Plumbing Help needed for elbow at water heater

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loveoldtrux
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Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:05 pm

Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:09 pm

HI gang!

Snooped around the water leak to find the water leak in my home is NOT due to a rain cap on the furnace flue - there is a drip at this thing.....

Image

In the picture, the work "SPLIT" got cropped out a little - I did pretty good getting the picture in, though! This is a picture of the water heater INSIDE the house. Elbow coming from water heater has been under pressure as it was installed wrong to get it into the cramped space it was stuffed into - the elbow finally gave up the ghost at the pressure point and is leaking at the split. Thank the Good Lord it didn't pop off completely!! I'm going to leave the false panel in the closet OFF so I have PLENTY of room to build an effective repair here. Can't get any help at Home Depot - the old hag there just gives me a scowl. As "little as I know", from what I see, this grey pipe is call polypropylene pipe and is no longer used / allowed in new home construction? What can I do here? I imagine I would need to get an assortment of elbows and some sort of pvc-to-polypropylene junction of some sort, right? Is the junction I'm referring to called a "shark-bite" connector allowing me to stick in the grey pipe in one side and pvc on the other and then forget about it?...

I would have thought this device ( http://www.sharkbite.com/how-to/how-to- ... onnectors/ ) would have been the PERFECT solution to my leak, not only repairing the split in the connector but also providing a handy shut-off it ever needed AND allowing me to snip the 3/8" polypropylene line and just shoving this on - looks like a quick fix. What do the real plumbers think of this?...

Thanks for looking,
Mark


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Greg
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Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:22 pm

Shark bit fittings are OK for a quick fix, but I personally do not like them as a permanent repair. I would go with a Brass elbow out of the tank and then go to a Quest tube to pipe adapter. Don't forget to add shutoff valves.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

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loveoldtrux
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Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:19 pm

Thanks for the feedback, Greg - found some of these over at https://www.plumbingsupply.com/polyb.html

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Greg
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Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:42 pm

That is the style of connector I was thinking of, but please do yourself a favor and use an either Brass or Stainless ball (1/4 turn) valve. NO plastic bodied valves, they tend to fail when you need them.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

1987Commodore
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Location: Steuben County, NY

Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:12 pm

I have the pb pipe in my home, and the only trouble I have had was with connectors that were under stress. And when the mouse decided it was an appropriate tooth sharpener.

Do some research on pex pipe and connectors. I have used it to fix leaks, replace under sink supply valves, etc. It is very quick and easy to use. I bought a few extra fittings and pipe sections to have for emergencies.


jpingram5
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Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:40 pm

Sharkbite if you want it quick and easy. They are nice and I have used them plenty before already with no problems myself. Only thing is I still wouldn't feel 100% safe burying one of these sharkbite fittings behind a wall. But if you have access to it they work great. Just make the pipes you are connecting them to are burred/smooth and not sharp. Especially copper pipes because the will tear the o-ring inside.
2009 Skyline Sunwood Premier 14 x 80

Steve S.
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Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:42 am

I had those same acetal elbow fittings on the inlet and outlet of my water heater. Mine cracked as well and destroyed my bathroom subfloor. To fix I used brass ball valve shutoffs followed by copper flex pipes, then a short length of pex tubing which I connected to my PB pipes before they went under the floor. I've since replaced most of the acetal (grey plastic) fittings in my home, but I still have a bunch of PB pipes under the floor.

Steve-WA
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Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:34 am

Polybutylene... and it sucks. Often breaks at clamps or fittings. I use a pex transition fitting, but unless you have the tools, go with the sharkbite, say I.
Last edited by Steve-WA on Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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loveoldtrux
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Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:37 pm

Thank you all for your feedback and ideas!! I guess it's off to Home Depot this Saturday for these transition kits before I come home to a flooded home one day!!

Mark

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loveoldtrux
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Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:58 pm

Well.. good news and bad news. Fixed the leak by getting a sharkbite converter from the polybutelene pipe installed 27 years ago - jury rigged it to some CPVC elbows and some sections from 2' of CPVC 3/4" pipe. Used a brass 3/4" to cpvc convertor at the water heater and glued it all together yesterday. Hey - created some NEW 4 letter words during the process as my knees are no longer made for this kind of "fun". Turned the water on and no leaks - hot water EVERYWHERE at all sinks.... EXCEPT the kitchen sink. Turn spicket on at the kitchen sink and NO water ()but cold water is working); I guess that'll be my next "fun project" for next weekend. Looking forward to washing dishes tonight in heated water from the microwave. My goodness... the things we do sometimes to survive. Got to get to work now on midi-fying some Rodgers Organ pedals to a midi interface for a 4 manual classical organ I'm building.

Later,
Mark

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Greg
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Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:33 pm

As long as you don't hear water running when it's not supposed to be, I would bet you have a faucet problem.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

ponch37300
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Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:17 pm

I don't think I read but did you have hot water at your kitchen sink before you repaired the hot water elbow leak? Or is this a new problem just since you fixed the hot water leak?

You want to make sure you don't have a leak somewhere first. It's not likely but it's worth checking. Most of the time it's the faucet or shut off valve before the faucet if there is one. I just did a couple the other day. The crud in the water builds up and blocks the flow.

Steve S.
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Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:52 am

Hot water lines are almost always more troublesome than cold lines, at least from my experience. Most of the failed aluminum crimp rings and shut-off valves I've found in my MH were on hot water lines, and most of the sediment build-up is always worse in hot lines. On the polybutylene pipes I have removed I have found more discoloration/deterioration inside the hot water lines. Thermal expansion and contraction must take a toll...thank God for pex.

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loveoldtrux
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Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:28 am

Thanks for the replies everybody - normally can't log in during the week... gotta get ready and GO to work!!

Hot water was fine before repairing the leak at the tank. Water isn't leaking anymore and I have hot water everywhere BUT the kitchen sink ( I installed an aftermarket faucet about 10 years ago ).

This weekend I'll probably dig out from under the sink and try to keep from getting bit by the mice and swap cold to hot and hot to cold to the faucet and see if the "hot water side" of the faucet STILL doesn't work. If it doesn't it'll most likely be a faucet issue --- then it's a matter of trying to fix it or replace it.

Gotta run,
Mark

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