Leak at threads

Discussion in 'General Plumbing Help' started by Leaksealer, Jul 16, 2010.

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  1. Jul 16, 2010 #1

    Leaksealer

    Leaksealer

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    Hello,

    I have a 6 - year old 40 gallon Whirlpool gas hot water heater that is leaking at the cold water input threads. It looks like the installer cross threaded it. Can anyone recommend a way to repair this leak? I unscrewed it last year and applied a healthy coat of jb weld on it but it seems to have not done the job.

    Thank you,
    Jim
     
  2. Jul 16, 2010 #2

    havasu

    havasu

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    I would never recommend using JB Weld on plumbing pipes. You will need to disassemble the cold water "input threads" and fix the problem correctly. If the pipes are damaged from being cross threaded, replace them and use teflon tape to reassemble. Are you certain this was not caused because of failing to install a dielectric union?
     
  3. Jul 16, 2010 #3

    Chris

    Chris

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    Is your problem at the top of the nipple where the flex line is attached or the bottom where it attaches to the heater? If at the top you would need to remove both the flex line and the threaded nipple and replace both and if it is at the bottom you will have to replace just the nipple and maybe run a tap through the heater threads and reinstall with teflon tape.
     
  4. Jul 16, 2010 #4

    Leaksealer

    Leaksealer

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    Hi Havasu & Chris,

    There are no dielectric unions installed on this water heater. It is pex throughout the home and 18" of copper pipe at the water heater.
    The heater was installed in 2004 so I am not sure if dielectric unions were required by code then. I suspect the threads are damaged beyond repair. Can I tap them out to a larger size?

    Thank you,
    Jim
     
  5. Jul 16, 2010 #5

    havasu

    havasu

    havasu

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    No, you cannot change thread sizes by tapping, unless you cut off the old threads and start over. Since this would be a PITA, you can clean up the thread so it will accept another pipe without cross threading, provided you use ample amounts of teflon tape or Rectorseal, which is my favorite. It allows lubrication when threading, and contains sealing qualities, and is easy to remove if necessary.
     
  6. Jul 16, 2010 #6

    Leaksealer

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    Thanks for the help Havasu,

    There are no dielectrics installed on the hot and cold line and now it appears that the hot water side threads are leaking too. Does this problem seem to have been caused by not having dielectrics installed, and if so, do you believe rectorseal will seal the holes? The problem's been going on for about 1 - year on the cold side and I tried to solve it by using jb weld. Once again, thank you for the help.
     
  7. Jul 16, 2010 #7

    havasu

    havasu

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    Even though you are running PEX, the dielectric unions are probably not required, but are cheap and it will give you new threads to work with. You can get the hot and cold set of unions for ~$15.00. Put them on with some Rectorseal and it may just solve your problem.
     
  8. Jul 17, 2010 #8

    Leaksealer

    Leaksealer

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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I went out and purchased a new STATE 6 - year warranty water heater. It connected back together pretty simply but now I am having trouble lighting the pilot. I tried bleeding the system at the gas union but it still did not light.

    Is there a way to bleed the gas valve directly?

    Once again thank you for your help. I am learning a lot about water heaters today.
     
  9. Jul 17, 2010 #9

    havasu

    havasu

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    I posted a possible remedy on a separate thread which you had started. I feel bad you are having these problems, but to quote someone famous, "Been there, done that!" Once you finally get this up and running, please follow up with a reply on this forum so that others may learn ideas if and when they have the same bad luck! ;)
     
  10. Jul 17, 2010 #10

    Leaksealer

    Leaksealer

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    I will definitely give you a briefing on the situation tomorrow.
    Thank you for the help.
     
  11. Jul 17, 2010 #11

    Leaksealer

    Leaksealer

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    Good news everyone,

    I found out why the pilot would not light. It actually was lighting but I could not see it through the port window. That problem is now solved. Thanks for the great help with my problem. I would have not been able to solve these problems without this forum.
     
  12. Jul 17, 2010 #12

    havasu

    havasu

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    What made you decide to replace rather than repair the leaks in the pipe? ALso, thanks for the update!
     
  13. Jul 17, 2010 #13

    Leaksealer

    Leaksealer

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    I decided to put in a new water heater because the threads in the female nipples were extremely deteriorated probably due to two dissimilar metals coming into contact with each other, copper and iron.
     

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