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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    California
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    16

    Default Water heater drain attachments.

    Two attachments to a Rheem water heater are new to me. House is a flip, 1962 remodeled. Galvanized pipes in attic with PEX lines now. The TPR valve is now routed upward, as is the drain line, which has an attacment. New to me. How do these work and how do I report?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
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    1,077

    Default Re: Water heater drain attachments.

    Several issues going on.

    The TPR drain pipe has PVC, which is not rated for this application. Second, the IRC state the TPR must drain by gravity.

    The drain looks like it may have a re-circulation pump installed so the water in the supply pipes is always hot. Many of the pumps are not rated for continuous service so should be on a timer to prevent premature failure.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    California
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    Default Re: Water heater drain attachments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Several issues going on.

    The TPR drain pipe has PVC, which is not rated for this application. Second, the IRC state the TPR must drain by gravity.

    The drain looks like it may have a re-circulation pump installed so the water in the supply pipes is always hot. Many of the pumps are not rated for continuous service so should be on a timer to prevent premature failure.
    Thanks, Bruce. Yes, I know the PVC connection is wrong on the TPR, and I've always pointed out the proper drain pipe going downward. Regarding the drain with a possible re-circulation pump, I did not find a pump, but will follow up inquiries with the flipper. The two I believe should not be connected in the attic in any way, especially the TPR and a re-circ pump for continuous hot water. These two are a newy to me. Especially, because I'm reporting quite few flips now.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    26,231

    Default Re: Water heater drain attachments.

    Photo with the PVC - In addition to the PVC issue and the 'going up and trapping the discharge line' issue is that the copper pipe coming out the other end of the PVC is too small (needs to be 3/4" minimum to match the outlet of the T&P valve ... looks to be reduced down to 1/2" or maybe even smaller.

    Photo with the red re-circulation pump - My recollection is that the pump is required (shall be) installed with the shaft horizontally, not vertically. That looks to be a drain connection, so no issue with the connection location.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
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    4,542

    Default Re: Water heater drain attachments.

    I call that a circulation pump.
    Those same type pumps are used to circulate hot water for floor heating and, yes, JP pointed out it is installed incorrectly in the pic.
    If you can't hear if the pump is running, put your hand on it.

    If they actually connected the TPR drain to that hot water loop, they either disabled the TPRV or there is no water getting thru.
    A connection to the drain is acceptable, but not necessary, because a connection to the cold side accomplishes the same thing thru the down tube inside the tank.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Water heater drain attachments.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I call that a circulation pump.
    I think that may be the current preferred term - those pumps "circulate" the water through the system (whatever system it may be); however, in doing so, the water from the heater is first "circulated" through the system back to the heater, where the water is reheated, then the same water is "recirculated" through the system.

    John made some excellent points to check for on its installation.

    That pump should be replaced with a new pump when installed with the shafthorizontal.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    California
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    16

    Default Re: Water heater drain attachments.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I call that a circulation pump.
    Those same type pumps are used to circulate hot water for floor heating and, yes, JP pointed out it is installed incorrectly in the pic.
    If you can't hear if the pump is running, put your hand on it.

    If they actually connected the TPR drain to that hot water loop, they either disabled the TPRV or there is no water getting thru.
    A connection to the drain is acceptable, but not necessary, because a connection to the cold side accomplishes the same thing thru the down tube inside the tank.
    Thanks, guys for the input. All good advice, as usual. I went to city, consulted with an inspector, showed him pics, and he consulted codes, generally concluded is appears to be a loop, maybe acceptable, but worth watching as a safety issue.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Water heater drain attachments.

    That surprises me. Worth watching? As the tank blasts through the roof?

    The TPRV is obviously compromised by that upwards angle. Rust can accumulate in there. Also restricted diameter, not installed per the manufacturer's specs times two. On top of that, we suspect the discharge tube feeds back into the water line!

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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