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  1. #1
    Don Stevenson's Avatar
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    Default Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    I'm new to this forum but was wondering if you guys could help me determine the age of my water heater. It is a Sears and Roebuck Model150-4028. Its serial number is 402859-1K16279. My home is 84 years old and since I just replaced all of the galvanized pipe with copper, I was thinking about replacing the water heater. I think is either from 1979 or 1959. I saw many guides on the web that assist with determining the age of a water heater but my problem is that I didn't know which brand was being manufactured for Sears and Roebuck. It is a 30 GAL 30,000 BTU unit. It works fine but does have a lot of sediment inside. Any help would be appreciated.

    VC

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    My charts are not helping with this number. Got any pics? A good wide shot of the entire unit and a clear close up of the data plate will most likely get you the info that you need in short order.
    If the unit is from 1979 it is time to retire that one.
    If the unit is from 1959 perhaps you need to leave it in place and install a webcam kinda like the fire station with the light bulb that has burned continuously for 110 years Livermore's Centennial Light Bulb

    Alton Darty
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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    I can't say which of your choices is accurate, however it really doesn't matter. A 52 year old tank or a 32 year old tank both should be replaced.

    I suppose a call to Sears may help, but I wouldn't expect much support from them. Look for an ANSI date code on the data plate, the appliance won't be older than that.

    Dom.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Thanks for your replies. I really appreciate the time you took to read my post and to provide some feedback.!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alton Darty View Post
    My charts are not helping with this number. Got any pics? A good wide shot of the entire unit and a clear close up of the data plate will most likely get you the info that you need in short order.
    If the unit is from 1979 it is time to retire that one.
    If the unit is from 1959 perhaps you need to leave it in place and install a webcam kinda like the fire station with the light bulb that has burned continuously for 110 years Livermore's Centennial Light Bulb
    I think I answered my own questions based on the look of the brand logo. I was alive in 1979 and logos did not look like this during the peak of the John Travolta disco era.
    I have attached a couple of photos and a little more information.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    I can't say which of your choices is accurate, however it really doesn't matter. A 52 year old tank or a 32 year old tank both should be replaced.
    I'm planning to replace it next weekend. It was just last week after completing the re-pipe and noticing all of sediment in the new hotwater lines that I started wondering how old it was. While Googling the web, I was directed to your forum where I had seen your members answering questions for people like me.
    When I bought the house three years ago, my home inspector told me that it was an oldie, in fact he told me that it was made of copper. I think he was incorrect with that statement because I touched the side with a magnet and it stuck. Anyways, a few photos are below, I ripped open the insulation to find the brand. If you guys have any recommendations for good brands, i would appreciate it. I would rather not purchase a GE from Home Depot or a Whirlpool from Lowes if possble. I'm looking for a 40 gallon natural gas standard water heater. I heard that Bradford White and AO Smith are pretty rock solid.
    One more quick question before you see the photos. Is that rigid pipe all the way up to the heater a code violation? I'm no inspector but since I live in earthquake country, it makes me a little nervous.

    Thanks in advance, VC
    LOGO

    NAMEPLATE

    WATER HEATER

    VALVE CLOSE UP


    Last edited by Don Stevenson; 10-29-2011 at 09:56 AM. Reason: wanted to thank the guys who responded

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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Hokey smokes Don!

    That thing should have given up years ago. I would not be surprised if that was 50+ years old.

    A few things to note.

    The T/P valve should be installed directly into the tank, not in a pipe above the tank. While the pressure relief will work, the temperature sensor needs to be well into the tank to operate properly. These older tanks were not supplied with a dedicated T/P fitting.

    The discharge line for the T/P valve should be extended closer to the floor. That one will spray anyone who is standing nearby. Assuming, the T/P valve is still capable of "popping-off".

    I don't like to see the exhaust vented through a masonry chimney. Not reliable.

    Older gas valves are difficult to shut-off and I like to see them replaced.

    No sediment trap, or possibly more accurately, the sediment trap is improperly placed.

    Seismic strapping is not adequate. Take a look at the documentation from the State of California.

    If I were inspecting your home, I would recommend you hire a licensed plumbing contractor to replace the water heater.

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Gunnar Alquist; 10-29-2011 at 01:10 PM.
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    Cool Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    It certainly is well insulated.

    This always fascinates me, I know insulating water heaters was a big fad a few years back, I have never seen a water heater that was hot to the touch.

    If the water is indeed 120 degrees lack of heat on the exterior seems to indicate it is already sufficiently insulated. More insulation is merely a 'feel good' addition.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Hokey smokes Don!

    That thing should have given up years ago. I would not be surprised if that was 50+ years old.

    A few things to note.

    The T/P valve should be installed directly into the tank, not in a pipe above the tank. While the pressure relief will work, the temperature sensor needs to be well into the tank to operate properly. These older tanks were not supplied with a dedicated T/P fitting.

    The discharge line for the T/P valve should be extended closer to the floor. That one will spray anyone who is standing nearby. Assuming, the T/P valve is still capable of "popping-off".

    I don't like to see the exhaust vented through a masonry chimney. Not reliable.

    Older gas valves are difficult to shut-off and I like to see them replaced.

    No sediment trap, or possibly more accurately, the sediment trap is improperly placed.

    Seismic strapping is not adequate. Take a look at the documentation from the State of California.

    If I were inspecting your home, I would recommend you hire a licensed plumbing contractor to replace the water heater.
    Thank for the advice and for pointing out some of the deficiencies of the current installation. I'm thinking this thing was made back when American made products were built in America and made to last. I just picked up a Bradford White BWC UI-40T
    FRN this morning from a local plumbing supply house and my plumber buddy is coming over tomorrow to replace and put this old beast out of service. I just wanted to know how old it is so that I can brag about it.
    Where should I vent it if not through the Chimney and is it not legal to use a masonry Chimney for a vent? What is unreliable about a masonry chimney? It is a dedicated utility chimney that is also used to exhaust my furnace and gas stove which sits right above it on the first floor. I think it will be a huge expense for me to remove and replace the chimney with a steel vent pipe since it runs right through the middle of the house. I'm a strong believer in if it aint broke don't fix it but I have not even found one person who says this it would be fine for me to keep using this old heater. Ii think it would be negligent for me to not replace this as soon as possible.

    Thx again, DS


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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Don, FYI, that may well be a copper tank, which would explain its longevity. The outer jacket is steel. The copper tank, minus the outer skin, could help pay for your new water heater. Someone looking for a storage tank for solar or wood heat would want that thing.
    When did Sears drop the 'Roebuck' from their name?

    There should be a metal liner in that chimney, to prevent leakage of combustion gas into the rooms upstairs. There may already be a liner, but you should see one there when you remove that vent pipe

    Last edited by John Kogel; 10-29-2011 at 10:55 PM.
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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    There is an inch of fiberglass insulation between the outer jacket and th

    e ank. That Sears "Homart" water heater was sold with a 10 year tank "guarantee" and that ended when the 60s did.

    The water heater was originally fitted with an "automatic thermostat" with operating temperature ranges from 130 to 170 degrees! (Warm was intended to be 130 degrees, high 170, and "normal" at 150 degrees!)

    No safety pilot, that came only with the 400. Flame lost gas keeps flowing.

    Brag away, you're looking at a vintage unsafe by modern "water heater" standards circa the 10th production month of 1959 mf'g product, shut it down, should be worth some extra cash if you prepare it for scrapping yourself.

    I seriously doubt its been drained monthly for its entire life, or serviced annually. That it was wrapped as it was on exterior is downright frightening.

    Homart as a Sears, Ro & Co. branded product showed up during the post WWII building boom, fizzled out about the time the guarantee on the tank for this WH did. Sears dropped the comma and the Ro... and developed the "Sears" logo sometime in the early or mid 70s IIRC.

    Full price, not on sale, this would have cost $85 1959 dollars. The "400" model at least had a "safety pilot".

    For your bragging pleasure See this newspaper ad offering your WH on sale for $75 and as little as $5 down (clickable link to archived newspaper ad on pg 7): NewspaperARCHIVE.com - Mansfield News Journal - 1959-04-22 - Search Newspaper Articles - 11348787

    You can see a slightly earlier Homart WH pictured on the last or second to last page of this "Homart" boiler installation manual of approximate vintage (lower left corner of pg 30/30) clickable link - pdf file): http://www.heatinghelp.com/files/articles/1001/362.pdf

    I would not expect a TPRV but a PRV (garden hose!); however seems to be a moot point, as it appears to have been condemmed (that big red tag hanging from the gas valve).


    Get at a minimum a Level II inspection of the chimney, and have a professional make the corrections for removing the WH vent connector and remediate. From the looks of that vent connector condition it seems it hasn't been professionally evaluated in a long, long time. Please have a professional perform the installation of your power vent direct vent closed combustion replacement bradford white water heater.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 10-30-2011 at 12:07 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Brag away, you're looking at a vintage unsafe by modern "water heater" standards circa the 10th production month of 1959 mf'g product, shut it down, should be worth some extra cash if you prepare it for scrapping yourself.

    I seriously doubt its been drained monthly for its entire life, or serviced annually. That it was wrapped as it was on exterior is downright frightening.


    I would not expect a TPRV but a PRV (garden hose!); however seems to be a moot point, as it appears to have been condemmed (that big red tag hanging from the gas valve).


    Get at a minimum a Level II inspection of the chimney, and have a professional make the corrections for removing the WH vent connector and remediate. From the looks of that vent connector condition it seems it hasn't been professionally evaluated in a long, long time. Please have a professional perform the installation of your power vent direct vent closed combustion replacement bradford white water heater.
    Thanks for the info. I have a couple of questions about your comments. Why is it so frightening that it was wrapped? Is the power vent an after market device? The water heater that I purchased does not have a power vent, I was just going to vent it up the chimney like it is currently installed. Should it be vented directly outdoors? The red tag is a warning stating that this local valve should be closed prior to closing the main valve. I didn't understand your comments about the TPRV and PRV? Please explain if you can. Thanks again for your comments. What parts on this will yield cash for salvage? Is there a bunch of copper? You are providing a lot more info than my home inspector did. I'm really glad that I will be getting it removed tomorrow. I didn't realize that it was such a hazard.
    PS Awesome find on the newspaper advertisement. I love that kind of stuff!

    Last edited by Don Stevenson; 10-30-2011 at 02:05 AM. Reason: Wanted to thank for newspaper adverisment

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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Stevenson View Post
    Thank for the advice and for pointing out some of the deficiencies of the current installation. I'm thinking this thing was made back when American made products were built in America and made to last. I just picked up a Bradford White BWC UI-40T
    FRN this morning from a local plumbing supply house and my plumber buddy is coming over tomorrow to replace and put this old beast out of service. I just wanted to know how old it is so that I can brag about it.
    Where should I vent it if not through the Chimney and is it not legal to use a masonry Chimney for a vent? What is unreliable about a masonry chimney? It is a dedicated utility chimney that is also used to exhaust my furnace and gas stove which sits right above it on the first floor. I think it will be a huge expense for me to remove and replace the chimney with a steel vent pipe since it runs right through the middle of the house. I'm a strong believer in if it aint broke don't fix it but I have not even found one person who says this it would be fine for me to keep using this old heater. Ii think it would be negligent for me to not replace this as soon as possible.

    As a general rule, it is required to get a permit from the local building department to replace a water heater. I recommend getting a permit and getting the inspector's opinion as well. I still recommend you use a b-vent.

    Thx again, DS
    Hi Don,

    The problem with masonry chimneys is this:

    We tend to think that hot air rises. Those that understand thermodynamics (that would NOT include me) tell me that what actually happens is cold air (being heavier than hot air) moves in under the hot air and pushes it up. Think of it this way: You have an empty glass. Well... It's not really empty, it's full of air. When you pour water into it, the water drops to the bottom of the glass and pushes the air out. A similar thing will happen with hot and cold air, except that the mass/weight difference is not as great.

    Now, we look at the chimney. The hot air from the water heater, furnace or whatever gas-fired appliance is vented into the masonry chimney near the bottom. Masonry chimneys are typically over-sized (a water heater generally uses a 3" B-vent, where a masonry chimney can be 12" square) and it is difficult for the hot exhaust gases to remain hot for the entire journey up the chimney. In the winter, that masonry gets cold and will cool-down the exhaust gases, which will stop the convective draft and prevent it from venting out. In addition, the suspended water vapor in the exhaust gases will condense-out onto the masonry. The water vapor is somewhat acidic and will deteriorate the masonry. In particular, the mortar in older masonry chimneys is often soft and crumbling. This gives these exhaust gases (containing carbon dioxide and, potentially, carbon monoxide) the opportunity to leak out of voids in the masonry and into the interior of the house.

    As a general rule, it is required to get a permit from the local building department to replace a water heater. I recommend getting a permit and getting the inspector's opinion as well. No matter what, I still recommend you use a b-vent.

    Hope this helps.

    Department of Redundancy Department
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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Stevenson View Post
    Thanks for the info. I have a couple of questions about your comments. Why is it so frightening that it was wrapped? Is the power vent an after market device? The water heater that I purchased does not have a power vent, I was just going to vent it up the chimney like it is currently installed. Should it be vented directly outdoors? The red tag is a warning stating that this local valve should be closed prior to closing the main valve. I didn't understand your comments about the TPRV and PRV? Please explain if you can. Thanks again for your comments. What parts on this will yield cash for salvage? Is there a bunch of copper? You are providing a lot more info than my home inspector did. I'm really glad that I will be getting it removed tomorrow. I didn't realize that it was such a hazard.
    PS Awesome find on the newspaper advertisement. I love that kind of stuff!
    All I can really answer is TPRV and PRV. TPRV = temperature and pressure relief valve. PRV = pressure relief valve.

    The TPRV or T/P or T&P (different ways of abbreviating temperature and pressure relief valves) will "pop-off" or vent water if the water in the tank becomes too hot or the pressure is too high. The PRV will only "pop" if the pressure becomes too high. A temperature and pressure relief valve is required for the majority of water heater installations. There are exceptions, but that gets complicated. If someone else wants to write about the exceptions, I yield the floor.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Thanks guys for the advice. I will need to find someone to inspect my utility chimney. It is definitely not lined with metal all the way up the stack. I have a one story house and so far have never smelled gas in the house and my CO monitor has never tripped so far. Perhaps I will install a flammable gas monitor too. Anyways, my plumber installed the new heater today. Please review and let me know if you see any problems. The good news is that I don't smell gas anymore around the water heater.

    How much do you think it will cost me to get me chimney inspected?

    Thanks in advance, DS

    New Bradford White 40 Gal



    Old Homart Retired at Age 52




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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    An expansion tank should have been installed

    The TPR drain line should extend down to within 6" of the drain pan

    There are two gas shutoff valves
    One before the sediment trap and one after the trap (yellow)
    Shutoff valves should be located before the sediment trap only
    The yellow shutoff valve should be removed

    Foil tape on the vent should not be used

    The flexable hot and cold supply lines are many times made of a material that will degrade when exposed to heat. They should not be that close to the vent pipe

    Hot water pipe should be insulated
    All WHs I know of have 2-3 feet of insulation that come in the box

    Where does the drain pan drain to?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    An expansion tank should have been installed

    The TPR drain line should extend down to within 6" of the drain pan

    There are two gas shutoff valves
    One before the sediment trap and one after the trap (yellow)
    Shutoff valves should be located before the sediment trap only
    The yellow shutoff valve should be removed

    Foil tape on the vent should not be used

    The flexable hot and cold supply lines are many times made of a material that will degrade when exposed to heat. They should not be that close to the vent pipe

    Hot water pipe should be insulated
    All WHs I know of have 2-3 feet of insulation that come in the box

    Where does the drain pan drain to?
    Thanks for the review Rick.

    1. What is the expansion tank for? Does that go after the TPR valve?
    2. I had a feeling that TPR line was too short. We ran out of pipe. I'll have to go purchase a short stub and extend it down to the bottom.
    3. Its kinda hard to see in the photo but the other valve that you see near the sediment trap is actually a tee capped. There used to be an old gas stove down there many years ago. Is it a code violation to have an valve installed after the trap?
    4. I kinda figured you guys would complain about the foil tape on the vent. Is it because the adhesive will melt when the duct is hot? I just wanted to seal any crack to make sure that all gases were vented up the chimney.
    5. I guess, I could get some longer flexible water lines. I felt them when the vent was hot and they were warm but I could hold on to them without any pain.
    6. I didn't see any insulation in the box for the hot water pipe. Are you talking about that grey foam insulation?
    7. The pan doesn't drain anywhere yet. I'm not sure what to do with it. My last heater had no drain pan. This is an unfinished basement so I suppose it will just drain on to floor. I suppose I could run a piece of PVC back towards the dirt part of the basement. I wish i could run it to a sump pump and have it pumped up to the my flower garden.
    Thanks again for your time pointing of the problems of my installation. I appreciate your comments.

    DS


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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    What is the expansion tank for?
    When water heats up it expands. If you have a closed water system (likely) there is now place for the water to expand to.
    The expansion provides a place for the water to expand.

    Does that go after the TPR valve?
    No.
    Goes on the cold water pipe, between the shutoff valve and the tank

    Is it a code violation to have an valve installed after the trap?
    Yes, Debris can collect on the shutoff valve and break off. The sediment trap will collect the debris before is gets to the gas valve on the WH, which could cause the WH gas valve to malfunction. That can be bad,

    I kinda figured you guys would complain about the foil tape on the vent. Is it because the adhesive will melt when the duct is hot?
    Yes

    I just wanted to seal any crack to make sure that all gases were vented up the chimney.
    If the vent is installed properly it will not leak fumes

    I guess, I could get some longer flexible water lines.

    Not longer, hard

    I felt them when the vent was hot and they were warm but I could hold on to them without any pain.
    Think about several years of being exposed to the heat

    I didn't see any insulation in the box for the hot water pipe. Are you talking about that grey foam insulation?
    Yes

    The pan doesn't drain anywhere yet. I'm not sure what to do with it. My last heater had no drain pan. This is an unfinished basement so I suppose it will just drain on to floor. I suppose I could run a piece of PVC back towards the dirt part of the basement. I wish i could run it to a sump pump and have it pumped up to the my flower garden.
    You might consider running the TPR drain pipe to the outside or to a drain in the basement.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    What is the expansion tank for?
    When water heats up it expands. If you have a closed water system (likely) there is now place for the water to expand to.
    The expansion provides a place for the water to expand.

    Does that go after the TPR valve?
    No.
    Goes on the cold water pipe, between the shutoff valve and the tank
    Is it a code violation to not have an expansion tank? Aren't these new water heaters smart enough to only fill up enough to compensate for thermal expansion of water? Is the expansion tank installed as a safety measure to prevent the PRV from activating during an over pressure situation?

    Thanks, VC


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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Is it a code violation to not have an expansion tank?
    In many areas it is a code violation to install/change a WH and not also install an expansion tank.

    Aren't these new water heaters smart enough to only fill up enough to compensate for thermal expansion of water?
    No

    Is the expansion tank installed as a safety measure to prevent the PRV from activating during an over pressure situation?
    No, the expansion tank is not installed to prevent the PRV from activating
    , but installing the tank will prevent the PRV from being needlessly activated.


    All that said
    Not all areas need or require an expansion tank

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Is it a code violation to not have an expansion tank?
    In many areas it is a code violation to install/change a WH and not also install an expansion tank.

    Aren't these new water heaters smart enough to only fill up enough to compensate for thermal expansion of water?
    No

    Is the expansion tank installed as a safety measure to prevent the PRV from activating during an over pressure situation?
    No, the expansion tank is not installed to prevent the PRV from activating
    , but installing the tank will prevent the PRV from being needlessly activated.


    All that said
    Not all areas need or require an expansion tank
    Well since I have my plumber coming back next weekend to install a new sink after I finish patching and painting the walls, I suppose I could have him install an expansion tank. I would be more convenient to have him install it before the valve instead of between the tank and valve but if the valve is closed it would be useless. I should have planned a little better before making the swap. I will check the local plumbing codes to see what are the requirements.
    Since my plumber was coming back to do some other work yesterday, I figured I could save some money by having him do the water heater at the same time.
    Check my install photo and let me know if I could install the expansion tank at the tee where I have that galvanized cap? Does the expansion tank have a check valve at its inlet? Thanks for your time, DS


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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    A "competent plumber" should have known what the requirements are, but you should check for yourself.

    The tee at the galv cap looks good

    The tank does not have a check valve.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Don,

    In my area, expansion tanks are not always required. If there is a pressure reducing valve (generally found adjacent to the main shutoff), an expansion tank is required.

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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    CO is colorless and odorless.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Hi Don,

    The problem with masonry chimneys is this:

    We tend to think that hot air rises. Those that understand thermodynamics (that would NOT include me) tell me that what actually happens is cold air (being heavier than hot air) moves in under the hot air and pushes it up. Think of it this way: You have an empty glass. Well... It's not really empty, it's full of air. When you pour water into it, the water drops to the bottom of the glass and pushes the air out. A similar thing will happen with hot and cold air, except that the mass/weight difference is not as great.

    Now, we look at the chimney. The hot air from the water heater, furnace or whatever gas-fired appliance is vented into the masonry chimney near the bottom. Masonry chimneys are typically over-sized (a water heater generally uses a 3" B-vent, where a masonry chimney can be 12" square) and it is difficult for the hot exhaust gases to remain hot for the entire journey up the chimney. In the winter, that masonry gets cold and will cool-down the exhaust gases, which will stop the convective draft and prevent it from venting out. In addition, the suspended water vapor in the exhaust gases will condense-out onto the masonry. The water vapor is somewhat acidic and will deteriorate the masonry. In particular, the mortar in older masonry chimneys is often soft and crumbling. This gives these exhaust gases (containing carbon dioxide and, potentially, carbon monoxide) the opportunity to leak out of voids in the masonry and into the interior of the house.
    Worth repeating. Now read this.

    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_inspection/fireplaces-chimneys-solid-fuel-burning-appliances-home-inspection-commercial-inspection/27464-anyone-know-code-unlined-chimney.html#post181337


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

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Here's two pics from a 90 yr old house. A chimney with a red brick lining is venting a gas water heater. Pic 1 is looking down from the top. It was also corbelled in the attic bedroom. I called for a metal liner to be added.
    Thanks for the link. Thx, VC


  24. #24
    Don Stevenson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    CO is colorless and odorless.
    Indeed. This is why I have CO monitors in every room. I might get a few canaries too.

    Last edited by Don Stevenson; 11-03-2011 at 12:36 AM.

  25. #25
    Don Stevenson's Avatar
    Don Stevenson Guest

    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    A "competent plumber" should have known what the requirements are, but you should check for yourself.

    The tee at the galv cap looks good

    The tank does not have a check valve.
    I always check the work of the guys who work on my home. It's not that I don't trust them, its just that I care about my home and family more than they do. Based on the hand out that read for water heater installation in Santa Clara, CA. I need to install an expansion tank ( no exceptions) because I have a pressure regulator on the main. I picked up a nice little unit at Home Depot last night and I will install it on Saturday. I'll post photos for your review once I finish. I really rushed into this water heater install without doing all of my research. Thank God for helpful guys like the folks here at this forum to set me straight.


  26. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by CarneyL View Post
    Hey, guys.
    So we are looking for a new house. Well, not actually looking, mu husband already found one which we both like. And the only thing that bothers us is that water heater. We can't indicate weathe it's really old or not. And the problem is that we won't be able to buy a new one anytime soon because we'll spend all our money to move in. Do you have any suggestions?
    Yes, I have a suggestion.
    You should think long and hard before making a commitment where you will no cash reserves. There are many many things that will cost you money that you do not expect, the water heater being a small expense.

    HUD may have a class on buying a home in your area.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  27. #27
    Don Stevenson's Avatar
    Don Stevenson Guest

    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Don,

    In my area, expansion tanks are not always required. If there is a pressure reducing valve (generally found adjacent to the main shutoff), an expansion tank is required.
    Yep. This is what I read. There was never a pressure regulator on my piping system before my re-pipe job. Thanks for enlightening me. Here a couple of photos of the expansion tank installation:

    Heater with some of the suggested fixes


    Close Up


    Strap


    Please let me know what you think and if you see any more glaring problems. I still don't understand why I need this expansion tank since I already have a PRV. It seems like a redundant safety interlock. Redundancy when it comes to safety is not a bad thing but I just wonder how will this tank help me.

    Thx, DS


  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    1,078

    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Stevenson View Post
    I still don't understand why I need this expansion tank since I already have a PRV. It seems like a redundant safety interlock. Redundancy when it comes to safety is not a bad thing but I just wonder how will this tank help me.

    Thx, DS
    The PRV and the expansion tank serve different purposes. The PRV is a safety device. If the pressue gets too high, it will release instead of the tank blowing up like a bomb. When water heaters explode they often litterally destroy a home. Search the web for water heater explosions. Mythbusters did an entire show dedicated to blowing up water heaters.

    The expansion tank allows for nomal expanion of water due to heating. The expanded hot water will increase the pressure in the normal supply lines in the home, particularly the cold water supply to the water heater. By installing an expansion tank, you allow for the normal expansion of water during heating but do not raise the pressure in your water supply.

    PRV is an emergency safety device. Expansion tank is a for normal daily expansion.

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

  29. #29
    Don Stevenson's Avatar
    Don Stevenson Guest

    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post

    PRV is an emergency safety device. Expansion tank is a for normal daily expansion.
    Great Explanation! This is what i will tell my buddies who have been telling me that I don't need "no stinkin expansion tank."


  30. #30
    Tom Comstock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    I really enjoyed this set of posts,, lots of good info and fun to read the banter,, and H.G.,, awesome!!!!!


  31. #31
    Don Stevenson's Avatar
    Don Stevenson Guest

    Default Re: Need Help Determing Age of Water Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Comstock View Post
    I really enjoyed this set of posts,, lots of good info and fun to read the banter,, and H.G.,, awesome!!!!!
    Indeed! I will for sure book mark this forum because the folks gave good advice and explanations for their reasoning.
    Now that I have the expansion tank, I have noticed that my system pressure is not spiking. It's only been a few days but before the installation of the tank, I noticed that my pressure gauge limit indicator would spike off the chart as if something in the system was hammering the pressure. Now that I have the expansion tank, the little red indicator on my pressure gauge does not move. The pressure of my home's water is at 50PSI. I set the limit indicator to 55 PSI and it stays there. Maybe this steady system pressure will give me a little more life out of my fixtures.


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