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Thread: HW Tank Installation Advice

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  1. #1

    Default HW Tank Installation Advice

    It's been a while since I installed a HW tank, and this one is a little worrisome. It's below an old home in some sort of cellar. It's been leaking for about a month and has no shutoff valves of any kind. So it's like working in a very wet and muddy cave, and there's no light except what comes in from the one door.

    All the fittings are corroded away to nothing, so I have to do a lot of extra plumbing. For the cold side, I'm thinking of cutting off the bad tee in the main line, which I believe is 3/4" PVC. I can use a compression tee or a cemented-in tee, and then use a CPVC adapter. I'll then install an in-line CPVC ball valve and some more CPVC and finally connect up to the 24" flex copper, which I'll connect to the new water tank.

    For the hot side, I'm thinking of cutting off the bad el and cementing in a new el with a CPVC adapter and use a straight piece of CPVC to the flex copper.

    Questions: Which is better, the compression tee or the cement-in tee? How long do I have to wait for the CPVC joints to set up before pressurizing the system? Is it necessary to have a ball valve on the hot side as well? The CPVC ball valves are only rated to 180 degrees.

    Any other suggestions?
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    Last edited by Verdeboy; 11-18-2006 at 08:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
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    Talking thats a pretty one

    those are the ones that make you wince
    when you have to tangle with them....

    I would go buy a couple of shark bite 3/4 Tees

    and simply cut out those old nasty ones,
    it looks like you got plenty of loose play in the lines

    then you could run the plumbing to the water heater
    with anything you wished

    a ball valve is always best on the incomming cold side

    and of course on the gas line you want to use a flexible gas supply connecter

    It looks like that old one will probably fall over once you disconnect
    it from the pipes....I would suggest draining it all the way down first...

    have a fun time
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 11-19-2006 at 05:53 AM.

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Nov 2005


    The gas union is on the wrong side of the shutoff. It should be on the heater side of the shutoff and it looks like it is on the street / meter side. All you have to do is switch the places that they are located.
    Last edited by Cass; 11-19-2006 at 06:42 AM.

  4. #4
    Plumber solsacre's Avatar
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    Nov 2006


    PVC is never alowed inside homes for pressurized water systems (to the best of my knowlage.)

    go back as far as your budgit will alow. and replace as much of the pvc as you can. CPVC is the best thing out there for a home owner to use. I won't use it. It is legal in most states and is easy to use. Few plumbers will use it because it is brittle. Hit it with a hammer and you've got a mess.

    Read the glue can it'll tell you how long to wait.

    You don't need a ball valve on the hot side, but it doesn't hurt.

    And I think sharkbite fittings only come in Copper Pipe sizes????? It shouldn't work on PVC??? Please correct me if I'm wrong.


  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Yakima WA


    "A lot of extra plumbing" is a gross understatement if you're going to get this mess straightened out. I'd say it's pretty obvious that this is an install done by someone totally unaware of codes. That pipe is not CPVC, it's PVC and that isn't allowed inside the house. PVC and CPVC are different materials and sizes, so you can just tie one to the other. I question that you can even legally have a gas heater in that location, but certainly if it is to be installed there, it needs a solid slab to set on. At the very least, the entire mess of pipes should be stripped out from the water source forward and properly plumbed. Personally, I'd use copper pipe and a ball valve for the water lines. That will still probably be second rate since the main supply is almost certainly ancient galvanized pipe and really due for replacment, but at least this job should be done as right as possible. You definitely need to see that the gas is correctly connected. I think the very first thing you should do is to check codes to see what, if anything, can be done with this.

  6. #6


    Thanks for all the advice. I keep trying to tell you all that this area is like a third-world country. There's no codes or at least no code enforcement. I know the difference between PVC and CPVC, which is why I'm using only CPVC for my work.

    The homeowner has no money to change over all of her plumbing. It took her a month to get the money to buy the tank, even though water has been pouring out of the bottom the whole time. I'll put on my rubber boots and do the best I can to get her some hot water.


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