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Water heater - incorrect plumbing?

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chandlerp

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Hello all,
I created an account to simply ask this question. If it comes across ignorant, please ignore lol. I had recently purchased my home (about 6 months ago) and the seller had installed a new water heater right before selling the home to me. Fast forward today, I asked a plumber to fix a leak in my kitchen. He requested to take a look at the water heater and he immediately pointed out that the configuration of the hot water line was incorrect and at risk to burst. I am hopeful someone can tell by the picture I provide, what is illegal about it? He mentioned it has something to do with a plastic inlet? Again, not familiar with ANYTHING regarding plumbing. Any comments are welcome. If you think this rig is fine and risk-free, please let me know. I simply need to know if I need to hire a plumber come fix this asap.IMG_1173.jpg
 

breplum

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Codes say unions required to aid swapping out.
Normally, water heater flex are utilized with FIP nuts on both ends.
The fittings used here, sharkbite elbows and what? Ftg. x FIP is odd and possibly dangerous because the amount of insertion on that copper fitting is suspiciously too short.
And: what material is the white pipe?
Generally, because of the constant heat, we don't want to have plastic that close to the hottest part of the tank.
Where does the temperature/pressure relief piping go. It must run to the outdoors if code installation is desired.
Expansion tank is required if there is a "closed" system, like check valve somewhere.
 
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hukre

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I would recommend to have a good plumber redo this piping, Shouldn't cost too much. It looks like the 3 Stooges did this hookup. And while you are at it, turn the wall outlet 180 degrees so that the ground prong is at the bottom and not at the top.
 

CT18

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On direct vent heaters we were always told to run copper the first 18" before transition to pex. On electric heaters i dont think that applies
 

dafish

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Noob here, but while you're having that looked at check the wiring exiting the heater. Is that a raw metal edge up against the wire insulation? I'd not do that, and I'm just a DIY'er. I'd have installed one of these so I never shorted a 30-50 amp 240v wire.
1605213083017.png


(I'm a noob, so I may be nuts...)
 

chandlerp

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I appreciate all of the input! Sounds like the piping needs to be reworked. I will work on calling out a plumber to fix this. (Hopeful it won't be too expensive.) THANKS!
 

frodo

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right here right now, over there later on.
Technically, Besides looking like a 1st year helper hooked it up, there is nothing wrong with the hook up on the heater.
The 18'' rule applies to gas water heaters and not electric
the fittings used to hook it up can be unscrewed so a union is not required
The nipples appear to be die-eletric nipples
An expansion tank is only needed if the system has a PVR and the OP has not divulged that information

The only thing i see that an inspector could ding him for is no escutcheons on the wall

This is more professional than code, But the valve handle on the ball valve is pointed in the wrong direction
Ball valve handles point in the direction of the flow not against it. This is just commercial boiler room piping etiquette . It lets other plumbers know at a glance what is what.
 

hukre

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The picture shows the valve handle is pointing in the the direction of flow.
 

Jeff Handy

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Noob here, but while you're having that looked at check the wiring exiting the heater. Is that a raw metal edge up against the wire insulation? I'd not do that, and I'm just a DIY'er. I'd have installed one of these so I never shorted a 30-50 amp 240v wire.
View attachment 26315


(I'm a noob, so I may be nuts...)
How about something like this.
It goes around the wires and just snaps in, no need to pull the wires.
There are other types of snap connectors also, and other bushings and rubber grommets. BBF31C59-EAD2-4341-BE83-C9363E8D4BE3.jpeg
 

Ben Davis

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Hello all,
I created an account to simply ask this question. If it comes across ignorant, please ignore lol. I had recently purchased my home (about 6 months ago) and the seller had installed a new water heater right before selling the home to me. Fast forward today, I asked a plumber to fix a leak in my kitchen. He requested to take a look at the water heater and he immediately pointed out that the configuration of the hot water line was incorrect and at risk to burst. I am hopeful someone can tell by the picture I provide, what is illegal about it? He mentioned it has something to do with a plastic inlet? Again, not familiar with ANYTHING regarding plumbing. Any comments are welcome. If you think this rig is fine and risk-free, please let me know. I simply need to know if I need to hire a plumber come fix this asap.
The plumber told you right. At least your hot water pipe does not have the correct angle. This will create additional pressure. And be sure to install a non-return valve. That will regulates the pressure.
 

HWSleuth

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All these replies are great! Some suggestions are more plumbing etiquette than function requirements. As a trainer for a major water heater & boiler manufacturer, I see plumbers paying less attention to detail and simply throwing things together. These small details not only prevent liability claims, but show who the true skilled professionals are! Another reason why water heater installations are not DIY projects.
 

Caboose

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I would recommend to have a good plumber redo this piping, Shouldn't cost too much. It looks like the 3 Stooges did this hookup. And while you are at it, turn the wall outlet 180 degrees so that the ground prong is at the bottom and not at the top.
I am Quite sure this is 240 volt outlet .Shouldn't matter on the outlets orientation. NEC doesn't specify that the ground has to be placed at the bottom of an outlet. Local jurisdiction might require it but you can always ask inspector to show you what code book specifies that.
 
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