When appliances break...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by RoJoHen, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    QC, IL, USA
    So I managed to get the water turned off to the water heater to stop the leak. And I got the basement drain unclogged, so I'm no longer flooded.

    I even managed to disconnect my old water heater and get a new one delivered. However, due to an apparent plumber shortage in my area, they won't be able to get anyone to install it until next week.

    So I took it upon myself to install it. So far, it's not going well. I had to remove the old pipes from the water heater with a hack saw, so now I have sliced pipes dangling from the ceiling. The pipes are screwed and glued together so tightly that I can't get them apart no matter how hard I try. I need to remove the old pipes from the house so I can attach the new ones, but they just won't budge. It should be as simple as turning a wrench, but it's just not working.

    I may have to get a torch and a soldering iron, but I'm not super comfortable with that kind of work.
     
  2. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    ^ Water heater installation is not a bad DIY job, I did it as a newbie homeowner over 12 years ago and have had no trouble since. Soldering copper pipes is not too hard; you could take your scrap pieces and practice on them a little. Make sure the pieces you're fitting are clean and polished with emery cloth, and that a good coat of flux is applied evenly, without little clumps. Remember you don't have to heat the pipe right at the end, you can apply the torch a few inches away and the heat will conduct enough to melt the solder. When you get around the right temperature, the solder will suck right in to the joint; you'll get a feel for how fast to apply the wire. The solder line should be nice and silvery; if it has black marks in it, it got too hot. MAPP gas torches work well, are not too expensive and last a long time. You'll want to put threaded connectors on the pipe ends, of course, and it's a good time to replace any gate valves you can with ball valves.

    I'd say get in there and do it, you will be glad you did when you have skills for the next unforeseen plumbing job that comes up.
     
  3. farmkid

    farmkid Commodore Commodore

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    Jun 1, 2005
    What kind of pipe are they? PVC? copper? galvanized? PEX?
     
  4. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Copper.
     
  5. farmkid

    farmkid Commodore Commodore

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    Copper, eh? Well then I wouldn't try to remove the old pipes from the wall. You should be able to just clean up the ends where you cut and solder on new pieces. As J.T.B. said, soldering copper pipe isn't hard. You can find a kit at any hardware store with a bit of solder, some flux, and some emery cloth for a few dollars. He gave a good description of how to do it, and I'm sure a couple of minutes on YouTube will find you many videos showing how it's done. It's really not hard at all. The first time I ever tried it, I was just going off a description someone told me years earlier and the joint looked almost perfect and didn't leak a drop.

    Before you get too far, check to see what kind of connector is on the water heater. If it's copper, you're fine. If the pipes coming out are steel, you will need dielectric unions to hook them up. That's simply a connector that puts a piece of plastic between the two metals so they aren't electrically connected to prevent corrosion.
     
  6. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Oh yeah, I was never planning to remove the pipes from the wall, but the way they're currently installed, I have lots of copper pipes with elbow joints all over the place that don't line up with the new water heater. I ended up removing some of them with a torch and soldered adapters in their place so that I can just attach flexible water lines.

    I'M SO CLOSE TO BEING FINISHED WITH THIS PROJECT!

    The biggest problem has mainly been that this stuff is so old that nothing really lines up with the new model of water heater. Everything is off by an inch or so, so I'm replacing the water and gas pipes with the more flexible tubes. None of it is particularly difficult; it's just that I don't have a lot of the proper tools and pipe fittings, so I've had to make a couple different trips to the hardware store.

    I should have it all done in the next hour or so (I hope!).
     
  7. Kitty

    Kitty Commodore Commodore

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    ^That's the way every home repair project has gone for us, too.

    The funniest was the "5 Minute Ceiling Fan" we bought. The box said, 5 minutes to install - most of it was pre-assembled.

    5 weekends and 5 trips to the hardware store later it was finally finished. :D
     
  8. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I was so close to being finished on Friday, but I accidentally bought the wrong size adapter for my pipes. 1/2" vs. 3/4"...close enough, right?! Nope.

    And then I went out of town all weekend, so I just left it alone. I'm really hoping I'll have this fixed as soon as I can get to Lowes again today.
     
  9. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Well, I got the gas lines hooked up, and I got the water lines hooked up, and I thought I was ready to go.

    And then the water valve snapped in half, and I can't get it to turn on. So...it looks like I'm replacing the water valve.
     
  10. urbandefault

    urbandefault Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Lemon Wacky Hello
    We reach. ;)

    In the last ten years we've paid to replace the water heater, the AC, the heater, the well pump and tank, plumbing leaks in the foundation fixed, had the septic tank dug up, etc. etc.

    To mitigate some of the cost of other things going wrong I've learned new skills. I have replaced a garbage disposal, installed gas appliances, replaced the previously replaced gas water heater, installed a kitchen sink and faucet, snaked the plumbing, repaired and replaced leaking shower faucets, cut down trees ...

    The dryer now needs drum bearings. I'm trying to decide whether to take the thing apart or just buy a new one. ;)
     
  11. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Dryers are so easy. There's like 4 parts to them.

    Whoever did the plumbing in this house originally really did not want these pipes to ever be removed. It's hard to replace the broken ones when you can't get the old ones out!
     
  12. urbandefault

    urbandefault Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Lemon Wacky Hello
    Ok, I'll take that as a challenge. If you can fix a dryer, so can I. :lol:
     
  13. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    Peach Wookiee
    Just be careful about sharp things... The lint screen pull busted and we'd been taking it out with a screwdriver... I dropped the screwdriver down the shaft... My dad went to get it...
    Result? ER trip for Dad... :alienblush:
     
  14. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    QC, IL, USA
    Especially if it's just the wheels, you should try it yourself.

    The only reason I ended up replacing my old dryer was because the motor burned out, but most of the other parts are relatively easy to fix.
     
  15. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    QC, IL, USA
    Meanwhile, in my basement...

    [​IMG]
     
  16. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    That is one old valve. I tried to warn you!
    Still, you're in the home stretch, good luck.
     
  17. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I know. I only stopped last night because I was starving and needed to eat. And then I passed out in my chair.

    I WILL FINISH THIS TODAY!
     
  18. Captain Ice

    Captain Ice Cookie Constructor Moderator

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    Getting Captain Ice on to the naughty list
    Did you get it done?
     
  19. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    QC, IL, USA
    It is warming up as we speak.
     
  20. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Location:
    QC, IL, USA
    I just took a hot shower!
     

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