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Old 10-30-2015, 05:54 PM   #1
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Water heater connections


Random thought of the day. I've replaced a handful of water heaters my houses and family and friends over the years. I used a few different ways to hook up the hot and cold water lines. From just cutting the copper pipes about a foot above the heater and then solder in new copper down to the water heater. Also have used braided steel lines to the water heater from the copper lines. What is the best way to do these connections?
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:07 PM   #2
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I did not use the braided lines because occasionally the bacteria that may be in some water has a great desire to eat the plastic. I did use solid copper flex lines because the tank is under the stairs and the sloppy work of a flex line will never embarrass me.

When installing for others I always soldered to the tank with copper and wiped joints.

You can also use the solid stainless steel lines.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/BrassCraf...g&gclsrc=aw.ds

http://www.zoro.com/sharkbite-water-...w&gclsrc=aw.ds

So basically it just depends on what trips your trigger.
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:17 PM   #3
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I have been using 3/4 pex, no unions, when its time to change the tank, just cut the line and reconnect with a coupling
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yodaman View Post
I have been using 3/4 pex, no unions, when its time to change the tank, just cut the line and reconnect with a coupling
So if you are replacing a water heater and the current piping is 3/4" copper do you cut the copper above the heater and solder on copper to PEX fittings? Then just screw on a 3/4" female thread to PEX adapter on the water heater and run PEX between them?

Is there any issue with PEX right up to the water heater getting too hot?
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponch37300 View Post
So if you are replacing a water heater and the current piping is 3/4" copper do you cut the copper above the heater and solder on copper to PEX fittings? Then just screw on a 3/4" female thread to PEX adapter on the water heater and run PEX between them?

Is there any issue with PEX right up to the water heater getting too hot?
you can sweat on a pex adapter or use a sharkbite coupling to go from 3/4 copper to 3/4 pex.

I have been installing HW tanks w/pex for 10+ years, have had no trouble with pex right to the tank. Think the pex temp is rated at 200 degrees.
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:44 PM   #6
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I know code entities treat pex differently, but UPC does not allow pex within 18" of a water heater connection- especially the T&P valve.
UPC applies this to gas or electric htrs.
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Old 10-30-2015, 06:57 PM   #7
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I know code entities treat pex differently, but UPC does not allow pex within 18" of a water heater connection- especially the T&P valve.
UPC applies this to gas or electric htrs.

it may be local, I have never asked, and never been flagged,
normally use a ready made extension for the pressure valve, think they are CPVC
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:00 PM   #8
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Pex or CPVC is not allowed to be within 6 inches of any flue of the hot water tank under IPC. Flue being the tin ones.
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:49 AM   #9
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Another question, most water heaters come with a 3/4" mailed pipe threads. Do you guys that solder just use a copper 3/4" female thread to copper pipe adapter? Or do you use some sort of dielectric union or some other method of getting the 3/4" copper pipe hooked up to the water heater?
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:07 AM   #10
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Usually just sweat x nut copper flex connectors. If a better looking job is required I'll use dialectic unions and hard pipe them
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:41 PM   #11
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E plumber don't they still provide the dielectric nipples with new tanks?

Ponch most areas also require you as a home owner to get a permit and have an inspection of any new tank installation.
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
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E plumber don't they still provide the dielectric nipples with new tanks?

Ponch most areas also require you as a home owner to get a permit and have an inspection of any new tank installation.
Yes they do, but trying to convince an inspector of that is tough sometimes.

Something else- Expansion tanks- what to do when the CW nipple has a heat trap ball in it? Kind of defeats the purpose of the tank.......
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:59 PM   #13
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I can't help you with stupid.. We have the same issues here with guys inspecting plumbing that passed a test and never worked a day in the trade. They recently changed it to requiring 7 years verifiable experience in trade with a test here.
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