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jim.flack 01-12-2010 05:32 PM

Hot Water Heater Leaking From Top
 
We have an older hot water heater that is leaking from the top of the tank onto the floor. Not a lot but enough. Specifically, it is leaking from the cold water intake brass tube, apparently where it hooks up to the tank. Water is apparently leaking into the small little well, fills up, gets warmed by the tank and then spills out on the floor.

I am hoping that it is the seal between the copper pipe to the tank. There is a lot of white corrosion around the seal so it doesn't look like 'die-electric' seal was used there. Can this be replaced easily?

I also noticed that there is a turn valve at the other end of the copper pipe, just before the pipe goes into the wall (and outside the house?). I tried turning it---not hard---but it wouldn't budge. Is this a seperate water supply turn off to the tank?

Since we're dealing with natural gas and hot pipes, I just want to get more information before I do anything. And I pray we don't have to replace the tank because we can't afford it. Any thoughts, suggestions, or ideas?

D'Brie 01-12-2010 09:21 PM

Some information
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jim.flack (Post 381660)
We have an older hot water heater that is leaking from the top of the tank onto the floor. Not a lot but enough. Specifically, it is leaking from the cold water intake brass tube, apparently where it hooks up to the tank. Water is apparently leaking into the small little well, fills up, gets warmed by the tank and then spills out on the floor. How old is old? If more than ten years old you'll be wasting money on repairing rather than replacing.

I am hoping that it is the seal between the copper pipe to the tank. There is a lot of white corrosion around the seal so it doesn't look like 'die-electric' seal was used there. Can this be replaced easily? Your tank is limed out, probably a good time to replace it.

I also noticed that there is a turn valve at the other end of the copper pipe, just before the pipe goes into the wall (and outside the house?). I tried turning it---not hard---but it wouldn't budge. Is this a seperate water supply turn off to the tank? This is your water heater cold supply line, when you close this valve, no more water will enter your tank.

Since we're dealing with natural gas and hot pipes, I just want to get more information before I do anything. And I pray we don't have to replace the tank because we can't afford it. Any thoughts, suggestions, or ideas?

..........

Where are you in WA?

AllanJ 01-13-2010 04:36 PM

If the leak is in the piping just above the tank, then it is not a big deal to replace just that piping, perhaps one nipple that screwed into the tank and a copper fitting or two just above.

You may have to chisel out the remains of the nipple in the top of the tank, be careful not to mar the threads so much that the new nipple doesn't make a leakproof joint.

Daniel Holzman 01-13-2010 04:56 PM

I had a similar problem when a galvanized steel nipple was installed into a hot water tank without a dielectric fitting. The white material on the nipple was due to corrosion of the galvanized steel. The connection was ruined, I had to replace the heater, when I did you can be sure I put in a dielectric union. No problems in 6 years.


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