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View Full Version : Home and Auto Question for plumbers/contractors about an install


Simplex3
03-10-2011, 08:49 AM
I had our leaking 50 gallon water heater replaced by two 40 gallon heaters. Judging by these two pictures, is this installation acceptable?

Pics in next post

Lzen
03-10-2011, 08:50 AM
Waiting...



/taps foot

Simplex3
03-10-2011, 08:50 AM
.

Lzen
03-10-2011, 08:52 AM
While we're waiting, I have a question. Why did you replace a 50 gal with two 40 gals? Why not just replace it with another 50 gal? Were you needing more hot water capacity? If so, are you Catholic and have like 16 kids? Inquiring minds want to know.

BigMeatballDave
03-10-2011, 08:53 AM
How big is your house? 2 40 gal.? Why not just install a tankless system?

Lzen
03-10-2011, 08:53 AM
WTH is that small hanging tank?

Lzen
03-10-2011, 08:56 AM
I'm no expert on this stuff by any means, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. It appears that you have one hot water heater that heats it and then sends it over to the other hot water heater. Then I assume it goes up into your faucets and shower. I have never seen that kind of setup but I don't know that there's anything wrong with it. Still not understanding why you need two 40 gal heaters.

mikeyis4dcats.
03-10-2011, 08:56 AM
WTH is that small hanging tank?

expansion tank....keeps air out of the pipes.


The piping is kind of a clusterfuck, if that's what you're asking.

BigMeatballDave
03-10-2011, 08:56 AM
WTH is that small hanging tank?Good question. My GFs house has a boiler system and she has a hanging tank like that, but not near the water heater.

Simplex3
03-10-2011, 08:56 AM
We have a gigantic soaker tub (that I wish we didn't have) that we couldn't use because you couldn't fill it with hot water. I'd have just turned the heat up on the tank but I have two young kids.

Donger
03-10-2011, 08:57 AM
WTH is that small hanging tank?

Looks like an expansion tank. It seems a little odd that it isn't supported, though. Then again, I'm not a plumber.

Lzen
03-10-2011, 08:57 AM
We have a gigantic soaker tub (that I wish we didn't have) that we couldn't use because you couldn't fill it with hot water. I'd have just turned the heat up on the tank but I have two young kids.

The kids have to learn somehow. :p

mikeyis4dcats.
03-10-2011, 08:57 AM
am I seeing it correctly, the hot water line from tank A goes to the cold water side of tank B?

And did they really do compression fittings to switch from copper to PVC?

Simplex3
03-10-2011, 08:58 AM
How big is your house? 2 40 gal.? Why not just install a tankless system?

I have really hard water and didn't want to have to do the drain and flush all the time.

BigMeatballDave
03-10-2011, 08:58 AM
Please dont say, 'hot' water heater. :)

BigMeatballDave
03-10-2011, 08:58 AM
I have really hard water and didn't want to have to do the drain and flush all the time.Ah , I see.

Lzen
03-10-2011, 08:59 AM
Looks like an expansion tank. It seems a little odd that it isn't supported, though. Then again, I'm not a plumber.

Yeah, that seems like a bad idea to have that just hanging there. I would think it probably should be supported somehow.

Lzen
03-10-2011, 08:59 AM
Please dont say, 'hot' water heater. :)

Lol, oops. You're right.

Simplex3
03-10-2011, 08:59 AM
WTH is that small hanging tank?

It is a thermal expansion tank.

Donger
03-10-2011, 09:00 AM
I've never "drained and flushed" my water heater. That might explain why I have to replace mine every five years?

mikeyis4dcats.
03-10-2011, 09:00 AM
Yeah, that seems like a bad idea to have that just hanging there. I would think it probably should be supported somehow.

actually it is probably fine in this instance. If it was mounted horizontally it would need support. however the pipe to it should be supported.

Brock
03-10-2011, 09:01 AM
I don't like that tank being supported by nothing but a pipe.

Lzen
03-10-2011, 09:02 AM
I've never "drained and flushed" my water heater. That might explain why I have to replace mine every five years?

I never even knew you were supposed to do that. Lived in the house 14 years with nary a problem. Although we were starting to see calcium deposits in the faucets. Water heater blew out the drain valve a day before Christmas. We had a 30 gal for many years with a family of 5. Put in a 50 gal self cleaning one. How did we go all those years with only a 30? :)

BigMeatballDave
03-10-2011, 09:03 AM
expansion tank....keeps air out of the pipes.


The piping is kind of a clusterfuck, if that's what you're asking.Heh, you should see my GFs house. Copper pipe everywhere in the basement. She has radiant heat. She had the boiler replaced 7 yrs ago. New boiler and all the plumbing, $9000.

mikeyis4dcats.
03-10-2011, 09:03 AM
I never even knew you were supposed to do that. Lived in the house 14 years with nary a problem. Although we were starting to see calcium deposits in the faucets. Water heater blew out the drain valve a day before Christmas. We had a 30 gal for many years with a family of 5. Put in a 50 gal self cleaning one. How did we go all those years with only a 30? :)

it's one of those things....if you do it, do it every year, otherwise don't ever do it.

Phobia
03-10-2011, 09:04 AM
Looks like an expansion tank. It seems a little odd that it isn't supported, though. Then again, I'm not a plumber.

It's full of air.

I'd have gone tankless but that ship has sailed so I'll shut up about it.

Yeah, it's a little messy but I've done messy myself once or twice. If it's not leaking you're golden. Who cares what it looks like in a utility room?

As long as the plumber explained the differences between series and parallel intallation and you chose the selection that best suits your needs then you're fine.

Lzen
03-10-2011, 09:05 AM
actually it is probably fine in this instance. If it was mounted horizontally it would need support. however the pipe to it should be supported.

That would make me nervous. I would work up something if it were me. Perhaps a little shelf hung from the rafter or something. Anything would be better. I mean, that thing fills with water, right? That tank would get pretty heavy and put a lot of stress on the pipe connections when full.

Lzen
03-10-2011, 09:05 AM
it's one of those things....if you do it, do it every year, otherwise don't ever do it.

Yeah, I've heard that.

Rooster
03-10-2011, 09:05 AM
It's not a pretty install but it looks functional. It looks like the plumber used whatever he had in the truck. Solder joints, PEX crimp joints, and a Shark Bite compression fitting all working in harmony.

He did remember the di-electric fittings going into the water heaters so that's good.

Why do you need so much capacity? Just curious.

Simplex3
03-10-2011, 09:06 AM
Yes, it's a disgusting rat's nest that could have been alleviated by changing which tank is first inline. That seems pretty stupid. My biggest concern is the picture showing the 3 foot horizontal run that has all those joints in it. Is there any viable excuse for that other being too lazy to go out to the truck and get a new length of pipe? The guy has been out to my house 3 times and has probably been there for 18 hours all told at this point.

The basics of using two tanks are that the cold supply goes into tank 1, which heats it, then it's taken to the cold intake of tank 2 where it stays warm and is sent to the house. When he left after installing them the first time he forgot to turn on tank 2 and he also had the hot side of tank 1 going to the hot side of tank 2, so I'm questioning his abilities.

Lzen
03-10-2011, 09:07 AM
It's full of air....

So you're saying it is only ever filled with air? No water gets in there? If that's the case, I guess its not so bad.

mikeyis4dcats.
03-10-2011, 09:07 AM
That would make me nervous. I would work up something if it were me. Perhaps a little shelf hung from the rafter or something. Anything would be better. I mean, that thing fills with water, right? That tank would get pretty heavy and put a lot of stress on the pipe connections when full.

The tank only weighs 4 or 5 pounds. It's full of air.

Lzen
03-10-2011, 09:09 AM
Yes, it's a disgusting rat's nest that could have been alleviated by changing which tank is first inline. That seems pretty stupid. My biggest concern is the picture showing the 3 foot horizontal run that has all those joints in it. Is there any viable excuse for that other being too lazy to go out to the truck and get a new length of pipe? The guy has been out to my house 3 times and has probably been there for 18 hours all told at this point.

The basics of using two tanks are that the cold supply goes into tank 1, which heats it, then it's taken to the cold intake of tank 2 where it stays warm and is sent to the house. When he left after installing them the first time he forgot to turn on tank 2 and he also had the hot side of tank 1 going to the hot side of tank 2, so I'm questioning his abilities.


Ummm.....perhaps you should look into finding a new plumber.

Donger
03-10-2011, 09:10 AM
It's full of air.

So are you, but I wouldn't want you suspended off a copper pipe.

Or, maybe I would.

Lzen
03-10-2011, 09:11 AM
The tank only weighs 4 or 5 pounds. It's full of air.

Gotcha. Makes sense now. I am not a plumber by any means. When I have to do plumbing, I usually have to have someone come by to help me. But I am always open to learning. Thanks.

Phobia
03-10-2011, 09:12 AM
Yes, it's a disgusting rat's nest that could have been alleviated by changing which tank is first inline. That seems pretty stupid. My biggest concern is the picture showing the 3 foot horizontal run that has all those joints in it. Is there any viable excuse for that other being too lazy to go out to the truck and get a new length of pipe?

The 3 foot run is no big deal. In fact, he spent way more money using that shark bite coupler than a length of pipe would have cost. Yes, clearly he spent way too long on the job. Dual tanks isn't something a guy does every day and I'm sure he is a little green. But if it's all working the way it's supposed to work now and you have a written warranty for the period of time for which he agreed to warrant it you should be okay. Throwing a run of plumbers tape on that tank to support it wouldn't take 3 minutes or cost more than $.50 in material and it wouldn't hurt a thing for that peace of mind but I don't think it's going to be a problem where it's at either.

mikeyis4dcats.
03-10-2011, 09:12 AM
Yes, it's a disgusting rat's nest that could have been alleviated by changing which tank is first inline. That seems pretty stupid. My biggest concern is the picture showing the 3 foot horizontal run that has all those joints in it. Is there any viable excuse for that other being too lazy to go out to the truck and get a new length of pipe? The guy has been out to my house 3 times and has probably been there for 18 hours all told at this point.

The basics of using two tanks are that the cold supply goes into tank 1, which heats it, then it's taken to the cold intake of tank 2 where it stays warm and is sent to the house. When he left after installing them the first time he forgot to turn on tank 2 and he also had the hot side of tank 1 going to the hot side of tank 2, so I'm questioning his abilities.

he a one man shop or does he work for a company?

Phobia
03-10-2011, 09:14 AM
Here's something else I would do since you're in series... In 4 years, I would have the tanks switched - kind of like rotating tires on the car. Labor is cheaper than tanks and it will definitely add years to this setup.

Simplex3
03-10-2011, 09:15 AM
he a one man shop or does he work for a company?

Good question. The guy who's been out 3 times told my wife on the phone he worked alone, but then we spoke to someone else who said he was the owner and he claimed to have 40 guys.

Rooster
03-10-2011, 09:16 AM
he a one man shop or does he work for a company?

It's Bob from Bob's Plumbing and More.

Simplex3
03-10-2011, 09:17 AM
Here's something else I would do since you're in series... In 4 years, I would have the tanks switched - kind of like rotating tires on the car. Labor is cheaper than tanks and it will definitely add years to this setup.

I'll put a note on the tanks, thanks for the tip.

Iowanian
03-10-2011, 09:19 AM
I think when I need to replace my water heater, I'll look really hard at a tankless heating system. I have a friend who installed one a couple of years ago and loves it.

Simplex3
03-10-2011, 09:21 AM
I think when I need to replace my water heater, I'll look really hard at a tankless heating system. I have a friend who installed one a couple of years ago and loves it.

I was really leaning that way hard until they started talking about having to flush the system multiple times a year. I should only be in that house another 11 years, and hopefully the tanks will last that long. This setup was 1/2 the price of the tankless I had bid.

Phobia
03-10-2011, 09:25 AM
I was really leaning that way hard until they started talking about having to flush the system multiple times a year. I should only be in that house another 11 years, and hopefully the tanks will last that long. This setup was 1/2 the price of the tankless I had bid.

Did they offer a cost analysis of heating 80 gallons of water 24/7/365 vs only heating what they use? You'd have probably paid for the difference in 4-5 years. I think you're going to be fine with what the guy did but I'd probably call somebody else next time. I'm not sure they did you too many favors.

btlook1
03-10-2011, 09:43 AM
Did they offer a cost analysis of heating 80 gallons of water 24/7/365 vs only heating what they use? You'd have probably paid for the difference in 4-5 years. I think you're going to be fine with what the guy did but I'd probably call somebody else next time. I'm not sure they did you too many favors.

Pretty well said, why not just purchase a 60 gallon or do they make them that big? I replaced my 30 gallon a few years ago with a 40....took about 1 hour....I'm wondering what your total bill will be???

Simplex3
03-10-2011, 09:50 AM
They make them larger than 50, but most of those are industrial and have much larger burners. They're also much more expensive.

Lzen
03-10-2011, 12:00 PM
Pretty well said, why not just purchase a 60 gallon or do they make them that big? I replaced my 30 gallon a few years ago with a 40....took about 1 hour....I'm wondering what your total bill will be???

http://www.lowes.com/pd_164961-135-G2F7575T4NOV_4294856707_4294937087_?productId=1039663&Ns=p_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr|0||p_product_quantity_sold|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_Gas%2BWater%2BHeaters_4294856707_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr|0||p_ product_quantity_sold|1

Phobia
03-10-2011, 12:08 PM
I'm wondering what your total bill will be???

Oh - he better not be paying for 18 hours of labor. Water heater install is usually a flat rate project with an add-on for disposing the old one. I think we get $200-250 to install one and we haul the old one off free. So he better not be paying more than $500 for installing 2.

Simplex3
03-10-2011, 12:10 PM
It was a fixed-rate bid, but included the heaters and expansion tank. I don't have a breakdown of parts and labor. I wouldn't care about how many hours they spent doing it except that it's eating into my personal time babysitting them at my house.

Iowanian
03-10-2011, 12:12 PM
I was really leaning that way hard until they started talking about having to flush the system multiple times a year. I should only be in that house another 11 years, and hopefully the tanks will last that long. This setup was 1/2 the price of the tankless I had bid.


So, did they explain how the flush worked or how big of a deal it was or wasn't?

I know nothing about those systems other than the gist of how they work and what it looks like on my friend's garage wall.

btlook1
03-10-2011, 12:17 PM
It was a fixed-rate bid, but included the heaters and expansion tank. I don't have a breakdown of parts and labor. I wouldn't care about how many hours they spent doing it except that it's eating into my personal time babysitting them at my house.

So you figure $400+ for each heater? Another 300 at least for installation? Not to mention the fact that you are now going to pay to keep 80 gallons of hot water hot at all times....Not trying to pick on you.....just not the route that I would go if I didn't have to. Hope it doesn't hurt the pocket book to much!

Phobia
03-10-2011, 12:39 PM
It was a fixed-rate bid, but included the heaters and expansion tank. I don't have a breakdown of parts and labor. I wouldn't care about how many hours they spent doing it except that it's eating into my personal time babysitting them at my house.

For the record, next time you don't need the expansion tank since your house has pex run throughout.

mikeyis4dcats.
03-10-2011, 12:50 PM
For the record, next time you don't need the expansion tank since your house has pex run throughout.

I think most codes now require it regardless.

Phobia
03-10-2011, 12:54 PM
I think most codes now require it regardless.

Yeah, but that code is dumb.

Donger
03-10-2011, 12:56 PM
Yeah, but that code is dumb.

Mike does not agree with your assessment:

http://media.canada.com/b17a5268-e809-4db2-a84b-06fc4c00d03e/M1X00233_9.JPG

Phobia
03-10-2011, 01:02 PM
Mike does not agree with your assessment:

http://media.canada.com/b17a5268-e809-4db2-a84b-06fc4c00d03e/M1X00233_9.JPG

He would in this case. Its like requiring headers in a non-supporting wall.

Simplex3
03-10-2011, 01:14 PM
So, did they explain how the flush worked or how big of a deal it was or wasn't?

I know nothing about those systems other than the gist of how they work and what it looks like on my friend's garage wall.

The guy that Rinnai sent out said it had to be disconnected from the house 2 or 3 times a year and have a solution pumped through it for about 30 minutes.