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Old 10-05-2009, 12:55 PM   #1
cosmo
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Default Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

The water heater is shot. Anybody have a great reference? Looks like a new water heater is $450, and apparently George Mrorlan and others want another $450 for an install.

Anybody have a better route? It's a gas water heater and I'd rather not mess with it.

Thanks!!!

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Old 10-05-2009, 01:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

gas water heaters are only slightly harder than electric and those are as easy as it gets! I dont know how big your heater is but $450 sounds extreme. you can get an electric one for $150, wouldn't think a gas one would be that much more.

Read here for info on a tax credit of up to $340 for a gas water heater:
http://www.energytrust.org/residenti...WaterHeating1/

Consumer reports gives you a good idea of what you should be getting for the best value:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/a...ater/overview/

okay I did a little researcha nd I was wrong, $300-400 isnt that bad but I'd consider a tankless model. they are only a hundred bucks more and have much higher tax credits and rebates on them.

Paul
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

Is it in a closet? More bucks for those. Gas heaters aren't hard to swap out if you are so inclined, just make sure to check your connections with soapy water for leaks on the gas line. Make sure you get what type of gas you are currently using (natural or LP). Measure the height since getting close to what you have is some what important, the chimney is usually adjustable though.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

Gas water heaters are more expensive but they aren't that difficult to put in. Mine is in the garage and was easy to get to.

Depending on the size of the family look at an instant hot water heater. I looked into it but at the time we were thinking of moving and I didn't want to put it in. Now I wish I would have.

I just went to lowes and got one.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

If you hire someone like Morlan then ask them if they supply the permits, Plumbers have to have permits. You do not if you do it yourself.

I see them installed every other day without permits.

If you hire someone make sure they are licensed and bonded.

Good luck, they are not that hard to do yourself if they are accessible.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

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Originally Posted by iwanttofish View Post
If you hire someone like Morlan then ask them if they supply the permits, Plumbers have to have permits. You do not if you do it yourself.

I see them installed every other day without permits.

If you hire someone make sure they are licensed and bonded.

Good luck, they are not that hard to do yourself if they are accessible.
Are you saying there's no permit required if I do it myself?

Mine's in a basement bathroom. Plenty of room around it. 50 gallons. The gas is the only thing that causes me any fear of installing myself...the rest seems pretty straightforward.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

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Are you saying there's no permit required if I do it myself?

Mine's in a basement bathroom. Plenty of room around it. 50 gallons. The gas is the only thing that causes me any fear of installing myself...the rest seems pretty straightforward.
You will smell if you have a problem! Like I said just use some soapy water on the gas connection (you will probably only have one connection to hook up). If you do it yourself, it will take a little bit to purge the air out of the gas line through the pilot light, so don't sweat that it doesn't light right away. PM me if you do it yourself, I have tip that will help.



Of coarse there was that Myth Busters show where they caused a hot water heater to shoot through the roof!
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

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Originally Posted by Rank Amateur View Post
Of coarse there was that Myth Busters show where they caused a hot water heater to shoot through the roof!
that was a great show.. total destoryed that house... it looked like a bottle rocket going up
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

Your old gas waterheater is probably up on a stand. The new gas waterheaters are completely sealed, allowing them to set on the floor. You might need a longer piece of vent pipe. I would also replace the gas flex line with a new one, they get brittle with age.
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

Gas isn't hard to replace, the gas company is very happy to come and check for leaks and even light the pilot light when you're ready.

The question is: how much is it worth to lift water heaters and get rid of the old one?

I've gone both ways, buying and replacing my own (when I was YOUNG, and MY DAD came over to help) and paying George (when I was OLD). I had to haul the old one to a scrap metal place, I guess I actually got a few bucks in return. It was pretty nice to have someone else do ALL the work. $450 seems a bit high, but $200-$300 - it's a couple hours of Plumber Time and the delivery and disposal.
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

Have you tried radiator stop leak, the stuff for car radiators? Hey, just a suggestion to save you some money.
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

http://www.marathonheaters.com/consumers.html
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

Check with the county but in washington county no permit if you do it your self. Call them the number for Portland permits is (503) 823-1456

If it is in the house or basement you do not need to have it on a stand in the garage you do need a stand if it is a non sealed unit.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

Do not buy the cheapest one.
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:19 AM   #15
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

I would recommend a tankless water heater. You will never run out of hot water and you only heat the water when you need it. It costs ore but, well worth it.
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:59 AM   #16
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

Sears sells/installs. In my area, they were the cheapest for the gas model although I didn't have them install.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:35 AM   #17
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

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Originally Posted by chummer View Post
I would also replace the gas flex line with a new one, they get brittle with age.
Ding, ding, ding......we have a winner. The gas flex line replacement is NOT optional! They really are made for just one install, you start moving it around to install a new heater and you are just asking for trouble, like burned down house trouble. The flex line is cheap, replace it. Use plumber's putty and soap check every connection, even the one you don't mess with. New supply lines are a good idea too.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:54 AM   #18
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

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Originally Posted by James in Idaho View Post
Use plumber's putty and soap check every connection, even the one you don't mess with.

Plumbers putty on a flare fitting for a flex hose? I don't think so.


For the soap bubble test squirt some liquid dish soap (Lemon Joy because you're an ifisher, right?) into a coffee cup and add 1/4 cup of water. Use a 1/2" paint brush to brush the soap solution around every joint to look for leaks. As already noted, the Gas company is happy to come out and inspect.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:47 AM   #19
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

Yep, you're right. No putty on a flare/compression fitting. It's been a while (thankfully)! The supply lines will most likely need it.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:10 AM   #20
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

Quote:
Originally Posted by James in Idaho View Post
Yep, you're right. No putty on a flare/compression fitting. It's been a while (thankfully)! The supply lines will most likely need it.

Definitely on the tapered pipe fittings.
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Old 10-08-2009, 02:39 PM   #21
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

OK, let's make this mud puddle a little clearer. Do NOT use plumbers putty on ANY threaded connections! Plumber's putty is used for setting sinks on countertops, drains in sinks, and faucets in sinks. Pipe dope or teflon tape is used for threaded connections, although I would not use pipe dope on the flex lines.
So Cosmo, after reading all this, I'm thinkin' your thinkin' "I think I'll hire a pro to do this......"
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:30 PM   #22
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

Pipe Dope on gas... Yes
Teflon tape on gas...No
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:45 PM   #23
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

How to do it with pictures. http://www.hometips.com/diy-how-to/h...tallation.html
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:22 PM   #24
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

Put your leaky one on the curb. Place an add in Craigslist for a free leaking water heater and the metal grabbers will have it gone in less than 30 minutes
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:37 AM   #25
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

Quote:
Originally Posted by James in Idaho View Post
Ding, ding, ding......we have a winner. The gas flex line replacement is NOT optional! They really are made for just one install, you start moving it around to install a new heater and you are just asking for trouble, like burned down house trouble. The flex line is cheap, replace it. Use plumber's putty and soap check every connection, even the one you don't mess with. New supply lines are a good idea too.
One must use thread tape that is rated for Gas.
Regular plumbers tape will degrade with gas and cause leaks in time.
As mentioned the replacement of the flex line is mandatory.
All-in all an easy fix, But I do think $450 for labor would be a soak job.

Pete Grace
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Old 10-09-2009, 07:22 AM   #26
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

Having over twenty years of experience in the gas industry from working with NW Natural Gas, owning a company and sitting on national boards there is good information here and mis-information.

1. You do need a permit even if you do it yourself. This is to ensure the water heater has been installed to current codes. If a unit is installed without one and something catastrophic happens, your homeowners insurance doesn't have to pay for damages as the unit was not inspected and verified it was installed correctly. Permits are a pain but it will directly affect your insurance.

2. Sounds like you have an older home as the unit is in the bathroom. This is a no no today. There are several reasons, 1) lack of combustion air for standard units which is needed for proper combustion of the burner. The formula was you needed 1sq inch of free opening per 2000 input btu's which, meant grills have to be cut into doors/walls to meet this requirement. The only way around the combustion air requirement is with a sealed combustion unit which draws the combustion air from the outside through a double vent system. These units cost more but will may offset having to move the unit from the bathroom. 2) Bathrooms have exhaust fans which, further complicates the combustion process. Once the fan is turned on it sucks the air out of the room and should the burner turn on it will suck the oxygen it needs and can cause a smothering effect of the flame and CO can be produced. Also the fans will effect the draft needed for proper venting of the by-products and can suck the fumes back into the room. 3) You can use pipe dope on the iron gas fittings and teflon tape on the flex connector and water lines. The purpose of this stuff is not to seal but to keep fittings from seizing. The taper of the pipe fittings is what seals the pieces.

Instantaneous waters heaters are great for a small demand household but if you have a large family, especially one with teenagers they will have trouble keeping up with the demand and we all know what a cold shower causes

This might seem like a simple process and swap but do your homework, you don't want to risk losing your home over a few bucks.

Good luck, if you have any more questions I am here to help you out.
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Old 10-09-2009, 07:30 AM   #27
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Default Re: Water Heater Leaking...Recomendations???

Quote:
Originally Posted by FM2 View Post
Having over twenty years of experience in the gas industry from working with NW Natural Gas, owning a company and sitting on national boards there is good information here and mis-information.

1. You do need a permit even if you do it yourself. This is to ensure the water heater has been installed to current codes. If a unit is installed without one and something catastrophic happens, your homeowners insurance doesn't have to pay for damages as the unit was not inspected and verified it was installed correctly. Permits are a pain but it will directly affect your insurance.

2. Sounds like you have an older home as the unit is in the bathroom. This is a no no today. There are several reasons, 1) lack of combustion air for standard units which is needed for proper combustion of the burner. The formula was you needed 1sq inch of free opening per 2000 input btu's which, meant grills have to be cut into doors/walls to meet this requirement. The only way around the combustion air requirement is with a sealed combustion unit which draws the combustion air from the outside through a double vent system. These units cost more but will may offset having to move the unit from the bathroom. 2) Bathrooms have exhaust fans which, further complicates the combustion process. Once the fan is turned on it sucks the air out of the room and should the burner turn on it will suck the oxygen it needs and can cause a smothering effect of the flame and CO can be produced. Also the fans will effect the draft needed for proper venting of the by-products and can suck the fumes back into the room. 3) You can use pipe dope on the iron gas fittings and teflon tape on the flex connector and water lines. The purpose of this stuff is not to seal but to keep fittings from seizing. The taper of the pipe fittings is what seals the pieces.

Instantaneous waters heaters are great for a small demand household but if you have a large family, especially one with teenagers they will have trouble keeping up with the demand and we all know what a cold shower causes

This might seem like a simple process and swap but do your homework, you don't want to risk losing your home over a few bucks.

Good luck, if you have any more questions I am here to help you out.

FM2 is correct on the permits needed at least in this county, I do not know about all county.

http://www.google.com/url?url=http:/...75kjXI7_cGaG8A

Check with your county
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