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camerondon 07-26-2012 01:13 AM

Water Heater leaking at the nipples
I purchased a water heater from lowes a few days ago (apparently it was a non name brand 40 gallon). The water heater did not come with nipples so i purchased some from home depot and went at it with good ernst. I installed the nipples with teflon tape (3 wraps).

The installation went well, but my excitement was quickly clouded by the problem. I turned on the cold water from the inlet valve and the cold and hot at the top of the water heater were leaking :(. Bubbles and water pooling in that section where the nipple meets the water heater. I tightened it and it didnt seem to stop. So I proceded to untighten everything and start over. This time i did it a little bit tigher (i have dielectric nipples). I put everything back together turned it on and again a leak from the same spots. It pools and rises in the same section :(. I pulled everything apart again and this time looking at the cold inlet side the dielectric cap had come off. (the dielectric nipples from home depot have caps on the nipples on both sides). So since i thought i could have done the water heater too tight i went back to lowes today and replaced it. This time for a name brand whirlpool water heater. I also bought nipples from them and pipe joint. Put everything back together and again it leaks :(.

What am i doing wrong? I have taken it apart and put it back together 7 times. I have gone to lowes 3 times and home depot 5 times. I replaced the lines. I have put joint compound in.

Should i return it and buy one from home depot (a GE with crappy reviews but it has nipples) or what? I mean what could the issue be. I feel it is also impossible to have the same problem twice.

Thank you in advance. I am very very frustrated.

oh'mike 07-26-2012 06:16 AM

Buy some TFE paste--pipe dope---and use that and the teflon tape---let us know if that worked.

oh'mike 07-26-2012 06:51 AM

Sorry--just read the entire post---and see that you did use dope and tape---

Sounds like a defective unit---take it back---

DangerMouse 07-26-2012 07:11 AM

Sounds like a batch of defects that made it past the "inspector".
Like you suggested, I'd try a different brand/model as well.


ChrisDIY 07-26-2012 08:09 AM

What do you think is defective the tank or the nipples? Can you get separate dielectric unions and use separate nipples? If I understand you correctly the nipples have there own male fittings? Dielectric I have always used are either sweat/female thread or two female threads.

Maybe one of the plumbers can back me up, but nipples are tapered, if you tighten too much it will cause it to leak?


AllanJ 07-26-2012 08:23 AM

Did you use enough Teflon tape? I'm told you need 4-1/2 turns around the pipe.

If you take it apart, use all new Teflon tape when putting it back together.

Alan 07-26-2012 09:10 AM

Why don't you go buy one from a plumbing shop?


Alan 07-26-2012 09:11 AM


Originally Posted by ChrisDIY (Post 974595)

Maybe one of the plumbers can back me up, but nipples are tapered, if you tighten too much it will cause it to leak?


No, the reason they are tapered is so that the more you turn them the tighter they get.

oh'mike 07-26-2012 06:14 PM

Alan has a very good point about buying your tank from a plumbing supply house.

If you ever have need for parts---owning a brand that has a parts supplier close by helps a lot--

Most,if not all, plumbing houses stock parts for what they sell---

The big stores do not--so you wait for a mail order package and hope the order is correct--while taking cold showers.

ChrisDIY 07-26-2012 07:56 PM


Originally Posted by Alan

No, the reason they are tapered is so that the more you turn them the tighter they get.

That's good to know...

This board is so useful.


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