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Default Water Heater and Wet Mystery


Little brick bungalow in the midwest, built in '54. Poured
concrete foundation.

Back in '92, I installed an AO Smith 40-gal. gas Water Heater (FSG
model) as a replacement. About 3 ' from the furnace, which shares
the vent. Been so long I don't even remember how the old WH failed.

This morn I notice maybe 1.5 gallons of water on the floor, with
the wet sorta centered on the WH. So I figger after 15 1/2 years, the
WH gave out.

But, of course, I check the cold and hot pipes, the vent, the
pressure valve, the drain, to confirm. Nothing wet.

Pull the cover, check the pilot, etc. Nothing wet in there. Sop up
all but a little water from the floor, sprinkle some talcum to
facilitate detection of water flow. Run about 20 gal. of hot water
out, watch the burners fire, etc. Still no detectable water flow.

The water couldn't have come from the furnace: the AC hasn't run
for months (it's still winter). Even checked up in the rafters
for a leak: nothing.

I think the unit is glass-lined. What happens when they fail?
What am I forgetting to check (for a leak)??

Thx,
Puddin'

"Blues starts to rolling ...
stops at my front do'.
I'm gonna change my way of livin' ...
won't have to worry no mo'."
- from "Blues Before Sunrise", Leroy Carr, maybe 1934

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Default Water Heater and Wet Mystery

Puddin' Man wrote:

Little brick bungalow in the midwest, built in '54. Poured
concrete foundation.

Back in '92, I installed an AO Smith 40-gal. gas Water Heater (FSG
model) as a replacement. About 3 ' from the furnace, which shares
the vent. Been so long I don't even remember how the old WH failed.

This morn I notice maybe 1.5 gallons of water on the floor, with
the wet sorta centered on the WH. So I figger after 15 1/2 years, the
WH gave out.

But, of course, I check the cold and hot pipes, the vent, the
pressure valve, the drain, to confirm. Nothing wet.

Pull the cover, check the pilot, etc. Nothing wet in there. Sop up
all but a little water from the floor, sprinkle some talcum to
facilitate detection of water flow. Run about 20 gal. of hot water
out, watch the burners fire, etc. Still no detectable water flow.

The water couldn't have come from the furnace: the AC hasn't run
for months (it's still winter). Even checked up in the rafters
for a leak: nothing.

I think the unit is glass-lined. What happens when they fail?
What am I forgetting to check (for a leak)??

Thx,
Puddin'

"Blues starts to rolling ...
stops at my front do'.
I'm gonna change my way of livin' ...
won't have to worry no mo'."
- from "Blues Before Sunrise", Leroy Carr, maybe 1934

Hi,
One possibility, for some reason T&P valve opened once. Since it is that
old it's about time for new one.
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Default Water Heater and Wet Mystery

Puddin' Man wrote:
Little brick bungalow in the midwest, built in '54. Poured
concrete foundation.

Back in '92, I installed an AO Smith 40-gal. gas Water Heater (FSG
model) as a replacement. About 3 ' from the furnace, which shares
the vent. Been so long I don't even remember how the old WH failed.

This morn I notice maybe 1.5 gallons of water on the floor, with
the wet sorta centered on the WH. So I figger after 15 1/2 years, the
WH gave out.

But, of course, I check the cold and hot pipes, the vent, the
pressure valve, the drain, to confirm. Nothing wet.

Pull the cover, check the pilot, etc. Nothing wet in there. Sop up
all but a little water from the floor, sprinkle some talcum to
facilitate detection of water flow. Run about 20 gal. of hot water
out, watch the burners fire, etc. Still no detectable water flow.

The water couldn't have come from the furnace: the AC hasn't run
for months (it's still winter). Even checked up in the rafters
for a leak: nothing.

I think the unit is glass-lined. What happens when they fail?
What am I forgetting to check (for a leak)??

Thx,
Puddin'

"Blues starts to rolling ...
stops at my front do'.
I'm gonna change my way of livin' ...
won't have to worry no mo'."
- from "Blues Before Sunrise", Leroy Carr, maybe 1934


Does your furnace have a condensate drain? I had the exact same scare
(after my T&P valve flooded the basement) and it ended up being the
rubber condensate drain tubing inside the furnace.

I've had a lot of different items put water on my basement floor, slowly
but surely I've been tracking them all down and sealing 'em up...

nate

--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
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Default Water Heater and Wet Mystery


"Tony Hwang" wrote in message

I think the unit is glass-lined. What happens when they fail?
What am I forgetting to check (for a leak)??


By glass lined, they mean it has a coating of a sprayed on frit, sort of
like porcelain pots and cookware and it is not very thick. Usually, they
rust from a crack and drip. Catastrophic failure in not common.

Could the pressure relief valve on either the water heater or a boiler have
popped? They sometimes get weak and drip after a number of years.


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On Sat, 15 Mar 2008 18:05:03 -0400, Nate Nagel wrote:



Does your furnace have a condensate drain? I had the exact same scare
(after my T&P valve flooded the basement) and it ended up being the
rubber condensate drain tubing inside the furnace.


Good point. I shoulda mentioned. Single stage 80% furnace.
Simplest possible. No condensate drain.

I've had a lot of different items put water on my basement floor, slowly
but surely I've been tracking them all down and sealing 'em up...


I guess most everybody with a basement in a 40+ yr. old house
has been doing similar. Sho'ly true of me last 20+ years.

Thx,
P

"Blues starts to rolling ...
stops at my front do'.
I'm gonna change my way of livin' ...
won't have to worry no mo'."
- from "Blues Before Sunrise", Leroy Carr, maybe 1934



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Default Water Heater and Wet Mystery

leaks can occur from the flue area, which goes thru the center of the
tank. leaks can and do start and stop, depending on temperature and
wether interior debris happened to clog leak.

if a leak can damage anything then replace the tank at that age its
way out anyway and a new one will save you gas and money.

my one tank sprayed water out of the flue when it failed
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On Sat, 15 Mar 2008 23:09:24 GMT, "Edwin Pawlowski" wrote:


"Tony Hwang" wrote in message

I think the unit is glass-lined. What happens when they fail?
What am I forgetting to check (for a leak)??


By glass lined, they mean it has a coating of a sprayed on frit, sort of
like porcelain pots and cookware and it is not very thick. Usually, they
rust from a crack and drip. Catastrophic failure in not common.


It's had a blanket around it for the last 5 years or so. I checked
for moisture around the bottom, didn't find any.

Could the pressure relief valve on either the water heater or a boiler have
popped? They sometimes get weak and drip after a number of years.


No boiler. The TPV looked fine and there was no moisture around the
bottom of the drain tube.

Thx,
P

"Blues starts to rolling ...
stops at my front do'.
I'm gonna change my way of livin' ...
won't have to worry no mo'."
- from "Blues Before Sunrise", Leroy Carr, maybe 1934

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Default Water Heater and Wet Mystery

On Sat, 15 Mar 2008 17:33:38 -0700 (PDT), " wrote:

leaks can occur from the flue area, which goes thru the center of the
tank. leaks can and do start and stop, depending on temperature and
wether interior debris happened to clog leak.

if a leak can damage anything then replace the tank at that age its
way out anyway and a new one will save you gas and money.


Sounds reasonable. But I gotta *find* the leak before I
take any action.

my one tank sprayed water out of the flue when it failed


And it was a standard up-draft flue interface? First I've heard of that.

P

"Blues starts to rolling ...
stops at my front do'.
I'm gonna change my way of livin' ...
won't have to worry no mo'."
- from "Blues Before Sunrise", Leroy Carr, maybe 1934

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Default Water Heater and Wet Mystery

On Mar 16, 2:22*pm, Puddin' Man wrote:
On Sat, 15 Mar 2008 17:33:38 -0700 (PDT), " wrote:
leaks can occur from the flue area, which goes thru the center of the
tank. leaks can and do start and stop, depending on temperature and
wether interior debris happened to clog leak.


if a leak can damage anything then replace the tank at that age its
way out anyway and a new one will save you gas and money.


Sounds reasonable. But I gotta *find* the leak before I
take any action.

my one tank sprayed water out of the flue when it failed


And it was a standard up-draft flue interface? First I've heard of that.

* P

"Blues starts to rolling ...
*stops at my front do'.
*I'm gonna change my way of livin' ...
*won't have to worry no mo'."
* * *- from "Blues Before Sunrise", Leroy Carr, maybe 1934


And it was a standard up-draft flue interface? First I've heard of
that.

Then make this the 2nd time you've heard of it.

My leak was in the flue tube and I found it by sheer luck. Whenever
the tank fired on, the pressure increased and forced a mist of water
into the flue tube. The heat carried it up into the metal flue pipe
where it condensed and dripped back down. I could turn the mist on
and off just by adjusted the thermostat.

But I gotta *find* the leak before I take any action

Maybe, maybe not.

If you've eliminated all other sources of the leak (plumbing, furnace,
rafters) and given that the unit is 15.5 YO, it might make sense to
start looking for sales and pick up a new unit. It's probably near the
end of it's life anyway.
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But I gotta *find* the leak before I take any action

Maybe, maybe not.

If you've eliminated all other sources of the leak (plumbing, furnace,
rafters) and given that the unit is 15.5 YO, it might make sense to
start looking for sales and pick up a new unit. It's probably near the
end of it's life anyway.- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


again if a leak can damage stuff replace the tank, its the likely
problem and well past its expected lifetime..... so even if its not
the cause today tomorrow it can do damage

tanks leak everywhere mine sprayed water out the top of the flue,
around the vent hood. wierdly it didnt put out the pilot, my guess is
the deflector that runs thru the flue happened to direct water away
from the pilot.

i heard water running and was very surprised i had a sprinkler in my
basement..........

in the last 15 years how many vehickes have you purchased? how much
have you spent? why fixate on saving on a hot water tank the new one
will be much more efficent espically when compared to you 15 year old
tank...

foam insulation better over all designs etc etc





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On Sun, 16 Mar 2008 15:15:43 -0700 (PDT), " wrote:



But I gotta *find* the leak before I take any action

Maybe, maybe not.

If you've eliminated all other sources of the leak (plumbing, furnace,
rafters) and given that the unit is 15.5 YO, it might make sense to
start looking for sales and pick up a new unit. It's probably near the
end of it's life anyway.- Hide quoted text -


I'll start looking when I get a chance. But, first ...

- Show quoted text -


again if a leak can damage stuff replace the tank, its the likely
problem and well past its expected lifetime..... so even if its not
the cause today tomorrow it can do damage

tanks leak everywhere mine sprayed water out the top of the flue,
around the vent hood. wierdly it didnt put out the pilot, my guess is
the deflector that runs thru the flue happened to direct water away
from the pilot.


I'm gonna play Sherlock Holmes, here.

There's a fine layer of dust/dirt on top of the WH. If it sprayed
or if there were condensate from the flue, I'd see evidence,
especially when I tested thru a burner cycle.

i heard water running and was very surprised i had a sprinkler in my
basement..........

in the last 15 years how many vehickes have you purchased?
how much
have you spent?
why fixate on saving on a hot water tank the new one
will be much more efficent espically when compared to you 15 year old
tank...


It's not a fixation. When I can see hard evidence of need, I'll replace it.

I appreciate everyone's advice.

"Things are often not as simple as they seem ... "

I am on a hill. Uphill neighbor is a little chapel that's run kinda
like a slumlord rental. 3 or 4 years ago I had similar water problem.
Could actually see small column of water shooting out of hole in
basement floor. Looked everywhere, couldn't find leak. Finally
got a city water inspector to come out, assuming water main break
or somesuch. Turns out the derelicts in the chapel had a plumbing
problem. I had to get the city alder-critter to help force them to
(allegedly) fix it.

Less water this time, but it's in the same location. I've already
taken a reading on their water meter. If I get more water on my
floor -and- the meter spins -while- there's nobody in the chapel,
that will constitute evidence that the old problem is the new
problem. Then I'll have to see if I can find a record of the name
of the water inspector, contact him, etc etc.

I really didn't expect the problem to be external to the house
(again). So far, it appears that it likely is.

So, the jury's still out.

foam insulation better over all designs etc etc


I see AO Smith is still in business. Perhaps one of their middle-
of-line units would be a good choice? Anybody had recent experience?

Much thanks,
P




"Blues starts to rolling ...
stops at my front do'.
I'm gonna change my way of livin' ...
won't have to worry no mo'."
- from "Blues Before Sunrise", Leroy Carr, maybe 1934

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"Things are often not as simple as they seem ... "

I am on a hill. Uphill neighbor is a little chapel that's run kinda
like a slumlord rental. 3 or 4 years ago I had similar water problem.
Could actually see small column of water shooting out of hole in
basement floor. Looked everywhere, couldn't find leak. Finally
got a city water inspector to come out, assuming water main break
or somesuch. Turns out the derelicts in the chapel had a plumbing
problem. I had to get the city alder-critter to help force them to
(allegedly) fix it.


water coming up from under floor? happened before but you never
metioned it.....

if water from that source can get in any can, time for a interior
french drain ...........
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On Sun, 16 Mar 2008 19:31:41 -0700 (PDT), " wrote:


"Things are often not as simple as they seem ... "

I am on a hill. Uphill neighbor is a little chapel that's run kinda
like a slumlord rental. 3 or 4 years ago I had similar water problem.
Could actually see small column of water shooting out of hole in
basement floor. Looked everywhere, couldn't find leak. Finally
got a city water inspector to come out, assuming water main break
or somesuch. Turns out the derelicts in the chapel had a plumbing
problem. I had to get the city alder-critter to help force them to
(allegedly) fix it.


water coming up from under floor? happened before but you never
metioned it.....


It was a freak event. I still don't understand the mechanics of it.
But I saw a licensed plumber hauling tons of new pipe, etc for
the repair. 'Twere never supposed to happen again.

if water from that source can get in any can, time for a interior
french drain ...........


That got considered years ago. I got the sump, not the french
drain. Works fine for several years now. Takes too long to discuss
the french drain issue.

P

"Blues starts to rolling ...
stops at my front do'.
I'm gonna change my way of livin' ...
won't have to worry no mo'."
- from "Blues Before Sunrise", Leroy Carr, maybe 1934

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