Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Plumbing

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-30-2007, 11:58 AM   #1
sz8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 28
Share |
Default

Got heater replaced in attic


Being scared that the 10-year old heater will burst, I just went ahead
and replaced it.

I previously posted question as how to have it lifted to the attic and
got an answer that two people can do it. Well, after I got the heater,
I found it is next to impossible for me plus another person with similar
physical strength to get it there.

So, as a little adventure, I designed "home-made" lift, which helped me
to lift the thing up and lift the old one down. The rest of the work was
quite straight forward. Here are the photos.

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z..._photo/wh1.jpg

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z..._photo/wh2.jpg

Thanks,

SZ

sz8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2007, 06:59 PM   #2
Long-Time DIYer
 
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: On Albemarle Sound In Northeastern NC
Posts: 1,460
Default

Got heater replaced in attic


sz8,
You can get plastic water heater pans (they should be at least 2" larger all around than the heater base) that have a drain OUT of the attic in case of a leak. They should have at least a 1" drain line.
If I had an attic water heater, I would have copper pipe to handle that (and the T&P valve).
Did you set it in a pan, made for the purpose, with a proper emergency blow-off drain?
Mike


Last edited by Mike Swearingen; 10-30-2007 at 07:01 PM.
Mike Swearingen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2007, 10:13 AM   #3
sz8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 28
Default

Got heater replaced in attic


Mike,

Thanks for the response.

Our local code does require draining pan for WH installed in attic.

The pan I have was installed by the home builder and is made of
gavanized steel. But it has copper pipe of only 3/4" going out. Same thing
for T&P valve (not shared). Even though it is code compliant but I wish I
had larger pipe going out for the draining pan.

The problem is even if the draining pan and pipe are made perfectly, there
are still chances that the WH blows big hole and water can spill much further
than the pan can catch.

I wish our local code prohibit WH installed in attic.

Thanks again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Swearingen View Post
sz8,
You can get plastic water heater pans (they should be at least 2" larger all around than the heater base) that have a drain OUT of the attic in case of a leak. They should have at least a 1" drain line.
If I had an attic water heater, I would have copper pipe to handle that (and the T&P valve).
Did you set it in a pan, made for the purpose, with a proper emergency blow-off drain?
Mike
sz8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2007, 06:55 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 650
Send a message via AIM to Marlin
Default

Got heater replaced in attic


If you wish the water heater wasn't in the attic then why did you install the new one in the attic?
If the T&P valve is piped to a drain in 3/4 that's fine.
I've only seen a water heater literally burst once so odds are you are safe. If you want to be on the safe side though you could just install a larger drain. Their is probably some drain line around there you could tie into.
Marlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2007, 10:55 PM   #5
sz8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 28
Default

Got heater replaced in attic


The original one was installed in attic by the builder. All the pipes including
vent, water supplys, drains, gas etc are going there. How can I change
location of the WH to, say, garage?

Regarding the draining line, it is already made through the wall going down
and out, I don't see there is an easy way to redo it.

By the way, one of my neighbors did have one of his two WHs burst and
the draining pipe was not enough to drain all the water. His ceiling got
flooded. Fortunately, he was home at the time so he turned off the water
quickly. I can't image if no one is home to catch that, the whole ceiling
might fall down after couple of hours.

Thanks,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlin View Post
If you wish the water heater wasn't in the attic then why did you install the new one in the attic?
If the T&P valve is piped to a drain in 3/4 that's fine.
I've only seen a water heater literally burst once so odds are you are safe. If you want to be on the safe side though you could just install a larger drain. Their is probably some drain line around there you could tie into.
sz8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 09:33 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 'burbs of Detroit, MI
Posts: 465
Default

Got heater replaced in attic


Go tankless! I built a staircase where my WH used to be so I just plumbed in a tankless heater under the stairs. Technically, I guess the coils inside could burst, but at least there wouldn't be a minimum of 40 gallons coming out. The thought crossed my mind ahead of time so I put a shut-off valve on the line in. For the record, I love it compared to what we used to have!
moneymgmt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 10:30 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,508
Default

Got heater replaced in attic


So how often are you planning on replacing your WH to be sure it doesn't burst?
jogr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 10:43 AM   #8
sz8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 28
Default

Got heater replaced in attic


Hi,

The "burst" we were talking was not really that the whole WH blow up. We are
talking about that the WH can burst a hole and water will flow out continuously.

I guess tankless has much smaller water contacting components so it should have
much smaller chance to burst. So, what is life span of a tankless WH?

Is it easier to get problem since it turns on/off much more frequently? How long
does it take to turn on the burner when hot faucet is turned on?

Thanks,

Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymgmt View Post
Go tankless! I built a staircase where my WH used to be so I just plumbed in a tankless heater under the stairs. Technically, I guess the coils inside could burst, but at least there wouldn't be a minimum of 40 gallons coming out. The thought crossed my mind ahead of time so I put a shut-off valve on the line in. For the record, I love it compared to what we used to have!
sz8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 11:10 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 'burbs of Detroit, MI
Posts: 465
Default

Got heater replaced in attic


Quote:
Originally Posted by sz8 View Post
Hi,
I guess tankless has much smaller water contacting components so it should have
much smaller chance to burst. So, what is life span of a tankless WH?

Is it easier to get problem since it turns on/off much more frequently? How long
does it take to turn on the burner when hot faucet is turned on?

Thanks,
The unit turns on instantly when the water flowing through exceeds .4gal/minute. I get hotter water than i did with a 40gal tank and more quickly. Life span is supposed to be upwards of 15 years; I think my warranty is for 5. Tankless is very popular over in Europe and Japan, its only new in the US. Savings is supposed to be in the long term usage, up front they're more expensive (unless you go electric). I did it more for the space savings than for the cost savings.
moneymgmt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 11:15 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,508
Default

Got heater replaced in attic


I think the electric tankless are also more expensive upfront because you'll need electrical upgrades to big amperage circuits.
jogr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 11:21 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,508
Default

Got heater replaced in attic


What I was getting at in my first post is that you'll never be able to guess when a heater will leak and you'll be wasting a lot of money if you keep changing them in anticipation of a leak. I would rather put my money into making sure that a leak won't hurt anything. Improve the drain pan capacity and put a solenoid valve on your water heater inlet line hooked to a water sensor in the drain pan.
jogr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 11:41 AM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: 'burbs of Detroit, MI
Posts: 465
Default

Got heater replaced in attic


Quote:
Originally Posted by jogr View Post
I think the electric tankless are also more expensive upfront because you'll need electrical upgrades to big amperage circuits.
Not necessarily, I installed an electric one temporarily and it only uses 60amps. We have to be smart, ie you can't take a shower and run the dishwasher, but I've had no complaints. Once I have a second bathroom (this winter's project) I'll either upgrade my house from 100amps to 200 and run a second unit parallel, or go to gas.... but then I need gas lines and vents and combustible air and all that joy. Worry about it when I cross that road. Regarding cost, gas vs electric really evens out. In my house, gas unit would run about $1500 DIY, or the electric unit is $500 but add in the $1100 amperage upgrade.
moneymgmt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 02:17 PM   #13
sz8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 28
Default

Got heater replaced in attic


Given my current WH which has 9 year warranty, I think changing it every 10
years is a good idea.

Regarding auto shut-off valve/sensor, I don't know how reliable they are. It sounds
like a good idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jogr View Post
So how often are you planning on replacing your WH to be sure it doesn't burst?
sz8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2007, 03:58 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 650
Send a message via AIM to Marlin
Default

Got heater replaced in attic


Go to terrylove.com and look at the forums there. Tons and tons of information on tankless heaters.

To relocate to the garage you need to pipe gas to the garage. If you have a basement (which I take it you don't) it's easy to do. If not find out if their is a gas line running through the wall the house shares with the garage. Maybe their is a stove there? A fireplace? The line running to the attic? Or maybe a line runs through there to get to one of the mentiond fixtures. If so it's also pretty easy to grab the gas line. That is assuming the pipe is large enough at that point to run a water heater and whatever other applience it's feeding.
As for the water lines going to your heater hot water doesn't have to enter the system in any special place nor does the feed need to be located in any special place. What size water lines do you have going to the heater? Probably 3/4? You would need to grab just about any 3/4 hot line and any 3/4 cold line in the house (whatever is easiest to access) and run them to the water heater. If you have a recirculator it gets a little more involved.


Some sort of automatic shutoff valve for the water heater when it detects water in the pan isn't a bad idea. The only problem I see with that is if you have that water heater running with not water in it for an extended period of time it may start a fire.

To enlarge the drain I'd use 3in PVC and see if you can run it to tie into a bathroom drain somewhere on the floor below. This may require cutting out a bunch of sheetrock. Or you could say code be dammed and run it through your sophet. Just cover it so no animals go in and don't use a trap if you run it outside.


Last edited by Marlin; 11-01-2007 at 04:01 PM.
Marlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Attic Smell from A/C - I'm at wit's end! cidsamuth HVAC 17 09-06-2008 12:59 PM
Water heater problem bear1957 Plumbing 23 11-01-2007 03:53 PM
Difficult to carry/install water heater in Attic? sz8 Plumbing 1 01-07-2007 08:49 PM
Baseboard heater Help! jweinstock Electrical 6 10-28-2006 04:01 PM
Periodic release from (I think) the T&P valve on the water heater alexz Plumbing 3 08-15-2006 10:31 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.