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Old 12-17-2012, 06:37 AM   #1
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Turning off hot water to fix 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in crawl space


I am going to turn the hot water off so I can cut a 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in the crawl space. The water heater is above the crawl space in the house. I'm hoping that the water in the water heater won't drain out when I cut the pipe with a ratchet cutter in the crawl space. That would be several gallons of water coming out of the water heater. Just want to cap a 1/2 inch CPVC pipe. Anyone can answer that ????

Hoping I won't have to do anything with the water heater. My plumber has came in and worked several times on the kitchen and bathroom faucets and never even touched the water heater. I also have opened the faucet valve in the bathroom when I turn off the water at the road and very little water comes out of the water heater. Is there some type of water valve system in the water heater that automatically stops the flow of water when you turn the main turn off valve at the road ?????

I need some information from this forum or I will have to contact my plumber or plumbers who work at Home Depot. I can't just cut the pipe in the crawl space until I know what is going on.


Last edited by steve3847; 12-17-2012 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:23 AM   #2
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Turning off hot water to fix 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in crawl space


If your working on the hot water there's suppost to be a shut off on the heater on the cold water inlet side.
There's also suppost to be an accessable main line shut off at the house that eveyone know where it is and how to shut it off in an emergency.

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Old 12-17-2012, 08:59 AM   #3
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Turning off hot water to fix 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in crawl space


Right now I am piecing together any information I can gather and have DIY forum tell me how to shut water heater off or I will have plumber come in and do that for me. I can easily go into crawl space and cut the hot water pipe and cap it but I don't know anything about water heaters. Going to take screenshots of water heater from Droid videos I have and see if anyone can help. Otherwise may take laptop into Home Depot and ask the two clerks in plumbering department who might know a little about water heaters. Should only cost 40 dollars to have someone come to house and shut the water heater off for a few hours then come back around and turn it back on. Maybe my plumber could show me what to do.
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Last edited by steve3847; 12-17-2012 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:41 AM   #4
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Turning off hot water to fix 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in crawl space


If your only working on the hot water then just shut off the incoming cold water line on the heater. Once it's off relieve the pressure by opening up a hot water faucet.
All that's going to run out is the water left in the line. May want to bring a bucket so your not laying in the water.
A simple Shark Bite cap could be used or prime and glue with CPVC glue.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:44 AM   #5
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Turning off hot water to fix 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in crawl space


Looks like you have a valve on both the hot and the cold pipes on the water heater. Shut them both off - as well as the main valve. Open one faucet long enough to relieve the pressure in the system then close it again. Go in the crawlspace with a small bucket and cut the pipe. Use a sharkbite cap if you aren't redirecting that stub to another fixture, or a sharkbite ball valve if you plan to use that line for another purpose (now or in the near future)
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:48 AM   #6
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Turning off hot water to fix 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in crawl space


It's not legal to have a shut off on the hot side on a water heater, may want to remove the handle when your done.
Using a ball valve instead of a cap would make a good place to drain the water in the line in the future, for service or to winterize.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:58 AM   #7
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Turning off hot water to fix 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in crawl space


The pic you posted shows that you have a ball valve on both the hot and cold lines.
Shut those off , then open a hot side of a faucet to drain it down as far as you can.
When you cut the line in the crawl space your going to have the remainder of the water in the hot line drain out.
It shouldn't be more than a couple gallons at the most.

Just encase I'm wrong get one of these .
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:37 AM   #8
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Turning off hot water to fix 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in crawl space


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
It's not legal to have a shut off on the hot side on a water heater, may want to remove the handle when your done.
Using a ball valve instead of a cap would make a good place to drain the water in the line in the future, for service or to winterize.
Can you tell me where this is in the code books? Never heard of this in all my years plumbing
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:54 AM   #9
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Turning off hot water to fix 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in crawl space


Looks like I may have to contact plumber. If I turn the two valves on top of the water heater I don't have a clue to what I am doing. Calling Ruud and ask them what I should do. I got the serial number and model number (PF40-40F). Maybe they would know who installed this water heater about 7 years ago. Can't remember if my mom, who passed in 2009, had Ruud or Rheem install this or was it an independent contractor. Maybe Ruud could trace who installed it through the serial number. Still might be guaranteed. Don't want to turn stuff off without knowing what could happen inside the water heater without water inside of it. Not to mention the gallons of water that could flow into the crawl space when 1/2 CPVC pipe is cut with ratchet cutter. Could stop water with a sharkbite or catch it with what I have in diagram to rubber hose going out through vent to the lawn outside. Ash Ruud and my plumber what to do. I just called Ruud and they told me call a professional plumber. The guarantee expired in 2009 and they don't know who installed the water heater. No pdf online manuals at Ruud. So will have to call plumber.

Looking back what I did in the previous few days actually I am lucky I didn't damage the water heater while cutting the cold water pipe in the crawl space because I assumed because the plumber turned the water off at the road and worked on the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom it would be safe to do the same in the crawl space with the cold water. However, the pipes in the crawl space are below the water heater. The plumber could have hypothetically left water in the water heater that is a cylinder. If he left water with a height of say 20 inches that could hypothetically be enough water not to damage or cause the lack of water inside the water heater and cause it to burn a heating element inside of it. I was lucky. I didn't analysis the problem correctly and think enough and that could have been a costly mistake. Stupid me. That is just how a water heater works to someone who knows nothing about them. I assume the heating element is in the bottom of the water heater but it could be anywhere inside of it far as I know. I was lucky and should have asked more questions with my plumber and two plumbers at Home Depot. Believe water runs into house and there is a tee fitting that runs cold water throughout house and the other connection goes to water heater that runs hot water to house. So I was lucky I didn't damage water heater possibly. My mind was more focused on priming and cementing the CPVC pipes together. Used a sharkbite anyway.
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Last edited by steve3847; 12-17-2012 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:58 PM   #10
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Turning off hot water to fix 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in crawl space


Why would there be "no water inside the water heater"? You're just capping a line in the crawlspace - no need to drain the tank.

Once you shut off the valves and relieve the pressure as described earlier, I'd be shocked if you lost more than a pint of water out of the line in the time it takes to cut it and shove a sharkbite on it.

But if you're more comfortable having a plumber do it, then by all means call one.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:11 PM   #11
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Turning off hot water to fix 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in crawl space


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Why would there be "no water inside the water heater"? You're just capping a line in the crawlspace - no need to drain the tank.

Once you shut off the valves and relieve the pressure as described earlier, I'd be shocked if you lost more than a pint of water out of the line in the time it takes to cut it and shove a sharkbite on it.

But if you're more comfortable having a plumber do it, then by all means call one.
I believe I see your logic turning off the two valves on top of the water heater and only a few pints will drain out and still leave the water heater with water in it. Guess the water heater would not get damaged. So water runs out of water heater at the top. It never occurred to me whether water ran out from the top or bottom of the water heater. I should have been more carefully with the water heater. I may try and turn the valves myself or have plumber come by and do it. Thanks for explaining that.

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Old 12-17-2012, 01:25 PM   #12
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Turning off hot water to fix 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in crawl space


Looking back what I did in the previous few days actually I am lucky I didn't damage the water heater while cutting the cold water pipe in the crawl space because I assumed because the plumber turned the water off at the road and worked on the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom it would be safe to do the same in the crawl space with the cold water. However, the pipes in the crawl space are below the water heater. The plumber could have hypothetically left water in the water heater that is a cylinder. If he left water with a height of say 20 inches that could hypothetically be enough water not to damage or cause the lack of water inside the water heater and cause it to burn a heating element inside of it. I was lucky. I didn't analysis the problem correctly and think enough and that could have been a costly mistake. Stupid me. That is just how a water heater works to someone who knows nothing about them. I assume the heating element is in the bottom of the water heater but it could be anywhere inside of it far as I know. I was lucky and should have asked more questions with my plumber and two plumbers at Home Depot. Believe water runs into house and there is a tee fitting that runs cold water throughout house and the other connection goes to water heater that runs hot water to house. So I was lucky I didn't damage water heater possibly. My mind was more focused on priming and cementing the CPVC pipes together. Used a sharkbite anyway.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:27 PM   #13
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Turning off hot water to fix 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in crawl space


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Can you tell me where this is in the code books? Never heard of this in all my years plumbing
I can see why it might be a bad idea to shut off both valves and leave the water heater on, as it could make the T&P valve drip (and things might even go boom if the T&P is frozen shut).

But code is another matter, I'm also curious if it really is code.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:36 PM   #14
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Turning off hot water to fix 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in crawl space


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Looking back what I did in the previous few days actually I am lucky I didn't damage the water heater while cutting the cold water pipe in the crawl space because I assumed because the plumber turned the water off at the road and worked on the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom it would be safe to do the same in the crawl space with the cold water. However, the pipes in the crawl space are below the water heater. The plumber could have hypothetically left water in the water heater that is a cylinder. If he left water with a height of say 20 inches that could hypothetically be enough water not to damage or cause the lack of water inside the water heater and cause it to burn a heating element inside of it. I was lucky. I didn't analysis the problem correctly and think enough and that could have been a costly mistake. Stupid me. That is just how a water heater works to someone who knows nothing about them. I assume the heating element is in the bottom of the water heater but it could be anywhere inside of it far as I know. I was lucky and should have asked more questions with my plumber and two plumbers at Home Depot. Believe water runs into house and there is a tee fitting that runs cold water throughout house and the other connection goes to water heater that runs hot water to house. So I was lucky I didn't damage water heater possibly. My mind was more focused on priming and cementing the CPVC pipes together. Used a sharkbite anyway.
Yours is a gas-fired water heater, so there's no elements in it that would burn out. But if you're going to drain it, you should set the gas valve to "pilot" until it's filled again.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:42 PM   #15
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Turning off hot water to fix 1/2 inch CPVC pipe in crawl space


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Yours is a gas-fired water heater, so there's no elements in it that would burn out. But if you're going to drain it, you should set the gas valve to "pilot" until it's filled again.
Actually... I'd turn it completely off, even the pilot.

When we put our old house on the market, I turned the heater to vacation/pilot. When we checked on the house a week later, I got scorching hot water out of the taps. That little pilot light kept 40 gallons of water steaming hot, maybe even hotter than normal.

An empty tank could conceivably be damaged by the pilot, if left long enough.

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