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Old 04-15-2013, 07:11 AM   #1
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Install garden hose valve atop hot water heater?


I desperately need a garden hose as I've tilled up a new garden just outside my condominium. The easiest access I have for now without installing full plumbing from inside to outside is via the cold water intake atop hot water heater near the walkout basement door.

Is there a reason I should not install a garden hose fitting between the nipple on top of the water heater between it and its flexible hose?

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Old 04-15-2013, 08:10 AM   #2
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Install garden hose valve atop hot water heater?


Got a picture?
The issues I can see by doing it that way are, What happens when that valve or the hose connection leaks. (And they alway do) The waters going to be dripping on top of the tank.
The side stress on the threaded nipple when someone trips over the hose or as it's gets tangled and someone yanks on the hose may cause it to leak.

Going to have to also add a vaccum breaker to where the hose connects to the valve.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:45 AM   #3
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Install garden hose valve atop hot water heater?


Photo attached. I thought there might be a way to build in some type of tension relief on the hose, but don't have an ideas as of yet for doing that.

Also, as can be seen there's not a lot of vertical space to work with between the nipple and the copper the flexible hose is attached to; would a valve and vacuum breaker cause it not to fit? If not, could another hose be used to extend the flexible hose that could also inline the garden hose valve?

The long term permanent solution involves running copper from this area above the ceiling and through the house sheathing with fittings sweated accordingly, but that job is obviously a lot more involved and is unlikely to happen this season. I was hoping for some type of temporary solution that allows me to safely use the water supply without any significant changes to the plumbing in place, even if it's a little makeshift for now.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:07 PM   #4
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Install garden hose valve atop hot water heater?


Installations like that drive me nuts, those cheep flexible hoses should be outlawed along with the shark bites. plastic hose covered with braided Steel. that's like putting a chastity belt on a retired hooker, makes no sense.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:40 AM   #5
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Install garden hose valve atop hot water heater?


Javilles, there are probably a lot of things you'd see in this condo development you wouldn't like. That's the nature of newer condo developments, even higher end ones. Using better quality fixtures and infrastructure in the areas you typically don't see cuts into the builder's bottom line.

Be that as it is, I'm just looking for a safe temporary way to run a garden hose from this area before a permanent installation can be done properly. By safe I mean it won't leak, won't impact the function of the hot water heater and will be protected against all but a hard deliberate yank on the garden hose. It need not look pretty for now.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:54 AM   #6
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Install garden hose valve atop hot water heater?


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Be that as it is, I'm just looking for a safe temporary way to run a garden hose from this area before a permanent installation can be done properly.
Can you solder? Cut out the cold line, solder in a spigot and a ball valve shut off and you're done.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:11 AM   #7
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Install garden hose valve atop hot water heater?


The one thing you HAVE to take into account is securing the spigot. You do not want to be able to pull on the hose and have it bend the pipes. Do not just assume you can be careful enough to avoid it. People trip, accidents happen. You do not want to matters a LOT worse due to water damage. Temporary and plumbing are not really words to combine in a sentence...

As Joe points out, you'll need a backflow preventer. You do not want to have hose water and bacteria getting back into the tank, especially if it was connected that close to it.

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Old 04-16-2013, 08:13 AM   #8
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Install garden hose valve atop hot water heater?


Laundry units at one time had a hose connection but no telling what has screwed that up by now. If you have a washer that still has hose connections that may be a simpler possibility. As for clumsy people that may trip over the hose, put a coil in the hose in as close proximity to the connection as feasible. If you plan to throttle the water flow install a globe valve. In general ball valves are worthless for throttling.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:22 AM   #9
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Install garden hose valve atop hot water heater?


hammerlane, thanks for the suggestion. Thing is, if I'm going to do any soldering I'd rather spend the extra effort to do the permanent installation including the frost free sillcock and vacuum connector outside so that I won't have to redo anything later. Since that's more involved and I need it soon I'd rather do something just for now that doesn't require soldiering if possible.

Fairview, unfortunately our laundry is in a different part of the house.

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The one thing you HAVE to take into account is securing the spigot.
Absolutely. If there's not an off the shelf product that solves this, I could probably build some type of strain reliever myself, maybe using some extra hardware I have lying around and secure it to a stud.

I just thought there might have been some type of flexible hose with threaded connections I could install between the existing flexible hose and the intake nipple that would allow me to attach a garden hose quickly, and also undo it quickly if needed.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:26 AM   #10
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Install garden hose valve atop hot water heater?


Dont know about this idea but with some brass fittings and the below dual garden hose adaptor you might be able to adapt something.

As a note I have one of these in my garage to run two hoses off of one spigot and if you pull on the hose too much the black threaded nut likes to swivel and unloosen. Not too much of a concern in a garage if it drips unknowingly but in a basement above a water heater might be a different concern.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:40 AM   #11
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Install garden hose valve atop hot water heater?


Brass tee on top of water heater nipple then threaded spigot into the tap of the tee. Brass nipple out of the top off Tee for flex line to attach to??

Would need to worry about the dissimilar metals in contact unless you could figure out how to get a dielectric in there
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:48 PM   #12
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Install garden hose valve atop hot water heater?


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Brass tee on top of water heater nipple then threaded spigot into the tap of the tee. Brass nipple out of the top off Tee for flex line to attach to??

Would need to worry about the dissimilar metals in contact unless you could figure out how to get a dielectric in there
I was going to recommend the same set up that you did.
No worries about dissimilars, the brass tee and nipple will act as a dielectric.
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Old 04-16-2013, 01:53 PM   #13
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Install garden hose valve atop hot water heater?


The bad part of putting a tee straight into the tank is you'd be putting tension on a fitting that's absolutely NOT designed for it. And given how expensive water heaters can be, why would you put it at risk? If anything, pull a tee off it and run fresh pipe to somewhere you could screw it down securely. Better to avoid ruining an otherwise good water heater by half-assing something on it.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:04 PM   #14
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Install garden hose valve atop hot water heater?


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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
The bad part of putting a tee straight into the tank is you'd be putting tension on a fitting that's absolutely NOT designed for it. And given how expensive water heaters can be, why would you put it at risk? If anything, pull a tee off it and run fresh pipe to somewhere you could screw it down securely. Better to avoid ruining an otherwise good water heater by half-assing something on it.
He could still use the tee, but screw in a male shark bite x pex and then run the pex to some place that he can screw in a drop ear 90, then screw the hose bib into that.
This would take all the pressure off the tee in the water heater and put on the drop ear 90.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:25 PM   #15
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Install garden hose valve atop hot water heater?


Any downspouts nearby? Could you ask if you're allowed to harvest rainwater for your garden?

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