Building a dam around a water heater

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TimR

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Oct 4, 2022, 11:43:42 AMOct 4
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My water heater is 15 years old, still working fine, but there's no pan under it and space around it is limited. It's in the basement in an area we don't check often.

Eventually it will leak like they all do. What is the easiest way to make a short wall around it, to catch just enough water that an alarm can sound?

hub...@ccanoemail.com

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Oct 4, 2022, 12:03:49 PMOct 4
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Does it need to stand-up-to any traffic or floor scrubbing ?
My first thought was a length of flexi rubber <weather stripping ? >
and some silicone caulk/adhesive - glue it to the floor.
John T.

zall

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Oct 4, 2022, 8:24:19 PMOct 4
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Empty it, take the inles and outlet pipes off if they arent flexible hoses,
put a pan under it, put the pipes back and carry on regardless.

T

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Oct 4, 2022, 8:28:58 PMOct 4
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Mine it raised off the floor. Zall's is pretty much
what mine has with the addition of a pipe at the
top of the drain pan, which I pipe to a 5
gallon bucket. Hopefully ...

I check about every two weeks.

Thomas

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Oct 4, 2022, 8:39:50 PMOct 4
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Drain pan as suggested with a drain hose on bottom leading to floor drain or sump.
If the entire thing leaks the main water will still be filling it.

Peeler

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Oct 5, 2022, 3:03:39 AMOct 5
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On Wed, 05 Oct 2022 11:24:08 +1100, zall, better known as cantankerous
trolling senile geezer Rodent Speed, wrote:

<FLUSH the abnormal trolling senile cretin's latest trollshit unread>

--
Sqwertz to Rodent Speed:
"This is just a hunch, but I'm betting you're kinda an argumentative
asshole.
MID: <ev1p6ml7ywd5$.d...@sqwertz.com>

TimR

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Oct 5, 2022, 10:04:55 AMOct 5
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I don't think so.
I'm not going to redo my old one, it's near end of life. Actually it's past the average life in this area. When I replace it, sure, I'll put a pan under it.

But the purpose of the pan is to alert me to the leak. And yes, the main water would still be filling it, but my experience has been water heaters don't leak catastrophically. It's a small drip that gives you a little time to respond.

At my age it's not a guarantee the new water heater will leak before I do. Newer ones don't seem to last as long.

Scott Lurndal

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Oct 5, 2022, 10:54:11 AMOct 5
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In my state, the drain pan is required to discharge into
a drainage system or to drain to the exterior of the home
(and not, for example, somewhere where people might walk).

"Min 1½ in. deep pan with ¾ in. drain
required when water heater is over
space where leakage could cause
damage to wood framing. (507.5)
Discharge pipe to approved location."

Additionally,

"Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve
(TPRV) drain pipe cannot run uphill
and must terminate on the exterior of
the building, pointing down, 6 ­ 24 in.
above grade with no threads on end.
The pipe must be hard-drawn copper,
galvanized, CPVC, or pipe listed for
the purpose (507.5) and may not
drain to pan (608.5)."

hub...@ccanoemail.com

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Oct 5, 2022, 11:05:41 AMOct 5
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>
>In my state, the drain pan is required to discharge into
>a drainage system or to drain to the exterior of the home
>(and not, for example, somewhere where people might walk).
>
> "Min 1½ in. deep pan with ¾ in. drain
> required when water heater is over
> space where leakage could cause
> damage to wood framing. (507.5)
> Discharge pipe to approved location."
>
>Additionally,
>
> "Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve
> (TPRV) drain pipe cannot run uphill
> and must terminate on the exterior of
> the building, pointing down, 6 ­ 24 in.
> above grade with no threads on end.
> The pipe must be hard-drawn copper,
> galvanized, CPVC, or pipe listed for
> the purpose (507.5) and may not
> drain to pan (608.5)."


I've been living right, I guess .. or lucky.
.. in my 65 years on the planet, I've never seen a
water heater with a drain pan and I've never had
one that leaked.
John T.

TimR

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Oct 5, 2022, 11:17:03 AMOct 5
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On Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at 10:54:11 AM UTC-4, Scott Lurndal wrote:
> >
> In my state, the drain pan is required to discharge into
> a drainage system or to drain to the exterior of the home
> (and not, for example, somewhere where people might walk).
>
> "Min 1½ in. deep pan with ¾ in. drain
> required when water heater is over
> space where leakage could cause
> damage to wood framing. (507.5)
> Discharge pipe to approved location."
>
> Additionally,
>
> "Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve
> (TPRV) drain pipe cannot run uphill
> and must terminate on the exterior of
> the building, pointing down, 6 ­ 24 in.
> above grade with no threads on end.
> The pipe must be hard-drawn copper,
> galvanized, CPVC, or pipe listed for
> the purpose (507.5) and may not
> drain to pan (608.5)."

Interesting. I didn't know that.
In my case the heater is in the basement so it's not over space, and the TPRV discharges into a drain.
I don't see any way to make it discharge outside the building without running uphill though.

I haven't had one with a pan yet, but it seems a good idea.

Scott Lurndal

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Oct 5, 2022, 11:29:12 AMOct 5
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TimR <timoth...@gmail.com> writes:
>On Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at 10:54:11 AM UTC-4, Scott Lurndal wrote:
>> >
>> In my state, the drain pan is required to discharge into=20
>> a drainage system or to drain to the exterior of the home=20
>> (and not, for example, somewhere where people might walk).=20
>>=20
>> "Min 1=C2=BD in. deep pan with =C2=BE in. drain=20
>> required when water heater is over=20
>> space where leakage could cause=20
>> damage to wood framing. (507.5)=20
>> Discharge pipe to approved location."=20
>>=20
>> Additionally,=20
>>=20
>> "Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve=20
>> (TPRV) drain pipe cannot run uphill=20
>> and must terminate on the exterior of=20
>> the building, pointing down, 6 =C2=AD 24 in.=20
>> above grade with no threads on end.=20
>> The pipe must be hard-drawn copper,=20
>> galvanized, CPVC, or pipe listed for=20
>> the purpose (507.5) and may not=20
>> drain to pan (608.5)."
>
>Interesting. I didn't know that. =20
>In my case the heater is in the basement so it's not over space, and the TP=
>RV discharges into a drain. =20
>I don't see any way to make it discharge outside the building without runni=
>ng uphill though.

Your state codes may vary. Homes in my state very seldom have basements
as most of the populated portions of the state don't reach freezing temperatures
for more than a couple of hours overnight in February (and few wish to be
caught in the basement during an temblor).

A google search for "<your city/county name> county water heater regulations"
may be informative. In my case, the county just uses the statewide requirements.

>
>I haven't had one with a pan yet, but it seems a good idea.

My last water heater started leaking (it's in the garage). I
installed a pan (and expansion tank) for the replacement, plumbed
with CPVC to the exterior.

Frank

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Oct 5, 2022, 2:29:36 PMOct 5
to
With my well water and electric water heater I am lucky to get one
lasting through the warranty period. I have never had one
catastrophically leak. My water heater is in the basement near but not
right on the French drain. I like the suggestion of maybe forming a dam
to make sure water is directed to the French drain.

micky

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Oct 6, 2022, 12:29:42 AMOct 6
to
In alt.home.repair, on Wed, 5 Oct 2022 07:04:50 -0700 (PDT), TimR
I wouldn't go to the trouble of rmoving a WH just to put a pan
underneath it even if I planned to spend 30 more years here.

Does the same have to be a pretty circle? Is it crowded around the WH.
If not take some 1s2 or 2x2 and build a wall, you can glue it to the
floor, maybe the wall will be one side. Later, when you get a new WH you
can put in a regualr pan, and maybe you can scrape the glue off the
floor.

If it has to be round maybe you can glue a garden hose to the floor.

The water signal I bought, to put in the lanndry sink or the sump didn't
work well, but it was very cheap. Or maybe it just was that I coudln't
hear it from upstairs.

I didn't want to but I glued a piece of wood in the doorway from the
laundry room to the other rooms. The buyer will know it's there
because there were floods, but OTOH he should know so he'll remember to
plug up the sink. I was going to leave a long note about the house
anyhow.


Early on when I hadn't fully stopped the stream from backing up into my
laundry sink, it did that one day. Less than 1/4" of water on the
floor, much of it only 1/8". Then the water in the sink subsided and I
waited for the basement to dry out, as had done pretty quickly in the
past** . But it didn't dry. I didn't know why not. Finally I
realized the WH was leaking, like you say, it was a slow leak, but
there was no end to it since the water was still connected. If I didn't
have a sink that backed up, I would have noticed the WH immediately. I
don't know where the leak was. The WH I tore apart was one thick vinyl
balloon with only 2 holes at the top and two at the bottom. Does it leak
through or around the drain or the pressure relief valve.

**Under two days I eventually noticed.

Marilyn Manson

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Oct 6, 2022, 8:11:05 PMOct 6
to
Never had a pan until my latest one (4 months ago.) The
last 2 leaked, but at over 15 years, but not catastrophically.
A pan would have easily contained it.

Now that I have a pan, the new one will probably blow
all 50 gallons at once.

micky

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Oct 7, 2022, 5:15:51 AMOct 7
to
In alt.home.repair, on Thu, 6 Oct 2022 17:11:01 -0700 (PDT), Marilyn
LOL

Google has a parial answer for my earlier question, from where
(whence?) do water heaters leak, given that my glass-lined water heater
was one 1/4+" thick vinyl balloon with only 4 openings, two at the top
and water can't leak out the top, and two at the bottom, and google said
that it's the drain that frequenly leaks, not around the drain but
through it, and the remedy is to screw a cap on the spout. They're easy
to find and cheap.

You can do this when the WH is new too. The drain isn't used until you
want to drain it.

If you're curious, you can take it off and see if it drips. I think I
will do this soon. It would mean I woudln't even have to replace the
WH if there is a leak that cannot leak.

TimR

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Oct 7, 2022, 11:01:46 AMOct 7
to
No. My experience is water heaters leak when the steel tank rusts through. It's a pinhole at first, which is why it's a slow leak.

micky

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Oct 7, 2022, 11:56:33 AMOct 7
to
In alt.home.repair, on Fri, 7 Oct 2022 08:01:42 -0700 (PDT), TimR
So the tank was actually metal.

My tank in the one case I checked was vinyl, and I can't imagine it
getting a hole through the whole 1/4".

But they called it "glass lined", and because I'm so literal, I thought
it would be glass like window glass or a drinking glass, and that it was
meant to say, I guess, that the water wouldn't pick up any dissolved
metals or anything. I was afraid if I bumped it on a step when taking
it down to the basement that the glass would shatter. But it was vinyl.
I guess there was glass in the vinyl.

Here's a related link,
https://hvac-buzz.com/glass-lined-water-heater-vs-stainless-steel/

"You will appreciate their lightweight material, especially if you are
planning to move and take the heater with you or..." Who takes their
water heater with them when they move? I've never heard of that. Even
among people who take the washer, dryer, fridge, or stove. Why not take
the sink too?

"Their [the steel ones] weight is also advantageous if you are going to
install the heater by yourself, as a heavy [glass] heater would require
multiple people to be lifted and installed" I brought home from Sears
and installed my glass-lined WH by myself and didn't find it very heavy.
Are there ones with real glass tanks?

Maybe mine needs an anode rod; maybe it came with an anode rod and I'm
supposed to replace it when it wears out, but I built a shelf right over
the WH and there is only 4" of space between the two. I could check,
but I don't remember anything in the top of the WH except the input and
output.

I'm confused, but at least I have hot water.

micky

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Oct 7, 2022, 12:25:45 PMOct 7
to
In alt.home.repair, on Fri, 07 Oct 2022 11:56:25 -0400, micky
Maybe it was only 3/16" but it was still a lot. It was hard to peel
away from the metal tank. Fairly stiff.
>
>But they called it "glass lined", and because I'm so literal, I thought
>it would be glass like window glass or a drinking glass, and that it was
>meant to say, I guess, that the water wouldn't pick up any dissolved
>metals or anything. I was afraid if I bumped it on a step when taking
>it down to the basement that the glass would shatter. But it was vinyl.
>I guess there was glass in the vinyl.
>
>Here's a related link,
>https://hvac-buzz.com/glass-lined-water-heater-vs-stainless-steel/
>
>"You will appreciate their lightweight material, especially if you are
>planning to move and take the heater with you or..." Who takes their
>water heater with them when they move? I've never heard of that. Even
>among people who take the washer, dryer, fridge, or stove. Why not take
>the sink too?
>
>"Their [the steel ones] weight is also advantageous if you are going to
>install the heater by yourself, as a heavy [glass] heater would require
>multiple people to be lifted and installed" I brought home from Sears
>and installed my glass-lined WH by myself and didn't find it very heavy.
>Are there ones with real glass tanks?
>
>Maybe mine needs an anode rod; maybe it came with an anode rod and I'm
>supposed to replace it when it wears out, but I built a shelf right over
>the WH and there is only 4" of space between the two. I could check,
>but I don't remember anything in the top of the WH except the input and
>output.
>
>I'm confused, but at least I have hot water.

From the link above: "Glass-lined heaters are more susceptible to damage
during transportation, installation, and later during operation, as the
glass-lining cracks easily."

So I wasn't stupid after all. There really are some wh's with glass that
can crack. But there was zero chance this would crack.

I wonder if this article was written decades ago before vinyl-lined
tanks existed**. Esp. vinyl-lined that are called glass-lined. Unless
I got mixed up and the one I took apart wasn't vinyl-lilned, but all the
WH's I buy are pretty much the same, because I buy based on how far
apart the input and output are, because I have a compulsive desire not
to use bendable or zigzag pipes to connect tthem. The one that came
with the house was AOSmith and the ones I bought at Sears were, I
figure, also made by AOSmith even though they had a Sears brand.


**It claims to have 7 webpages as sources. I thought this was written
by a plumber who knew this stuff off the top of his head. But if he
really used urls for sources, it coudln't be more than 30 years old,
probably a lot less. All of the 7 urls exist now so it must be under 5
or 10 years old. Very strange.

Jim Joyce

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Oct 7, 2022, 2:21:03 PMOct 7
to
On Fri, 07 Oct 2022 05:15:43 -0400, micky <NONONO...@fmguy.com>
wrote:

>Google has a parial answer for my earlier question, from where
>(whence?) do water heaters leak, given that my glass-lined water heater
>was one 1/4+" thick vinyl balloon with only 4 openings, two at the top
>and water can't leak out the top,

Since the tank is pressurized, it seems possible that it could leak at
the top and not only at the bottom. Of course, if we're going with
what's more likely, I suppose bottom wins.

Bob F

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Oct 7, 2022, 2:49:07 PMOct 7
to
Steel tanks are glazed on the inside to minimize the steel exposed to
water, minimizing rust and maximizing anode life.

I searched, and could not find any tank described as vinyl or as vinyl
lined. I have seen stainless steel ones. Please point us to some of the
ones you are talking about.

TimR

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Oct 8, 2022, 8:38:44 AMOct 8
to
I've always assumed that "glass lined" meant fiberglas. I don't see how it's possible to put actual glass inside a steel tank and not break it during shipment, nor do I see what advantage there would be. Also expansion and contraction from cold water being heated would seem to be a problem. Micky's description of thick vinyl sounds a lot like fiberglas.

But I don't really know, and am willing to be corrected.

Ed Pawlowski

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Oct 8, 2022, 9:27:27 AMOct 8
to
It is spray on glass. Frit is sprayed on the metal, heated, melted,
solidified.

Think of it as like a glazed pottery.

Bob F

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Oct 8, 2022, 9:40:35 AMOct 8
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Frit - Thanks for a new word.

I need to get around to putting in that new anode I bought a few years
back. I will have to lay the tank down to do it.

zall

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Oct 8, 2022, 10:10:19 AMOct 8
to
No.

> I don't see how it's possible to put actual glass inside a steel tank
> and not break it during shipment,

Same way it is done with some cooking vessels.

> nor do I see what advantage there would be.

The water isnt in contact with the steel.

> Also expansion and contraction from cold water being heated would seem
> to be a problem.

No, it works fine with cooking vessels which get much hotter.

> Micky's description of thick vinyl sounds a lot like fiberglas.

Vinyl is nothing like fiberglass.

> But I don't really know,

That's obvious.

> and am willing to be corrected.

And just have been.

Peeler

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Oct 8, 2022, 11:08:37 AMOct 8
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On Sun, 09 Oct 2022 01:10:05 +1100, zall, better known as cantankerous
trolling senile geezer Rodent Speed, wrote:

<FLUSH the abnormal trolling senile cretin's latest trollshit unread>

--
Tim+ about trolling Rodent Speed:
He is by far the most persistent troll who seems to be able to get under the
skin of folk who really should know better. Since when did arguing with a
troll ever achieve anything (beyond giving the troll pleasure)?
MID: <1421057667.659518815.743...@news.individual.net>

micky

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Oct 8, 2022, 2:25:37 PMOct 8
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In alt.home.repair, on Sat, 8 Oct 2022 06:40:24 -0700, Bob F
To save you from reading all my research on this, this section, I'll
tell you that I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. No evidence so far
of anybody making vinyl lined tanks, whether they called them
glass-lined or not.

It's conceivable the one I took apart was not labeled glass-lined. I
might have thought it was because the one I had just installed had that
label. Hmmm. If I'd known that some ARE glass lined, I wouldn't have
been so willing to accept the one with the crushed top and the input
pipe being no longer perfectly vertical. I figured that couldn't hurt
vinyl but it could hurt glass.

Could the glass chip and get into my hot water? I'd hate to get the
glass in my washcloth and then try to wash myself. Once in college I
pulled a piece of paper out of my wastebasket to make a paper wad for
throwing, and I'd forgotten that a thermometer in a broken glass tube
was in the trash and I cut up my hands wadding the paper. Not badly
but in several places.


Sears is out of business I think, so that will make it harder***, but I
plan to look. But if I do find the very same model, it might merely
say, "glass-lined" with no description of what that means. AFAICR,
that's what it said when I first bought one or more of them.

***But google proved me wrong:
https://www.sears.com/appliances-water-heaters/b-1020026?Tank%20Style=Tall&filterList=Tank%20Style&shipOrDelivery=true
This page only has 15 electric water heaters
I pickewd one at random
https://www.sears.com/ge-appliances-ge40t10bam-40gal-tall-electric-water-heater/p-A088743051
and it says it's a "gray water heater" ??????????????? Who needs
that? And how come it doesn't say that on the summary page, only the
detail page. It sounds like something important.

Den't read this. Only included because it shows that AOSmith was/is one
of the makers of Sears WHs.
https://inspectapedia.com/plumbing/Sears-Kenmore-Water-Heater-Age-Manuals.php


So I used another tack and looked for glass-lined, and by golly, one is
by AOSmith:
https://www.lowes.com/pd/A-O-Smith-Signature-50-Gallon-Tall-6-year-Limited-4500-Watt-Double-Element-Electric-Water-Heater/1000216817
But it doesn't say anything about the lining.

There there are 114 under the home-depot section glass-lined tank:
https://www.homedepot.com/b/Plumbing-Water-Heaters/Glass-Lined-Tank/N-5yc1vZbqlyZ1z15c7l
But it doesn't say what that means.

But I found
Are A. O. Smith water heaters glass lined?
A. O. Smith changed the water heater market over 80 years ago by
introducing the glass-lined tank for all tank water heaters. By lining
the inside of the water heater with glass, heat stays within the tank
and protects the steel exterior from rusting and becoming a safety risk.
https://www.hotwater.com/resources/tank-water-heater-safety/
It sounds like it's real glass.

>>> I've always assumed that "glass lined" meant fiberglas.  I don't see
>>> how it's possible to put actual glass inside a steel tank and not
>>> break it during shipment, nor do I see what advantage there would be.
>>> Also expansion and contraction from cold water being heated would seem
>>> to be a problem.  Micky's description of thick vinyl sounds a lot like
>>> fiberglas.

Yes, but it didn't have the strands that fiberglass has. It was
slightly hard to separate from the metal case around it, because it was
pretty stiff and had been next to the metal for years and it was hard to
find a place to grab it, and I think I had to pry it away, but when I
did, it bent like a thick rubber mat meant to stand on at a work
station. It was milky to clear in color. That is, iirc you could see a
millimeter or two into it. I should have saved some of it but for once,
I didn't. (After I got it in two pieces and brought it upstairs, I cut
it in a lot of pieces to throw away with the weekly trash pickup, sort
of like in a Hitchcock episode.)

>>>
>>> But I don't really know, and am willing to be corrected.
>>
>> It is spray on glass.  Frit is sprayed on the metal, heated, melted,
>> solidified.
>>
>> Think of it as like a glazed pottery.

Not in my case. Not glazed at all.

>Frit - Thanks for a new word.

Yes, a good one.

>I need to get around to putting in that new anode I bought a few years
>back. I will have to lay the tank down to do it.

Because the ceiling is not high enough, I guess.


BTW, I noted the complaints from 3, maybe 4 people about my replying to
more than one person at once. I know Usenet is not email but for lack
of a Usenet authority, I checked with the greatest email sage I know and
she, Katrina, said it was fine. That that was how it was supposed to
wrok.

Maybe this will help. I'm not replying to specific people, so the
attribution line at the top doesn't reflect that I am. Rather, I'm
giving my opinions or facts and I put some of my lines after lines from
the preceding post (including lines from prior posts quoted in the
preceding post) so that if my meaning is not clear, readers can use the
quoted lines to tell what I'm talking about**, not to tell who I am
talking to. I'm talking TO everyone with every line.

**Like in this post, I don't explain that I'm talking about a water
heater, or that someone said it sounded like fiberglass. When I give
the distinction, that it doesn't have fibers, readers can look in the
line above to see that the suggestion was that it was fiberglass. For
the purpose of understanding my words, it doesn't matter who said that,
but if someone really wants to know he can find the attribution line, or
he can look in the list of preceding posts.

So I hope you will just read my words and not worry about who said
whatever I'm replying to. Except for a couple trolls, I regard
everyone here with the same respect and even when I disagree I don't
mean it to be personal.

Bob F

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Oct 8, 2022, 4:45:57 PMOct 8
to
Virtually every non copper or stainless steel water heater is glass
lined. Certainly every one I have ever bought or looked at was.

"Almost all water heaters have been made the same way for the past 60
years. They construct a steel tank, then bond vitreous glass to the
inside of it to keep it from rusting. "

https://www.waterheaterrescue.com/water-heaters-101/Inside-A-hot-water-heater.html

micky

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Oct 8, 2022, 11:28:24 PMOct 8
to
In alt.home.repair, on Sat, 8 Oct 2022 13:45:47 -0700, Bob F
<bobn...@gmail.com> wrote:

>On 10/8/2022 11:25 AM, micky wrote:
...
>> Sears is out of business I think, so that will make it harder***, but I
>> plan to look. But if I do find the very same model, it might merely
>> say, "glass-lined" with no description of what that means. AFAICR,
>> that's what it said when I first bought one or more of them.
>>
>> ***But google proved me wrong:
>> https://www.sears.com/appliances-water-heaters/b-1020026?Tank%20Style=Tall&filterList=Tank%20Style&shipOrDelivery=true
>> This page only has 15 electric water heaters
>> I pickewd one at random
>> https://www.sears.com/ge-appliances-ge40t10bam-40gal-tall-electric-water-heater/p-A088743051
>> and it says it's a "gray water heater" ??????????????? Who needs

So what is a grey water heater? I thought gray water was used for
irrigation or industrial cooling, not in homes and not for bathing.
Ewwww.

>
>Virtually every non copper or stainless steel water heater is glass
>lined. Certainly every one I have ever bought or looked at was.
>
>"Almost all water heaters have been made the same way for the past 60
>years. They construct a steel tank, then bond vitreous glass to the
>inside of it to keep it from rusting. "
>
>https://www.waterheaterrescue.com/water-heaters-101/Inside-A-hot-water-heater.html

I guess I visited the Twilight Zone.

They apparently put something heavy on the carton holding my current WH.
I didn't notice this until I opened the carton after I brought it home,
and the input or output pipe was not perfectly vertical. I pushed it a
little to solder in the house pipes. Is the glass liner broken? Will
pieces chip off and come out my sink or bathtub?

Bob F

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Oct 8, 2022, 11:40:02 PMOct 8
to
Only if you bent the actual tank. Even with the liner cracked, the anode
would probably protect the tank for substantial time. More likely you
bent the fitting or pipe going into the heater, I would think.

Any glass will sink to the bottom, and the hot water comes out the top,
So the glass should be no hazard.

micky

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Oct 9, 2022, 12:02:11 AMOct 9
to
In alt.home.repair, on Sat, 8 Oct 2022 20:39:49 -0700, Bob F
Whew! Although I don't know. I can imagine little chips almost
floating and being carried along by the current.

SPECIFIC GRAVITY of glass 2.4 - 2.8, heavier than I thought. I guess
you're right and I'm safe.

It's not like I'd change the WH if you said it was going to cut me. I'm
too cheap, lazy, and optimistic to do that. After all, much of the hot
water is used in the washing machine, must of the rest never touches me
and much of the rest just bounces off when I wash my hands. And if the
chips chip off when I'm not using the hot water, which is 95% of the
time, that would give them plenty of time to reach the bottom before the
current carried them away.

But now I have to cut open the current WH when it wears out, partly to
see if the glass has chipped, if it's lying in the bottom like you say
it will, and if it's really glass, or if I'm still in the Twilight Zone
and it's vinyl again. I'll post again in about 10 years after I cut
it open. Be sure to be here.

I never flush my tank and when I cut it open the last time there was
just about 3 or 4 tablespoons of little gravel.

TimR

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Oct 10, 2022, 10:09:19 AMOct 10
to
On Sunday, October 9, 2022 at 12:02:11 AM UTC-4, micky wrote:
> But now I have to cut open the current WH when it wears out, partly to
> see if the glass has chipped, if it's lying in the bottom like you say
> it will, and if it's really glass, or if I'm still in the Twilight Zone
> and it's vinyl again. I'll post again in about 10 years after I cut
> it open. Be sure to be here.
>
> I never flush my tank and when I cut it open the last time there was
> just about 3 or 4 tablespoons of little gravel.

Here, I'll save you the trouble. Here's a video by Matt Risinger where he cut open some water heaters.

I had not realized what vitreous glass was until I looked it up, I was visualizing something like window glass or a coke bottle. Turns out this is recycled glass crushed into fine sand and baked on, pretty close to something like porcelain on a cast iron sink. It is supposed to protect the steel from corrosion but no coating is 100% even new, and of course the attack happens at those small defects so it is concentrated. That's why you need the anode.

It would be nice if there were an easy way to test the anode.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF_dLlQ6RIo


Marilyn Manson

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Oct 12, 2022, 10:29:12 PMOct 12
to
They make flexible (actually "sectional") anode rods to eliminate the need
to "uninstall" the existing water heater (in many cases).

<https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rheem-PROTECH-54-in-by-0-84-in-Diameter-Flexible-Magnesium-Anode-Rod-for-Electric-and-Gas-Water-Heaters-SP8371B/205652259>

Marilyn Manson

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Oct 12, 2022, 11:06:10 PMOct 12
to
On Friday, October 7, 2022 at 5:15:51 AM UTC-4, micky wrote:
Another common place for a leak is through the pressure relief valve. You can
cap that too, but that is generally considered to be a really, really bad idea.

Water can leak from all sorts of places. Once the steel tank begins to rust (the
glass lining doesn't last forever) a pinhole can happen anywhere. Most times
the water will drip (appear) at the bottom, but that's because gravity sucks. You
don't know how far up the actual hole is.

I once had a gas WH that appeared to be leaking from the flue pipe *above* the
WH. A short time after the WH has recovered, water would begin to drip from that
cone shaped thing at the bottom of the flue pipe, right above the WH. You could
see water dripping from the flue and you could hear it sizzle as it dripped down
into the center of the WH. Sometimes there would be a puddle on the top of the WH.

What I finally determined was that the WH heater had develop a leak and water
was getting into the *internal* flue pipe. The flue gases were carrying the mist
up into the external flue, causing condensation. Once the flue started to cool,
the water began to drip down, because, as I said earlier, gravity sucks.

TimR

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Oct 13, 2022, 8:41:08 AMOct 13
to
In theory a tank should not begin to rust until the anode is consumed.

So if you had a way to measure the voltage difference, or if you just made a guess based on age and experience, you could have several plugged holes in the top of the tank, and just insert another flexible or short anode periodically. Maybe every 5 - 10 years. The heaters and thermostats can be replaced as needed.

I suspect an anode fails either by being consumed, or by being coated with scale.

Since the anode is electrically connected to the steel, I don't see an easy way to measure if it's working or not. With impressed current you can do the "instant off" test.

Marilyn Manson

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Oct 14, 2022, 11:53:58 AMOct 14
to
Both of my WH's lasted over 15 years, well beyond the stated warranty, so I'm satisfied with their lifespan.
Since I install my own, the only cost is the WH and associated parts. I'm OK with that.

Both gas so no "heaters" to replace, unless I needed to replace the burner, although burners going bad is
vanishingly rare, at least in my experience. Actually never happened.

Scott Lurndal

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Oct 14, 2022, 12:05:31 PMOct 14
to
Marilyn Manson <comawhit...@gmail.com> writes:
>On Thursday, October 13, 2022 at 8:41:08 AM UTC-4, TimR wrote:

>> Since the anode is electrically connected to the steel, I don't see an ea=
>sy way to measure if it's working or not. With impressed current you can do=
> the "instant off" test.
>
>Both of my WH's lasted over 15 years, well beyond the stated warranty, so I=
>'m satisfied with their lifespan.
>Since I install my own, the only cost is the WH and associated parts. I'm O=
>K with that.

My current gas water heater was installed Nov 1995. I've replaced
the thermopile once. Reliance brand, made in Ohio.

micky

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Oct 14, 2022, 5:32:08 PMOct 14
to
In alt.home.repair, on Wed, 12 Oct 2022 19:29:09 -0700 (PDT), Marilyn
Manson <comawhit...@gmail.com> wrote:

>
>They make flexible (actually "sectional") anode rods to eliminate the need=
>=20
That sounds like a very good idea. I only have less than a foot of
space above mine. Is there something showing on the top that shows
where I'm supposed to replace an anode rod?

An Amazon add for an expensive one $15p, says "Corro-Protec™ Powered
Anode Rod for Water Heater, 20-Year Warranty, Eliminates Rotten
Egg/Sulfur Smell within 24 hours, Stops Corrosion and Reduces Limescale,
Electrical Anode Rod Made of Titanium "

I would think the cheap ones do all the same things, except maybe don't
last 20 years.

micky

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Oct 14, 2022, 5:47:53 PMOct 14
to

Never mind about How. I watched a video.

In alt.home.repair, on Wed, 12 Oct 2022 19:29:09 -0700 (PDT), Marilyn
Manson <comawhit...@gmail.com> wrote:

>
>They make flexible (actually "sectional") anode rods to eliminate the need=
>=20

TimR

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Oct 14, 2022, 8:32:41 PMOct 14
to
On Friday, October 14, 2022 at 5:32:08 PM UTC-4, micky wrote:
>
> An Amazon add for an expensive one $15p, says "Corro-Protec™ Powered
> Anode Rod for Water Heater, 20-Year Warranty, Eliminates Rotten
> Egg/Sulfur Smell within 24 hours, Stops Corrosion and Reduces Limescale,
> Electrical Anode Rod Made of Titanium "
>

I'm skeptical about the powered anode on water heaters. They should work, but there's no easy way for a homeowner to know if they've failed or been set correctly.

When I was in public works we used powered corrosion protection, called impressed current, for gas lines. But we dedicated an electrician to doing the annual instant on tests in each area. You want the right amount of current. Either too much or too little is bad.

In a water heater they should protect against corrosion. I don't see how they could affect scale or bacteria though.
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