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-   -   Help! Leaky Hot Water Tank problem! (https://ecorenovator.org/forum/showthread.php?t=6869)

Xringer 05-21-19 05:36 PM

Help! Leaky Hot Water Tank problem!
 
My Electric hot water heater / PVsolar+heat pump Storage tank is leaking.
It seemed to be leaking around the Anode port.
I pulled out what was left of the Anode and ordered a replacement.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006JLSO2
Anode rod
Made from aluminum
42" long
5/8" outside diameter
3/4" -14 NPT


Standard stuff. Installed it using Rectorseal 23631
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002YPAFY

It leaked, so I tried again. Still leaked.
Cleaned it up and tried Teflon tape/PTFE and it still leaked (very slow).
Cleaned it up and tried using 8 turns of 1" wide PTFE, it's still leaking!

Since the water heater is about 5 years old, I'm thinking about using
some kind of Cold Steel epoxy to permanently seal the Anode,
since the tank is already very near end-of-life..

Please impart some expert advice!

Thanks,
Rich

CrankyDoug 05-21-19 09:24 PM

I had a backhoe fuel tank with several pinholes in the bottom. Didn't notice them until I tried to clean the rust out. Mixed some marine epoxy and fumed silica (cabosil) to thicken it and poured in. Two days later I had a perfectly good fuel tank.

Back in the old days we used a product called Cream to seal the bottom seam of motorcycle tanks.

Properly mixed, quality marine epoxy is nontoxic once it cures. Maybe you could make a slightly thickened batch, put it on the anode and then invert the tank so the epoxy will slump back into the joint. Don't try it without some thickener or it will leak back out the hole before it sets. Straight epoxy will pass through any pinhole water will.

Then again, if the tank is 5 years old you may as well replace it. I've never had one yet that lived more than six months beyond the warranty. The current HWT still has a year to go. The anode was completely gone. I'm hoping the new anode will get me an extra 2-3 years beyond the designed fail date. I would be willing to bet the only difference between the 6 year and 9 year tanks is the size of the anode.

Xringer 05-26-19 11:07 PM

1 Attachment(s)
It's not a simple job to change out this one. There's an A7 heat pump on top.

https://ecorenovator.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2286

If I can't stop the leak (cracked tank etc), I'm pretty sure the A7 HX tube will be destroyed trying to remove it.

So, maybe some https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000KKPFFA J-B Weld 8272 MarineWeld Marine Epoxy will keep me in hot water for another 4 or 5 years.?.

jeff5may 05-27-19 11:59 PM

On those impossible threaded fittings, I use both Teflon tape and pipe dope. Chase the threads to make sure they are clean and the right shape slash taper. Wrap the male fitting clockwise and then butter over the whole tape with lots of dope. The cheap stuff like toothpaste works 99 percent as well as the white stuff with PTFE. In a pinch, I might use the permatex copper spray-a-gasket gloop, but it sets up really fast.

In low or non pressure stuff (like dwv lines), I have used seal-all (aka airplane glue) and it has worked where other stuff wouldn't.

Xringer 05-28-19 12:45 AM

I'm taking out the anode again this week. I've ordered a "Cap, 3/4" NPT Female" and plan to install one of the 3/4" NPT iron nipples that I removed when installing the A7. I'll install with the Rectorseal 23631 paste, with the cap on top. The hole will be plugged!

If it still leaks, then I'll know the tank has a crack under the anode port. Or the thread has split (where I can see it)..
If it doesn't leak, I'll use "both Teflon tape and pipe dope" on the anode one last time. If it still leaks, I'll buy a new anode. :mad:

Thanks for the suggestions!

Rich

Xringer 06-10-19 09:47 AM

I was not able to repair the leak. No luck with with the J-B Weld.
I've got too much Grandfather stuff going on this summer, I've decided to ditch the tank.
That means removing the A7 copper tube heat exchanger from the tank.
Chances of breaking it are pretty high, but I will try to uninstall without damage.
I might take the tank outdoors and pop off the top and see the real source
of the leakage. I suspect corrosion ate a hole in the top, near the anode.

So, we are back to using hot water heated by oil again. At least for now.

If the A7 is re-usable, maybe I can use it to keep the Oil Burner's 76 gal water-jacket warm.?.

pinballlooking 06-10-19 10:50 AM

Bummer I was hopping you could repair it.

Xringer 06-10-19 01:24 PM

Yeah
 
Me too. I had high hopes for the epoxy.

When I get the tank out of the basement,
I've decided to strip off the plumbing hardware and the heating elements,
if they don't look too bad. But the leaky tank is out-of-here.
I'm not going to invest much time trying to find the source of the leak.
Maybe 90 seconds.. I've elected to avoid water tanks for as long as possible. :(

WyrTwister 06-12-19 12:34 PM

Forgive my ignorance , but is this a heat pump water heater ?

Sounds like there is a crack either in the threads or around that area .

Only thing I can think of ie try brazing up the area with a brass rod & torch . Sounds like you have exhausted the list of common sealants .

Sooner or latter m you will / would have had to replace the tank . So , if you replace it now , you are not going wrong .

If you have a cutting torch or maybe even a saws-all & metal cutting blade , it may be easier getting the tank out of the basement ? Just be very careful up and down the stairs . ( basements are rare around here . )

Best of luck to , my friend , :-)

Wyr
God bless

Xringer 06-12-19 06:04 PM

It's a DIY heat pump + solar PV hot water heater. (See pic above).
I was thinking about getting it out in the yard and ripping off the top cover and the foam insulation.
I could pressurize the tank, find the leak and weld it shut.
Then re-install everything.. :( But, that seems like a lot of work for a tank that might not last more than a couple more years.

I'm 73 years old and not real sure that I want to be hauling 100+ lbs of junk up and down the basement stairs, when I'm 75. :o

WyrTwister 06-12-19 06:21 PM

I am behind you . Will turn 67 this month .

I have gotten where I try to have new parts on hand , before I take stuff apart .

Best of luck , :-)

Wyr
God bless

brian 06-12-19 06:44 PM

If it's not too late (scrapped tank), we used what they called (wickin) to help seal sloppy threads. This was candle wicking (cotton thread) which was wrapped around the male threads and covered with pipe dope. Never had a leaking thread that coud not be repaired with this. In an emergency we use a wet mop thread which has been unwound to get a smaller thread and it usually works great, cotton preferred.

jeff5may 06-13-19 12:57 PM

Well now... Main question is how much water heater do you want? If you eventually buy another water heater, get one that has a warranty that will outlive you. Sounds like you originally found a landlord special on sale. The "economical" models have a 2 or 1 year replacement warranty, and up to 7 years of defect coverage. Some are prorated like batteries. Not bad if you don't mind changing it every 7 years or less. The idea of affordable durable goods is so 1960's. Way deprecated. A water heater rated for more than 10 years is going to drain the wallet, as they're now considered industrial duty.

Then again, what's wrong with using what you have? The combo boiler seems to be super durable. Don't know how much fun it would be to rig the heat pump, but I imagine it would out live you.

Xringer 06-13-19 03:59 PM

Not good..
 
1 Attachment(s)
Well, it looks like the A7 heat pump HX copper isn't coming out of the tank..
It stuck at about 2 feet.. A very difficult two feet. I guess I can seal (pinch) off the lines and cut them..

https://ecorenovator.org/forum/attac...1&d=1560455836

Xringer 06-13-19 05:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brian (Post 60953)
If it's not too late (scrapped tank), we used what they called (wickin) to help seal sloppy threads. This was candle wicking (cotton thread) which was wrapped around the male threads and covered with pipe dope. Never had a leaking thread that coud not be repaired with this. In an emergency we use a wet mop thread which has been unwound to get a smaller thread and it usually works great, cotton preferred.

I learned about using cotton string around sink drain couplings a few years ago.
The Ace Hardware guy told me the old plumbers trick of over-wrapping the threads in string,
and the water would make it swell up, to stop the leakage..
It works great on low pressure drains.. But for 50 to 100 PSI? I don't know.

In any event, I'm gonna be heating with the old oil burner for a while..
It's uses oil, but not a lot. Plus, it's a HS Tarm multi-fuel and can
run on wood, coal, propane & etc. If the grid fails us again, we're good..

Xringer 06-13-19 05:26 PM

We don't need a lot of hot water, so running on oil for a while is the plan.
If oil get's too costly, I'll use that a reason to move to Texas.. LOL!

WyrTwister 06-13-19 07:11 PM

Streach out som black plastic pipe , outside , in the sun light & solar heat water ?

Wyr
God bless

Xringer 06-13-19 07:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WyrTwister (Post 60961)
Streach out som black plastic pipe , outside , in the sun light & solar heat water ?

Wyr
God bless

That might be better than using oil. I just did the math. Oil stinks!

https://ecorenovator.org/forum/showt...0962#post60962

WyrTwister 06-13-19 08:19 PM

At least until winter ?

Wyr
God bless

Xringer 06-15-19 12:26 AM

Waiting for the crazy guy
 
2 Attachment(s)
The tank is out on the sidewalk, waiting to be adopted.
The hot water manifold has been replaced by 1' of 3/4" Pex.

There's this weird guy who picks up anything that has any metal in it.
I'm giving him a week, then I'll pay the city $30 to take it away.

WyrTwister 06-15-19 11:47 AM

Is the PEX where the tank was tied in ?

Wyr
God bless

Xringer 06-15-19 12:24 PM

Yeah, I used the existing PEX stuff to replace the manifold.

Edit: 6/16/2019
This evening a black pickup stopped and a big guy broke the tailgate off his truck
when that heavy tank hit it. The gate was free on the left side but hanging by the right side.
He gave a big push, and the tank went forward so hard, when it hit the cab,
the truck was jolted so hard the drivers door flipped back and forth..
He re-rigged the tailgate and drove away. All in about 90 seconds. (security cam video).

6/23/2019
The same guy came by and picked up an old Aluminum TV antenna that weighted about .3 lbs.
But, he drove past the heavy steel dryer drum, just up the street.. Maybe his back is sore.?.

oil pan 4 08-10-19 03:29 PM

By weight old hot water heaters contain a lot of foam and wet mineral build up. Barely worth dragging them to a scrap yard

Xringer 08-10-19 10:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oil pan 4 (Post 61268)
By weight old hot water heaters contain a lot of foam and wet mineral build up. Barely worth dragging them to a scrap yard

I don't think these people are thinking clearly.. Maybe it's drugs?
I've seen them take a lot of junk stuff with metal and leave really nice
big screen TV sets, just sitting there..
Some with a remote and a sign saying "Free TV and it Works"..
Found that odd..


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