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crankbait09 04-17-2011 12:00 PM

elevate electric water heater?
 
I have an existing Electric water heater that needs replaced. i have the new water heater int he garage where it has remained in the box for the past 2 years :(. I have dreaded installin git due to the intimidation of soldering the copper pipes where adjustments are needed. although the water heater is not "broke" i would like to attempt to swap the water heaters out here in the next few weeks or so.

ANYWAYS, the existing water heater is inside our house and is in one of our closets. so no where near outside temps. the water heater was installed on top of bricks which leaves it about 2-1/2" off of the floor.

why was the water heater installed on these bricks? since the water heater is inside, is this required for the new water heater as well? can the new water heater just be placed on the floor with no offset? what is the reason for bricks?

now i did read that bricks or some type of foot is required for GAS water heaters for air flow on the bottom. is this the case for electric?

VIPlumber 04-17-2011 01:14 PM

Why the original electric WH was installed on bricks, in a closet, is beyond me. Some installs I've seen can be real head scratchers. So the answer is that they do not need to be mounted on a platform inside a house. Is there round drip/drain pan underneath?

As for installing it in the garage, yes you will need to install in up off the floor to prevent the bottom of the tank from rusting out. Remember that you'll need to plumb the T&P relief valve safely into your drainage system (or outside) to prevent injury in case it blows off.

user1007 04-17-2011 01:18 PM

If you are doing this have you looked into on demand water heaters? The two Bosch thing I plunked in my California house are still working as far as I know.

And come on. You seem competent. Get a good tube cutter, flux and solder and you can do copper. I use plumbers because I need sign offs but none of mine would suggest they were practicing rocket science when soldering copper.

crankbait09 04-17-2011 01:20 PM

now...i do have a crawl space and the flooring in the house has a plywood sub floor. would that matter?

there is no drain pan at all. there is a drain a few inches away for any water spillage but no drain pan of any kind.

"Remember that you'll need to plumb the T&P relief valve safely into your drainage system (or outside) to prevent injury in case it blows off" can you explain this a little more? im not understanding.

crankbait09 04-17-2011 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdsester (Post 631194)
If you are doing this have you looked into on demand water heaters? The two Bosch thing I plunked in my California house are still working as far as I know.


the water heater has already been bought and sitting int he garage waiting for me to man up and install it. no need to buy anything else right now. were starting to replace and upgrade items so we can sell the home. not really concerned with high quality items.

VIPlumber 04-17-2011 01:34 PM

Quote:

"Remember that you'll need to plumb the T&P relief valve safely into your drainage system (or outside) to prevent injury in case it blows off" can you explain this a little more? im not understanding.
A T&P valve is a Temperature and Pressure relief valve. It allows the HWT to blow-off any excess temp or pressure build up so the tank does not explode like a bomb, literally. The safety needed when piping the relief valve is so that no one, human, animal or other could possibly come in contact with the discharge. For example, water boils at 212 F and the T&P is set to release at 210 F.

The correct way to pipe this is to run it directly to your drainage system, stopping 1" above the drain. This 1" gap is called an air gap and is the best defense against having the water possibly siphon back into your potable water, thus contaminating your house's water.

crankbait09 04-17-2011 01:47 PM

2 Attachment(s)
VIP - i think what your talking about is what you see in the center of the water heater (see photo).....it looks like some type of pressure release that drains in to the drain on the floor.......

VIPlumber 04-17-2011 01:54 PM

Yes that is the T&P relief valve. Sometimes it's on top of the, sometimes on the side. Glad to see they used copper. Looks like nice, clean install.

Take some more pics and keep them as a benchmark for when you are doing your install.

crankbait09 04-17-2011 02:00 PM

1 Attachment(s)
the new water heater actually has that T&P valve on the side. so i will have to cut the incoming copper and reconnect on the side.

soldering is the only thing standing in my way on this project. its pretty straight forward (so it seems).

i dont plan on removing it but is the expansion tank necessary?

just to confirm, there is no reason to have the water heater on top of feet correct? it can sit on floor?

heres another picture of existing conditions.......

bob22 04-17-2011 05:40 PM

I know in some areas, water heaters need to be 18" above the floor to prevent ignition of any gasoline vapors. Also, some places require a bollard (pipe in floor that sticks up about 3') to prevent a car from hitting it. Might want to check with local building authority before installing.
Practice soldering before you try it; pretty easy once you've done it a few times. Look on You tube for a lot of videos on how to do it.

VIPlumber 04-17-2011 07:53 PM

Quote:

just to confirm, there is no reason to have the water heater on top of feet correct? it can sit on floor?
So you're not installing it in the garage?

crankbait09 04-17-2011 08:56 PM

nope, its gonna stay in the closet like the existing one is. just doing a swap out

TheEplumber 04-17-2011 10:23 PM

Your project is actually pretty straight forward. You can set the new heater on the floor, no need for blocks. Re pipe the T&P to the hub drain. It can be piped in an approved plastic pipe if you don't want to solder. You can even get water heater flex lines with sharkbite connectors. That way, you don't have to solder at all and your heater is done. But I would suggest you buy the copper pipe, fittings, solder, etc. and learn to solder. It's really not hard.
Oh, keep the expansion tank. You prolly have a PRV or check valve on your water supply that does not allow the excess water pressure to be relieved into the city main

AllanJ 04-18-2011 10:27 AM

Does the floor ever get wet? Including from the water heater pressure/temperature relief valve which nowadays should not spill directly onto the floor?

Some homeowners would rather not have a legless water heater sitting directly on the floor. Also it is possible although more coincidental that putting the water heater on bricks got it lined up with the plumbing above to require much less cutting and soldering.

Some cities require that the water heater sit in a (circular) pan. This pan must be directly on the floor or on a solid platform although the heater can be put on bricks inside the pan.

LateralConcepts 04-18-2011 10:30 AM

Just measure the height of your new heater. They should be similar. You may not need to change the pipe configuration at all. Just reconnect using the existing dielectric unions. That could be why it was set on bricks to begin with.


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