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Old 04-20-09, 09:30 AM   #1
KingTermite 
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Who else had the water heater go belly up this weekend?

So I go in to the garage yesterday about noon and I see a pretty big puddle in front of the water heater. It's leaking enough to hear....I'd estimate 1-2 gallons/hour. It hadn't burst yet, but I'm guessing the burst was imminent.

It's on a stand next to the furnace. The heater in one part is spewing a tiny stream of water at the furnace even. Underneath is a slightly raised wooden platform that is there for the water heater, washer and dryer (just to left). The stand is made out of that compressed sawdust type board (what my grandfather used to call horsesh*t board). It's soaked through and probably going to need to be replaced.

My landlord is notoriously slow to respond. I've posed about him before. We've had emergencies before that he's ignored until we handled ourselves and then took off the rent. We had to do this without his approval because he never even called back. This time we called him at 12:30p. In the meantime we turned pilot light off and shut the water valve off.

No response after a few hours, so I call back about 5:00p and told him this time was an emergency. He FINALLY calls back about 9:30p (obviously too late to deal with) and says his handy man will be over tomorrow at 2:30p.

Who else had plumbing related catastrophe this weekend?


OK, to be fair it wasn't a catastrophe because we caught it in time to keep the garage from flooding. Damn lucky (and good) too as we have some of my wife's family heirloom furniture in the garage.
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Old 04-20-09, 09:41 AM   #2
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Kharma for moving out of Florida

Really tho'....I had his happen to me in PA on a fairly
new heater and the great plumber I had said even though
he would love to sell me new water heater a year, there is some type
of mineral in water in certain places that will always rot water heaters
so we got a purifying unit and the last heater lasted the rest of our stay in PA.
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Old 04-20-09, 09:41 AM   #3
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My landlord is surprisingly speedy about repairs. It's amazing how fast things get done when there is no one to call other than yourself.

Our furnace went last October, and the hot water heater went on Dec 23. Lovely Christmas present....
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Old 04-20-09, 09:43 AM   #4
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Kharma for moving out of Florida

Really tho'....I had his happen to me in PA on a fairly
new heater and the great plumber I had said even though
he would love to sell me new water heater a year, there is some type
of mineral in water in certain places that will always rot water heaters
so we got a purifying unit and the last heater lasted the rest of our stay in PA.
Actually, the last big problem we had (Thanksgiving) required a plumber and he inspected the water heater then and said it was probably going to go bad before long. I believe I mentioned it to the landlord, but didn't expect him to do anything about it until it broke.

This is definitely not a new heater.....I'm guessing this thing has been around since the 80s maybe.
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Old 04-20-09, 09:46 AM   #5
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The heater going really sucks. It is really bad if it goes on a weekend. Two water heaters in twenty years in twenty years here and we are on out third. Hope everything works out and quickly!
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Old 04-20-09, 09:59 AM   #6
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The heater going really sucks. It is really bad if it goes on a weekend. Two water heaters in twenty years in twenty years here and we are on out third. Hope everything works out and quickly!
Yes, the "sponge bath" version of the morning shower isn't my preferred method of cleaning.
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Old 04-20-09, 11:01 AM   #7
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I say remove the pressure-relief valve and auto-shutoff mechanisms and turn the water-heater onto FULL. Let it blow up and send itself through the roof; then you'll have a real emergency. Anyone remember that MythBusters episode?
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Old 04-20-09, 11:03 AM   #8
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All you water heater owners get with the program, replace the anode rod and vacuum out the bottom of the tank every few years.
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Old 04-20-09, 11:07 AM   #9
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I say remove the pressure-relief valve and auto-shutoff mechanisms and turn the water-heater onto FULL. Let it blow up and send itself through the roof; then you'll have a real emergency. Anyone remember that MythBusters episode?
Yes!!! And be sure to get a video of it. DEATH BY WATER HEATER!
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Old 04-20-09, 11:18 AM   #10
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I say remove the pressure-relief valve and auto-shutoff mechanisms and turn the water-heater onto FULL. Let it blow up and send itself through the roof; then you'll have a real emergency. Anyone remember that MythBusters episode?
Yes, I was joking with my wife about it yesterday as the thing was leaking and making noises. She was not amused.
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Old 04-20-09, 12:35 PM   #11
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Is a building permit required to replace the water heater? You might want to check. That would also require an inspection. You mentioned that you turned off the pilot light, it's gas fired right? If your seedy, cheap landlord is sending over his handyman to replace you gas fired water heater, you really want to know that the gas line was connected correctly. A gas leak is much worse than a water leak.
Not to mention to see if the the relief valve on the heater correctly(see Mythbusters).
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Old 04-20-09, 03:28 PM   #12
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Around here, the gas-company comes out with a sniffer and inspects your set-up for free if you suspect a leak.
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Old 04-20-09, 04:34 PM   #13
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How funny. Yep, the 5 year old water heater looks like it's got a slow leak. The contractor who did our remodel is supposed to be coming out soon to check it out.

Fortunately:

1. It's a small leak. Maybe a pint or two a day - I can keep up with it with 2 towels
2. It's a heat-exchanger water tank. The boilers, which fires the radiant heat, sends hot water over to the water heater. Thus, it's less expensive than a direct-heat model. Plus should cause less catastrophe if it should completely burst.

Still... 5 years old. Sucks.
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Old 04-20-09, 07:34 PM   #14
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Tankless water heaters for the win!
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Old 04-20-09, 09:11 PM   #15
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It's a great time to buy a house, prices are down and a good selection. Just have a good inspection before finalizing the deal. Then if something doesn't get fixed, you know who to blame :-)
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Old 04-21-09, 09:17 PM   #16
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Old house the water heater was upstairs. Wife called me one day saying it was raining in the kitchen. Came home and the water heater was leaking. Over to lowes bought whatever they had and brought it home. we laid it on its side and slid it up the stairs and then swapped the old one into the box. No shutoff valves either so back to lowes to buy them and they are out of stock on the 1/2" valves so I had to buy adapters and use 3/4" valves. I then bought one of those pans that go under and plumbed it in to the drain.
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Old 04-21-09, 09:50 PM   #17
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Raises hand.

It's still a slow leak and the drip pan under the water heater is connected to pvc that drains outside. I had been expecting it, though. Thankfully. Warranty on the tank says it's a 9 year, I've had the house 7 years.

Now, I just have to find a replacement. I started doing my research for a new one, have it narrowed down to a couple. For me, since I have solar, electric will be the replacement "backup" tank. As far as carbon footprint, since most of our electricity comes from hydro, my footprint will be smaller if I stay with electric instead of converting to gas.
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Old 04-22-09, 11:36 PM   #18
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Get a Marathon water heater, it's one of the most efficient heaters made. I got one when the utility company ran a special trying to get more of them in use, they offered $110 rebate, plus there was a state tax credit of $85. The tank is not metal, so it won't rust or separate.
http://www.marathonheaters.com/
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Old 04-23-09, 08:30 AM   #19
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Tankless water heaters for the win!
When I buy a house, this is definitely on at least the long-term list. My grandfather put one in years ago and it was an amazing improvement. Uses waaaay less energy and hot water was available immediately, no waiting. No tank or worry of a leak other than normal plumbing leak worries.
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