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  1. #1
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    Default water heater connections bent

    Why would this happen?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    John,

    Is it possible that the right one is cross-threaded rather than bent?

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    John,

    Is it possible that the right one is cross-threaded rather than bent?
    Both nipples looked bent.

    As Dave Barry would say, Bent Nipples would be a good name for a rock band.

    There was evidence of leakage. Real fresh looking rust in the burner area and some on the outside bottom, and rust stains on the floor.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Possibly way too much torque screwing on the FA fitting?
    24" pipe wrench with a cheater pipe on the end? Make sure it don't leak.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  5. #5
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    The tapped holes into the tank connection lugs were tapped crooked? The tank was dropped?

    Those soldered connections are now really suspect as they are not "properly" soldered.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Collapsed interior flue causing the top to flex in and down?
    Could you see up or down the flue?

    Jim Luttrall
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Collapsed interior flue causing the top to flex in and down?
    Could you see up or down the flue?
    View from the bottom:

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Looks like just another job by the average plumber.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    I would really be looking hard for evidence of pressure damage t the heater. Most heaters I see have a concave combustion chamber that is uniform. I can't tell much from the photo but it looks like a bulge into the combustion chamber on the right side.
    Was there a functioning TPR valve and a thermal expansion device?



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  10. #10
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    I've seen something similar where the DIY homeowner had teleposts or screw jacks instead of proper support posts for a beam for many years, in the interim the WH had been replaced. The temporary jacks had been called out by a previous inspector, during a prior unsucessful and long expired listing. The homeowner simply removed the jacks without making any accomodations and the house settled down a good inch plus. Horizontal main and the main distribution from the hot water outlet were against the subfloor and joist and pushed down The drops for inlet and outlet copper was now too long and rammed/pinched against the tank. The result looked very much like your "bent nipple" situation and leaked at the failed connections as soon as the water was turned on, the top of the tank was suspect for weakness/fatigue/failure as well.

    A brute too lazy to re-trim the pipe could force the same thing.

    How did things look above? Any signs of settling or work on the structure above? Might be a clue for something structural. The WH is as you know suspect.

    Personally like to see a few inches of bronze between the copper and the steel. Any plastic/nylon on the nipple probably melted when they torched it.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 09-09-2009 at 05:34 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    I'm going with Jerry's "dropped tank" theory too...

    But then again... the tank could have been manufatured on a Monday, by a guy who attended a really "great" suberbowl party the day before...

    Here's another albeit implausable theory...
    The owner goes away for vacation... before he leaves, he turns of the gas... then turns off the cold water supply and the hot water shut off (thinking that he's going to prevent a leak...) and as the hot water (or air) in the top of the tank cools, the tank collapses... deforming the dome...

    Of course, that was the weekend that the earths orbit wobbled and the planets of the solar system aligned with the sun and...

    Hey, according to Judy Tenuta...

    "It could Happen..."
    Yeah, Judy, and Pigs can fly...


  12. #12
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    What you are seeing is a problem with pressure building up within the tank as it bulges the bungs that the nipples go into are going off center. Also the bottom of that tank is not normal. Did you check to see if the T&P is working properly (pulled the lever)?

    That tank is in need to be replaced. Period. No questions about it. Here is a picture of one where a lady called me saying she heard a loud bang come from her heater, and she e-mailed me these pictures. I told her leave the house immediately call the gas company and have them turn off the gas to the house.




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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    ...Did you check to see if the T&P is working properly (pulled the lever)?...
    Thanks. I never test TPR valves. I did call for replacement.

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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    I never test TPR valves.

    I never "tested" T&P relief valves either, but I did "operate" them by trying to lift the handle, if it was stuck, the "safety valve" was defective and needed to be replaced.

    If you start "operating" T&P valves you will likely find that 50%-75% are stuck (DO NOT FORCE THEM OPEN).

    I know, I know, we've been through this entire discussion and debate many times, but I STILL do not understand why HIs refuse to try to operate a valve which should FREELY operate, and, when it does not FREELY operate, write the SAFETY valves up for replacement.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I never "tested" T&P relief valves either, but I did "operate" them by trying to lift the handle, if it was stuck, the "safety valve" was defective and needed to be replaced.

    If you start "operating" T&P valves you will likely find that 50%-75% are stuck (DO NOT FORCE THEM OPEN).

    I know, I know, we've been through this entire discussion and debate many times, but I STILL do not understand why HIs refuse to try to operate a valve which should FREELY operate, and, when it does not FREELY operate, write the SAFETY valves up for replacement.
    JP: I have yet to find one that freely operates.


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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JP: I have yet to find one that freely operates.

    Aaron,

    I was being kind with the 50%, but, because I did so many new homes, and MOST (not all) of those worked, I could include them for the 50%. On homes older than just a couple of years, closers to the 75%, and on older homes, closer to 90%.

    Just think how inspectors miss calling T&P valves out simply because they do not EVEN TRY to operate them.

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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Just think how inspectors miss calling T&P valves out simply because they do not EVEN TRY to operate them.
    The issue with operating an old TPRV, as you know, is that it might be fine, not leaking until the HI trys it, then a flake of rust gets trapped in the seal, oh crap, now you made it leak. Basement suite, carpets, no floor drains, etc etc.Let the homeowner do the "testing" or better, have him call a plumber.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    The issue with operating an old TPRV, as you know, is that it might be fine, not leaking until the HI trys it, then a flake of rust gets trapped in the seal, oh crap, now you made it leak. Basement suite, carpets, no floor drains, etc etc.Let the homeowner do the "testing" or better, have him call a plumber.

    Wrong train of thought ... the HI did not make it leak ... the valve was, and still is, in need of replacement - the HI IDENTIFIED the T&P valve as leaking and needing to be replaced.

    Which is, after all, the HIs job.

    If you (any HI, not just "you") do not test the T&P valve because ... "something might happen" ... then that "something" is your reason for writing the valve up for replacement.

    If the HI is that afraid of the "something" happening, then the chances of that happening are great, and that means great enough to recommend replacement.

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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Quote Originally Posted by ben jacks View Post
    JP, Only an inspection fool would lift the T&P lever.
    I, and MANY ... i.e., MOST ... inspectors in South Florida lifted those levers, and only inspection FOOLS WOULD NOT LIFT the T&P lever.

    An inspection was made and the T&P was 'tested' during the inspection and noted that it was hard to operate on the report.
    Any inspector who refers to lifting the lever on a T&P as "tested" or "testing" the T&P is the fool. They should know that they are NOT "testing" anything, they are only "operating" the lever.

    If you claim you "tested" that valve and ever get to court you will be asked to described your test procedure, at what pressure you "tested" it and at what temperature you "tested" it. When you respond that you only "lifted the lever" you will look rather foolish as all you did was "operate" the valve to see if it opened or not.

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  20. #20
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Well, I'm certainly going to change my ways, I can tell you that.
    No, I'm not going to start operating TPR valves. I'm going to change the wording in my reports.
    Since the manufacturers, or Watts, anyway, say the valve should be operated annually by the homeowner and inspected every three years by a plumber, and I KNOW this is not happening, I'm going to recommend that a plumber inspect the TPR valve and thereafter the homeowner follow the manufacturer's instructions. And I'm going to document that I did not operate the valve, and why not (i.e., it's likely to leak).
    If it's true that most TPR valves, except relatively new ones, cannot be operated, then it makes sense to me that the person attempting to operate them should be in a position to immediately replace them, and that's not me.
    And another thought-- if you attempt to operate a TPR valve and it doesn't budge, aren't you obligated to shut down the water heater? I'm not going there.

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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    And another thought-- if you attempt to operate a TPR valve and it doesn't budge, aren't you obligated to shut down the water heater? I'm not going there.
    Not even as much as you would be obligated to shut off the main disconnect every time you see an FPE or a Zinsco. You KNOW they are hazardous.

    Or any panel with missing twist outs where breakers were ... you KNOW that is hazardous.

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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I, and MANY ... i.e., MOST ... inspectors in South Florida lifted those levers, and only inspection FOOLS WOULD NOT LIFT the T&P lever.



    Any inspector who refers to lifting the lever on a T&P as "tested" or "testing" the T&P is the fool. They should know that they are NOT "testing" anything, they are only "operating" the lever.

    If you claim you "tested" that valve and ever get to court you will be asked to described your test procedure, at what pressure you "tested" it and at what temperature you "tested" it. When you respond that you only "lifted the lever" you will look rather foolish as all you did was "operate" the valve to see if it opened or not.
    OK I feel the fool, I have said lifting the lever as testing the device. You are correct on saying operated. Here is the warning from Watts informing that the lever needs to be operated every year, also another warning that it should be inspected by a plumber every three years.






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  23. #23
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...ter-heater.jpg

    Is that some sort of sealed exhaust vent? I've never seen that around the heater vent.


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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Quote Originally Posted by Inspector 3500 View Post
    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...ter-heater.jpg

    Is that some sort of sealed exhaust vent? I've never seen that around the heater vent.
    That is a pretty common power vent water heater. It has a blower to move the exhaust gases out.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    I agree with John and I do not test or operate the relief valve due to the fact that if it has not been operated since installation most likley it will leak afterwards, the same goes with draining off some of the water in the tank to get rid of the mineral deposits in the bottom of the tank to make it more efficient and to protect the elements. I always record the model and serial number and list the age on my report. If the owner wants to test , Operate) and it leaks then they can call a plumber to replace it. Isn't that the same as turning on a closed valve or a turned off breaker or disconnect? How many of you inspectors or experts test their own relief valves each year? be honest and most likely the answer is 0. why then would you go to a straingers house and do it?


  26. #26
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra Cook View Post
    Isn't that the same as turning on a closed valve or a turned off breaker or disconnect?
    Not the same thing at all.

    One is a safety valve which is supposed to be free to work "whenever".

    The other are service valves for turning off when serving something.

    How many of you inspectors or experts test their own relief valves each year? be honest and most likely the answer is 0.
    In South Florida, I did.

    Up here, I've only tested it twice in 3 years.

    Do you test your GFCI devices monthly? I believe that is what they call for. *I* don't.

    why then would you go to a straingers house and do it?
    Because it is SUPPOSED to be tested, so it is not that we are "expecting" them to test it, we are "accepting" that they did not test it, thus we need to see if it is stuck or free.

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  27. #27
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    Question Re: water heater connections bent

    Jerry, what SOP do you adhere to?


  28. #28
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    If the T&P leaks after you operated the manual lever, then it should be written up as a fail.

    Every water heater I install I explain to the home owners that they need to hook up a hose to the drain valve and flush the tank once a year. At the same time they need to operate the manual lever on the T&P valve to ensure it is moving freely and allows a discharge of water. If the lever does not move or if the valve keeps leaking after the had operated the lever, to call me it needs replacing. I say 10% of my customers do as I told them out of the 10% I had maybe 2% of them call me due to the T&P not opening or kept dripping.

    Now as to having inspecting the T&P valve as one of the warning labels I posted says to do every three years, I never get calls for that. I have suggested that to my customers that it should be inspected while I am there, less than 1% take me up on my offer to inspect it, which I note on my invoice I offered to inspect their T&P Valve and they turned it down.

    What it is all about is C.Y.A. (Cover Your ) bet you can guess what the last word is, and no its not apple.


  29. #29
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra Cook View Post
    Jerry, what SOP do you adhere to?
    Why?

    None of them PROHIBIT anyone from doing anything ... they are all only MINIMUM 'do at least this' standards.

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  30. #30
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    Exclamation Re: water heater connections bent

    ASHI 6.2 C The inspector is not required to operate automatic safety controls or manual stop valve.
    NAHI 2.1 2.o Limitations and exclusions inspector not required to perform any test or procedures which could damage or destroy the item being evaulated.
    Relief valves on a hot water heater have two functions 1. relieve over pressureing condition 2. relieving over temperature condition. If you relieve the lever and it opens and then tell the customer it is ok , you are then making a false statement due to the fact that you have not fully tested the full function of the relief valve.
    The stanards apply to the Visual inspection of the building.
    National Home Inspection Exam. A home inspector should test automatic safety controls. The answer was false. it seems thats telling somthing not to do.
    I adhear to those stanards which CMA. You are right as a plumber to tell the customer that the valves should be tested according to the manufactor, but as a home inspector and plumber at the same time it is a conflict.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: water heater connections bent

    I've added blue highlighting)
    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra Cook View Post
    ASHI 6.2 C The inspector is not required to operate automatic safety controls or manual stop valve.
    NAHI 2.1 2.o Limitations and exclusions inspector not required to perform any test or procedures which could damage or destroy the item being evaulated.
    Relief valves on a hot water heater have two functions 1. relieve over pressureing condition 2. relieving over temperature condition. If you relieve the lever and it opens and then tell the customer it is ok , you are then making a false statement due to the fact that you have not fully tested the full function of the relief valve.
    The stanards apply to the Visual inspection of the building.
    National Home Inspection Exam. A home inspector should test automatic safety controls. The answer was false. it seems thats telling somthing not to do.
    I adhear to those stanards which CMA. You are right as a plumber to tell the customer that the valves should be tested according to the manufactor, but as a home inspector and plumber at the same time it is a conflict.
    You CAN lift that lever AND STILL adhere to those standards.

    As I said, they are MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS and DO NOT PROHIBIT an inspector from doing more.

    By the way, this part "If you relieve the lever and it opens and then tell the customer it is ok , you are then making a false statement due to the fact that you have not fully tested the full function of the relief valve." is incorrect as you are not stating that the valve TESTED "ok" but the the valve opened "ok" when the lever was operated - which is only a "operation" and not a "test".

    Now, as pointed out above in previous posts, if you say you "tested" the T&P by operating the lever, then, yes, you would be wrong.

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