I just had a water heater installed just over a year ago and noticed today that the inlet pipe is badly corroded and slowly leaking water.

    I have the installer coming out tomorrow, but I want to have some information before talking with him if possible.

    One thing I noticed in addition to the corrosion is that the Draft Hood was never secured in place. The screws were left laying on top of the unit along with the leftover pipe from the job.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    --Tim




  2. #2
    DIY Member DaveHo's Avatar
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    I'm not a pro, but the biggest problem I see is that the hood is backdrafting. The shrunk insulation & upturned plastic collars are proof of that. Of course the leak isn't good either. Whats the rest of the flue piping look like?

    -Dave

  3. #3
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    He will have to change out the nipple coming out of the tank.
    Unless I have plastic lined nipples, I like to use brass. I don't think many other plumbers carry brass, they cost about 2 bucks more. But they are permenate too.
    I can reuse a brass nipple after twenty years and they are still like new. Normally if the nipple is plastic lined you're okay too. It may be that small leak wound up causing the corrosion. , and he needs to put in a couple of screws to secure the hood.

    Last edited by Terry; 04-12-2011 at 08:24 PM.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member bTim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveHo View Post
    I'm not a pro, but the biggest problem I see is that the hood is backdrafting. The shrunk insulation & upturned plastic collars are proof of that. Of course the leak isn't good either. Whats the rest of the flue piping look like?

    -Dave
    I wonder if that would account for the faint gas smell i get from time to time.

    The rest of the flue piping:

    From above water heater to wall:


    Wall connection:


    Wall looking back to heater:



    I did notice a few small pinholes on the pipe leading to the wall and a rust hole at the wall connection. Can I just tape that up with some metal duct tape?

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The rust is likely caused by condensation. The condensation is caused by poor draft. The gas smells are from poor draft. I'm not sure that that flue pipe would pass code with the very long, low rise...it would cool off too much before it then tried to rise out the chimney. It is the hot gasses rising up the flue that tend to 'pull' the rest along and keep everything moving. If it cools off too much along the way, it can act like a plug, and prevent the gasses from rising and they spill out the point of least resistance. Hope you have a good, working CO detecter...

    You should fix the problem of the rust, not try to put a bandaid on it. This may require moving the WH closer to the vertical flue stack or getting a power vent type that can blow the gasses out rather than having them rise naturally.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6

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    [QUOTE=bTim;288528]I wonder if that would account for the faint gas smell i get from time to time.

    If you smell gas then you need to get all of your gas line connections tested for leaks. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless.

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    True, CO is odorless, but incomplete combustion can smell. A gas supply leak can be dangerous as well, so isolating and fixing that is important. They do make some very sensitive NG detectors that should help pinpoint if and where it is leaking.

    If you take a match or a small candle and hold it near the bottom of the vent hood, does the flame and smoke get drawn into the flue?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  8. #8
    In the Trades ilya's Avatar
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    That connection was surely leaking from day one. All around poor workmanship. Terry, I like brass too. It's great for going from galv to copper. I thought I was the only one!
    not a licensed plumber

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