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Posted: 10/16/2008 12:06:00 AM EDT
How much of a PITA is it to put one in?

Is this a do it yourself project, or something I need professional help with??

I'm kinda pissed about needing to replace it at all. But, swear to god, looking at it tonight, as I cleaned out the place where its kept...that thing looks corroded as hell, and ready to go Mt Saint Helens on me.

And I just did the damn floors.

Link Posted: 10/16/2008 12:13:16 AM EDT
They aren't hard to install...but you need to have someone who has done it before work on it.  The fittings have to be sweated ( soldered ) together and you'll want to make sure it is powered up and set correctly.....so's that you don't boil the kids.
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 12:18:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/16/2008 12:19:43 AM EDT by FrankSymptoms]

Originally Posted By desertmoon:
They aren't hard to install...but you need to have someone who has done it before work on it.  The fittings have to be sweated ( soldered ) together and you'll want to make sure it is powered up and set correctly.....so's that you don't boil the kids.


What he said.

I've done them before, and wouldn't hesitate to do so again. If you have, say, installed a built-in dishwasher, or the engine on a car, it'll be a snap for you.

Also, not all fittings need to soldered; every one I've done has fittings that go from the galvanized pipe (which has threads) to a copper flexible hose, to the water heater itself (which also has threaded fittings).

The biggest problem (for me) is that they are kind of unwieldy: hard to move around, especially if you are doing it solo.


ETA Just exactly where does it look corroded? If it isn't on the tank itself, it's gtg. If the outside of the tank is corroded, it is time to replace it.
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 12:19:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By desertmoon:
They aren't hard to install...but you need to have someone who has done it before work on it.  The fittings have to be sweated ( soldered ) together and you'll want to make sure it is powered up and set correctly.....so's that you don't boil the kids.


Ok. Settings and such isn't a big concern, but the actual install... what are we looking at in hours? is it worth it to do it yourself?
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 12:26:48 AM EDT
It will take longer to drain the old one than to install the new one probably. They aren't hard at all. Use new copper flex pipe to connect the "cold in" and "hot out".

The toughest part is wrestling the old one out, and wrestling the new one in. They are kind of bulky. Be careful to not scratch up the new floors.

Flash a big smile at the hardware store guy, and they'll probably deliver the new one for you and haul off the old one.
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 12:33:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 4xDawn:

Originally Posted By desertmoon:
They aren't hard to install...but you need to have someone who has done it before work on it.  The fittings have to be sweated ( soldered ) together and you'll want to make sure it is powered up and set correctly.....so's that you don't boil the kids.


Ok. Settings and such isn't a big concern, but the actual install... what are we looking at in hours? is it worth it to do it yourself?


If you can hook up pipes/fittings or if you can solder/sweat then,as the other posters have said, it's more of a pain to get rid of the old one than put in the new one.

If you have the tools and you can do the work.....maybe an hour to install it prefectly....that's once you get the old one out.

Link Posted: 10/16/2008 12:34:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 4xDawn:
How much of a PITA is it to put one in?

Is this a do it yourself project, or something I need professional help with??

I'm kinda pissed about needing to replace it at all. But, swear to god, looking at it tonight, as I cleaned out the place where its kept...that thing looks corroded as hell, and ready to go Mt Saint Helens on me.

And I just did the damn floors.



Not that hard.  There should be unions installed that will allow you to replace the unit without hacking the pipe to shit.  You may need to sweat a bit of pipe, but thats not hard.
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 12:43:57 AM EDT

I'm kinda pissed about needing to replace it at all. But, swear to god, looking at it tonight, as I cleaned out the place where its kept...that thing looks corroded as hell, and ready to go Mt Saint Helens on me.



First thangs first, Dawn. Have a pro look at it. Or someone from the gas/water company.  Water heaters can get rusty & ugly in places where it don't matter. Sort of like rust on the hood of an old beater of a car... the car runs fine, it just looks nasty.
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 1:10:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/16/2008 1:26:19 AM EDT by 4xDawn]
Thanks so much for the replies. This is what I saw tonight, as I cleaned out the backyard, after the last round of contractors.





I don't open that closet often.

I just took this pic now, it looks REALLY bad to me...?

ETA!!!!!!!!

Its in a backyard storage closet that is just never used, or opened.

eta again...But that looks REALLY corroded to my untrained eye.

Only reason I even opened that door this evening was to clean up some stuff that was left behind and get my backyard back to kid friendly. Thats the place to store tools and such. I DON'T entertain there. *sigh* Its really gross.
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 1:26:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By xd675:

Originally Posted By 4xDawn:
How much of a PITA is it to put one in?

Is this a do it yourself project, or something I need professional help with??

I'm kinda pissed about needing to replace it at all. But, swear to god, looking at it tonight, as I cleaned out the place where its kept...that thing looks corroded as hell, and ready to go Mt Saint Helens on me.

And I just did the damn floors.



Not that hard.  There should be unions installed that will allow you to replace the unit without hacking the pipe to shit.  You may need to sweat a bit of pipe, but thats not hard.


ACK! Unions! Fuck UNIONS!

Unions Suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unions are..., what?

Oh, Nevermind. I was thinking of the other unions.
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 1:33:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/16/2008 1:40:30 AM EDT by Palm]
What you have there are leaks on the "waterflex" pipe connectors.  They were not tightened enough and are leaking just a little bit.  You might get away with just tatting them up, if not just replace them.  They are about $8 each.

If your tank is more than 10 years old, I would replace it as you are going to discover a leak one day in the next 3 to 5 years.

The new tanks are more energy efficient due to better insulation.  The unit you have is a gas water heater, so if you don't know what you are doing you should hire someone.  The problems are the possibility of a gas leak (which can blow up your house) and the vent on top never seems to go back the same so you have to rework it.

If it were mine I would replace the copper waterflex pipes,the nipples on top of the tank, and clean up the surface rust on the top of the tank shell.  Most of the time when water tanks spring a leak it is seeping and not a big flood.  If you have a drip pan under it with a drain pipe hooked up, you should not see any damage to your house.
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 3:51:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/16/2008 3:56:01 AM EDT by AZMAN-1]
Thanks for the thread Dawn, this prompted me to check mine out (who the hell ever inspects their water heaters???) it's not as bad looking as yours but it sure has a lot of years on it. I should probably perform a 'pre-emptive strike' and replace it before it goes nuclear and 'splodes!!!!

Just imagine it 'going' when no one is home, they make one HELL of a mess!!!...


ETA: They arn't hard to replace, it's pretty straight forwad as everyone has already said, the main thing is to make sure there are NO leaks or slight seeps even. Which is what it looks happened to yours...
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 4:11:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/16/2008 4:21:04 AM EDT by 444]
I just installed one within the last couple weeks and it is not hard at all. I normally don't do stuff like this but when I was told that it would cost a couple hundred dollar's for someone else to do it, I broke down and did it myself.

Drain the old tank.

Disconnet the earthquake strap.

There are three connections. Cold Water coming in, Hot water coming out, and a line connected to a pressure relief valve. The only thing that isn't completely straight forward about it for me and my tank was that the connections on the new one were in totally different places than the old one. On the old one, the three connections were on the side of the tank. On the new one they were on the top of the tank. So, none of the pipes/hoses fit. So, you just go to Home Depot (or whatever) and buy longer, braided hose to make the connections. Put white teflon tape on all the connections and you are good to go.

The tank isn't all that heavy.

In looking at your picture, the connections on your present tank are on top. The tank itself is in an outside closet. It looks to me like there is nothing to it. Actually, let me back stroke here for a second. It looks like yours is gas. Mine was electric. That changes things a little bit, but it still shouldn't be any big deal.

FWIW: I would replace it if it is more than six years old. Mine looked pristine. Worked fine. But, it was eight years old and like yours, it is in a closet like that. If it started leaking and I didn't realize it, it might leak into the house, might screw up the drywall, might start a mold problem.................... So, I figure a little preventitive maintainance before any of this happens is money well spent.
In my parent's house where I grew up back east the hot water tank is in the basement. When it would go bad and start to leak it was obvious, and it was leaking on a concrete floor that had floor drains. In the west, our tanks are in sheetrocked closets where some serious damage could occur if they were leaking for any length of time and we didn't realize it.
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 4:23:48 AM EDT
It's obviously a gas water heater, can you show a picture of your gas connection? Given the flex water supplies that will be easy but just want see how they've hooked up the gas. Flex as well or hard pipe?
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 11:29:13 PM EDT
It is gas.

I bought a new one tonight, and its going to be installed this Saturday. 50 gallon, and self cleaning. I've been reading up on it quite a bit, and think its doable. I have somebody I trust putting it in, and plenty of kid/cheap laborers to help!

I'll post after pics this weekend.

Again, thanks to everybody for the replies. I'm in the middle of a remodel of sorts, and never thought of even looking at the water heater.

Next in line in my house make-over are the bathroom cabinets, walls, and light fixtures.

I spent a big part of today reading up on controlling mold.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 12:52:56 AM EDT
As long as you are remodeling, go for it. I'm glad you have some husky freeloaders to help with the job. Just provide a case of beer, and most guys'll do anything!
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 10:59:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/18/2008 11:12:49 PM EDT by 4xDawn]
Well, it took MUCH longer then anticipated, but it was installed pretty easily.





I even had time left over to spend a few hours working on the bathrooms.    

I'm looking forward to being finished with everything.

Thanks again for all of the messages and support.


eta: The back side of the old one was even worse then it looked on the front. Pieces of the tank were rusted through and flaking off.
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 11:05:47 PM EDT
Two words if you have steal piping:  PIPE DOPE.

The tape by itself isn't good enough.

Link Posted: 10/18/2008 11:07:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MillerSHO:
Two words if you have steal piping:  PIPE DOPE.

The tape by itself isn't good enough.



?

Can you put that into terms a not too mechanically inclined female would understand?
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 11:07:56 PM EDT
Did you check for gas leaks with soapy water at the unions?

Although lighters work for gas checking, I personally don't suggest that method.
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 11:09:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Did you check for gas leaks with soapy water at the unions?

Although lighters work for gas checking, I personally don't suggest that method.


Yes!

Soapy water, and not lighters this time.
Link Posted: 10/18/2008 11:11:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 4xDawn:

Originally Posted By MillerSHO:
Two words if you have steal piping:  PIPE DOPE.

The tape by itself isn't good enough.



?

Can you put that into terms a not too mechanically inclined female would understand?


By looking at your pic, you don't need to worry about what I mentioned.
You didn't need to mess with any piping by the looks of your pic.
Link Posted: 10/19/2008 12:15:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 4xDawn:

Originally Posted By MillerSHO:
Two words if you have steal piping:  PIPE DOPE.

The tape by itself isn't good enough.



?

Can you put that into terms a not too mechanically inclined female would understand?


Pipe dope is a sealing paste that hardens with time and pressure.

The tape that miller was referring to is called teflon tape.  It's another sealing product, but, for the most part, it's not rated for natural gas.
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