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  1. #1
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    Default PEX supply to water heater

    Is there a code against having the pex run all the way to the water heater? Never seen this done before!

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    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    I do not install pex around here. But I do know there is a minimum distance from the water heater. If I recall its 36" from the heater. I know the manufactures give the spec.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Zurn Pex states they can direct conncet to electric water heaters. On a gas heater it must be at least 6" away from the flue pipe. Here is the Zurn Guide, what you are looking for is on page 12. http://www.zurn.com/operations/pexrh...sApplGuide.pdf


  4. #4
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    That install has a lot wrong with it.

    Best

    Ron


  5. #5
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    That install has a lot wrong with it.

    Best

    Ron
    And what would that be?

    PEX is allowed for temperature and pressure relieve lines.
    It doesn't look like the PEX is closer than 6" to the flu pipe.
    It does need supported.....but a lot wrong with it??????


  6. #6
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Thanks all. Have a great father's day w/e.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  7. #7
    Kary Krismer's Avatar
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Is that in the attic? I don't think I've ever seen a water heater in an attic.


  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    I see it often on electric water heaters

    Half the time it is incorrect as far as the over all installation of the unit but I see PEX connected all the time.

    KK

    It is common practice around here to have water heaters in the attic.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    Is that in the attic? I don't think I've ever seen a water heater in an attic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    It is common practice around here to have water heaters in the attic.

    It is very common around here as well, it also very common to get big repair jobs that include replacing everything from the ceiling joist to the floor joist and moving the WH from the attic to.....somewhere other than the attic.


  10. #10
    Kary Krismer's Avatar
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by chris mcintyre View Post
    It is very common around here as well, it also very common to get big repair jobs that include replacing everything from the ceiling joist to the floor joist and moving the WH from the attic to.....somewhere other than the attic.
    With a proper drip pan I could see it wouldn't be that big of a problem. But it does seem like it would be a PITA to have to change the tank!

    BTW, I used to manage a multi-unit apartment building where every unit had it's own water heater. Showers (tubs) were much more of a problem water-on-the-floor-wise than water heaters.


  11. #11

    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    PEX is allowed for temperature and pressure relieve lines.
    It doesn't look like the PEX is closer than 6" to the flu pipe.
    In Oregon, PEX is not allowed for use as the T&P relief pipe- just figured I'd throw that out there so others reading this don't automatically think that it is ok everywhere.

    I believe the 6" clearance is to the draft hood as well, so it looks like it's too close to me. Also, what about pipe insulation?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    In Oregon, PEX is not allowed for use as the T&P relief pipe- just figured I'd throw that out there so others reading this don't automatically think that it is ok everywhere.

    I believe the 6" clearance is to the draft hood as well, so it looks like it's too close to me. Also, what about pipe insulation?
    Same here for Illinois, only metal pipes allowed for the T&P relief pipe.


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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    And what would that be?

    PEX is allowed for temperature and pressure relieve lines.
    It doesn't look like the PEX is closer than 6" to the flu pipe.
    It does need supported.....but a lot wrong with it??????
    Yeah. They shoulda used white PEX. Two red pipes to the sink is too confusing.

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

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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    That install has a lot wrong with it.

    Best

    Ron
    Agreed. The WH installation has a lot wrong with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    And what would that be?

    PEX is allowed for temperature and pressure relieve lines.
    It doesn't look like the PEX is closer than 6" to the flu pipe.
    It does need supported.....but a lot wrong with it??????
    Yep a lot wrong related to the installation of the fuel-fired WH shown in the pic.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Okay.......What? Insulation, support PEX?

    Last edited by Wayne Carlisle; 06-21-2010 at 07:29 AM.

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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    Okay.......What?
    1. draft hood not secured one if legs is partly disconnected from the heater.
    2. No type of union on the cold side.
    3. pex not properly supported.
    4. no vacuum relief valve installed codes require one if the heater is higher than any fixture.
    5. The picture is not 100% clear but there might be a clearance issue with the hot pipe and the flue pipe.
    6. Most put the pex at least 6" away from the draft hood as well as the flue pipe hence direct connecting it is wrong. Also I pointed that out in the pex manufactures installation guide.



  17. #17
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    On one of the plumbing forums I hang out on I found this gem of information, since you all are about codes.

    Quote Originally Posted by WestCoastPlumber View Post
    UPC 604.13.2 WATER HEATER CONNECTIONS

    PEX-AL-PEX OR PE-AL-PE tubing shall not be installed within the first 18" of of piping connected to the water heater.



  18. #18
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    1. draft hood not secured one if legs is partly disconnected from the heater.
    2. No type of union on the cold side.
    3. pex not properly supported.
    4. no vacuum relief valve installed codes require one if the heater is higher than any fixture.
    5. The picture is not 100% clear but there might be a clearance issue with the hot pipe and the flue pipe.
    6. Most put the pex at least 6" away from the draft hood as well as the flue pipe hence direct connecting it is wrong. Also I pointed that out in the pex manufactures installation guide.
    Okay....#1....picky but I don't know if it is a violation or not, but I'll agree one prong is not in the slot.
    2. Agree, flat ass missed that one!
    3. Already agreed on that one but don't know for sure. It may be supported to the 2X
    4. I am not aware of that one. Will you provide a code section?
    5. Might be a clearance issue, might not be...
    6. From your link;

    Zurn PEX must be kept at least 6" away
    from the exhaust vent of a gas-fired water
    heater.

    It may be 6" or maybe not but I would lean toward within 6".


    Okay as far as code we have..

    1. No type of union on cold side. By the way is that a code violation or a manufactuers requirement? Code section?
    2. PEX not insulated



  19. #19
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    TITLE 77: PUBLIC HEALTH
    CHAPTER I: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
    SUBCHAPTER r: WATER AND SEWAGE
    PART 890 ILLINOIS PLUMBING CODE
    SECTION 890.1230 SAFETY DEVICES


    Section 890.1230 Safety Devices
    f) Vacuum Relief Valve. Where a hot water storage tank or water heater is located at an elevation above the fixture outlets in the hot water system, or if the storage tank or water heater is bottom fed, a vacuum relief valve as listed in Appendix A, Table A (Approved Standards for Plumbing Appliances/Appurtenances/Devices) shall be installed on the storage tank or heater.



  20. #20
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Okay, Chicago codes require it. Don't know if Texas requires it, don't believe so but I can see where it's a good idea.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    Okay, Chicago codes require it. Don't know if Texas requires it, don't believe so but I can see where it's a good idea.
    WC,

    If you are the standard of what you claim to be (a texas muni inspector), it is no wonder why some of our Texas HIs carry on so about them.

    Of course even in the sticks, texas has code adoptions which pertain to plumbing, fuel-fired appliances, fuel gas codes, and building codes S/S by Counties, county seat adoptions, and municipal adoptions.

    The vent connector, the vent, and the water heater itself (referencing its own instructions, and references to ANSI, NFGC/NFPA, or IFGC, which further superceed should the issues not be addressed in a more stringent local code adoption/ammendment.

    Personally, I'd add, s/w clearance, failure to constrain valve, pex for TPR discharge a no if unrestrained (can't strap to WH itself), clearances which generally are 24" front and 2" for back and sides for this type WH.

    Amazing that you so often participate in such a manner (from stairs to electrical to plumbing), yet claim to be a muni inspector/building official ??since 1984 after 16 years of construction experience?
    No wonder ADM has the opinion he does with the statements you make about what Texas does and does not require (how a muni could speak for the state wide?). Combustibles (LIKE FRAMING) 2" from the WH - clearance. Single wall vent, connector and draft hood have clearances from combstibles. Above the "freeze line" water pipes/plumbing has to be protected from freezing. However since the OP is not in Texas, I don't think we give a hoot. NC IIRC is the OP.

    IRC is IPC based. Ron H. cited Illinois Plumbing Code, (UPC based) and made UPC references. Several states do not adopt the plumbing chapters of the IRC. Several States use plumbing codes that are UPC not IPC based. Most States which adopt the IRC do NOT do so without ammendments. Few States/counties/municipalities adopt the entire IRC as originally published and without ammendments.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 06-21-2010 at 11:57 AM.

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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    A.O. Smith states the clearances as follows. This is cut and pasted from the online instruction manual.

    Minimum clearances between the water heater and combustible construction are 0 inch at the sides and rear, 4 inches (102 mm) at the front, and 6 inches (153 mm) from the vent pipe. Clearance from the top of the jacket is 12 inches (305 mm) on most models. Note that a lesser dimension may be allowed on some models, refer to the label attached adjacent to the gas control valve on the water heater, see Figure 3.



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  23. #23
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    A.O. Smith states the clearances as follows. This is cut and pasted from the online instruction manual.

    Minimum clearances between the water heater and combustible construction are 0 inch at the sides and rear, 4 inches (102 mm) at the front, and 6 inches (153 mm) from the vent pipe. Clearance from the top of the jacket is 12 inches (305 mm) on most models. Note that a lesser dimension may be allowed on some models, refer to the label attached adjacent to the gas control valve on the water heater, see Figure 3.

    Ron H,

    Take a moment and breathe. Lets try logic and reason to get to the 2" clearance for side and back of THIS water heater.

    First off, here is a link (yes its a pdf file) to A.O.Smith Manuals for draft hood residential water heaters: http://www.hotwater.com/lit/im/res_gas/184165-003.pdf

    Now, LOOK at the picture from the OP. See the side restrictions of the structure? Recall, if you would that the WH is in an ATTIC. Think - Drain Pan - or in Illinois, think "Safe Pan".

    Now, I direct you to the very same page you selectively "cut and paste" language from, in the prior column of the very same page (page 7 of 24 of the pdf file) of the Manufacturer's (A.O.Smith) Instructions:

    Locating the New Water Heater.


    Caution


    Property Damage Hazard"
    - All water heaters eventually leak
    - Do not install without adequate drainage.
    Installation of the water heater must be accomplished in such a manner that if the tank or any connections should leak, the flow will not cause damage to the structure. For this reason, it is not advisable to install the water heater in an attic or upper floor. When such locations cannot be avoided, a suitable drain pan should be installed under the water heater. Drain pans are available at your local hardware store. Such a drain pan must have a minimum length and width of at least 2 inches (51 mm) greater than the water heater dimmensions and must be piped to an adequate drain. The pan must not restrict combustion air flow.
    We are directed to this section of the installation manual, earlier on page 4 of 24 of the pdf document and similiarly cautioned:

    Preparing for the Installation

    #4, Carefully plan the place where you are going to put the water heater.

    Correct combustion, vent action, and vent pipe installation are very important in preventing death from possible carbon monoxide poisoning and fires. see Figures 1 and 2.

    Examine the location to ensure the water complies with the "Locating the New Water Heater" section in this manual.

    We must acknowledge the working clearance requirement and servicing access in the front (width/depth) as well not just combustion clearance from the front (6") of the burner plate and gas controls in this attic installation.

    Hence my earlier statement regarding TWO INCHES CLEARANCE SIDES AND BACK - for the WH itself - this is not evidenced as met by the photographs - and the structure which requires protection from water damage includes the trusses. Perhaps if I had finished that thought more appropriately with the word "installation":

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr., View Post
    Personally, I'd add, s/w clearance, failure to constrain valve, pex for TPR discharge a no if unrestrained (can't strap to WH itself), clearances which generally are 24" front and 2" for back and sides for this type WH.

    Two inches minimum clearance from those combustible and not water impervious wood structural members are required for the properly installed DRAIN PAN (or other approved drainage protection system) for the pictured water heater, which is required for this ATTIC installation.

    Single wall vent pipe and B-Vent have their own combustion clearances.
    I continue to take issue with the offset directly off the draft hood.

    With sloping roof deck behind and above servicing flue may be difficult.

    P.S. if the pex for the system is correctly color coded (and from T above red pex would seem so), then I suppose the water heater could be installed backwards (inlet/outlet) (note color coding rings at nipples, probably swapped ).

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 06-21-2010 at 03:29 PM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Ron H,

    Take a moment and breathe. Lets try logic and reason to get to the 2" clearance for side and back of THIS water heater.

    First off, here is a link (yes its a pdf file) to A.O.Smith Manuals for draft hood residential water heaters: http://www.hotwater.com/lit/im/res_gas/184165-003.pdf

    Now, LOOK at the picture from the OP. See the side restrictions of the structure? Recall, if you would that the WH is in an ATTIC. Think - Drain Pan - or in Illinois, think "Safe Pan".

    Now, I direct you to the very same page you selectively "cut and paste" language from, in the prior column of the very same page (page 7 of 24 of the pdf file) of the Manufacturer's (A.O.Smith) Instructions:

    We are directed to this section of the installation manual, earlier on page 4 of 24 of the pdf document and similiarly cautioned:

    We must acknowledge the working clearance requirement and servicing access in the front (width/depth) as well not just combustion clearance from the front (6") of the burner plate and gas controls in this attic installation.

    Hence my earlier statement regarding TWO INCHES CLEARANCE SIDES AND BACK - for the WH itself - this is not evidenced as met by the photographs - and the structure which requires protection from water damage includes the trusses. Perhaps if I had finished that thought more appropriately with the word "installation":


    Two inches minimum clearance from those combustible and not water impervious wood structural members are required for the properly installed DRAIN PAN (or other approved drainage protection system) for the pictured water heater, which is required for this ATTIC installation.

    Single wall vent pipe and B-Vent have their own combustion clearances.
    I continue to take issue with the offset directly off the draft hood.

    With sloping roof deck behind and above servicing flue may be difficult.

    P.S. if the pex for the system is correctly color coded (and from T above red pex would seem so), then I suppose the water heater could be installed backwards (inlet/outlet) (note color coding rings at nipples, probably swapped ).
    Its funny you say take a moment to breathe. I woke up this morning with a real bad head cold. I did forget about the drain pain dimension requirement. Thank you for pointing that out. The reason I did not mention the drain pain clearances is the 2x4's are running at an angle, and with out seeing a picture showing the whole water heater installation. I assumed they would clear the base enough to allow for a drip pan if one was installed.

    Now as to the pex, I never installed the stuff since its not allowed by the local cities and towns I work in. But I have taken classes, that touched base on pex. I never was told that pex is color coded. I have seen whole house installs down in Southern IL where all the pipe work was done in one color. Which makes since why buy two rolls of pex to color code a plumbing system, that was never color coded in the past? You do not see red stripped copper used on hot and blue stripped copper on the cold side. Or the same for CPVC or galvanized pipe.


  25. #25
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Hasil View Post
    Its funny you say take a moment to breathe. I woke up this morning with a real bad head cold. I did forget about the drain pain dimension requirement. Thank you for pointing that out. The reason I did not mention the drain pain clearances is the 2x4's are running at an angle, and with out seeing a picture showing the whole water heater installation. I assumed they would clear the base enough to allow for a drip pan if one was installed.

    Now as to the pex, I never installed the stuff since its not allowed by the local cities and towns I work in. But I have taken classes, that touched base on pex. I never was told that pex is color coded. I have seen whole house installs down in Southern IL where all the pipe work was done in one color. Which makes since why buy two rolls of pex to color code a plumbing system, that was never color coded in the past? You do not see red stripped copper used on hot and blue stripped copper on the cold side. Or the same for CPVC or galvanized pipe.
    If I am not mistaken there is a reason for the color coding for heat. I will have to check on that but I believe that is the reason


  26. #26
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    The blue and red are just to make it easier for installers to tell the pipes apart. I imagine you don't see red and blue copper because it'd have to be painted on, which would chip off eventually and render itself useless.

    There isn't really such a thing as a good-looking Pex installation, it all looks cheap to me, at least compared to copper or iron with a finish to it. However there is such a thing as a bad-looking installation, especially with improper use of the colors. Had one guy that stubbed out for the toilet with red, even though it was a cold line feeding it. Oh well.

    I don't have much to add to this except to say that installing a heater in an attic is a really bad idea. Everything fails eventually, so you'll have to replace it eventually. Worst-case scenario it leaks through all floors of the house costing a lot of money. Best-case? You're still looking at a rusty, heavy, wet water heater that someone's got to carry through your house. Typically on a dolly with dirty wheels, all over your inexplicably clean carpet. Maybe it's because I've always had dogs or children around but it's like these people call stanley steamers minutes before we get there. Likewise installing a sump pump somewhere inside a finished basement is also a bad idea. That pump's going to come out at some point and it's going to be trekked through the house.

    Anyways, thus my one post in two weeks before the board nags me is fulfilled.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Hardesty View Post
    The blue and red are just to make it easier for installers to tell the pipes apart. I imagine you don't see red and blue copper because it'd have to be painted on, which would chip off eventually and render itself useless.

    There isn't really such a thing as a good-looking Pex installation, it all looks cheap to me, at least compared to copper or iron with a finish to it. However there is such a thing as a bad-looking installation, especially with improper use of the colors. Had one guy that stubbed out for the toilet with red, even though it was a cold line feeding it. Oh well.

    I don't have much to add to this except to say that installing a heater in an attic is a really bad idea. Everything fails eventually, so you'll have to replace it eventually. Worst-case scenario it leaks through all floors of the house costing a lot of money. Best-case? You're still looking at a rusty, heavy, wet water heater that someone's got to carry through your house. Typically on a dolly with dirty wheels, all over your inexplicably clean carpet. Maybe it's because I've always had dogs or children around but it's like these people call stanley steamers minutes before we get there. Likewise installing a sump pump somewhere inside a finished basement is also a bad idea. That pump's going to come out at some point and it's going to be trekked through the house.

    Anyways, thus my one post in two weeks before the board nags me is fulfilled.
    It's only heavy if its full of water! Two can carry it with little problem.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  28. #28
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: PEX supply to water heater

    I have seen many disconnected old water heaters that were left in the attics for eternity. They are heavy because of the mineral build ups. Now that I have posted, I hope the nagging header goes away.

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES


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