Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hot Water Heater Woes

Monday began with me trying to stop a nagging little leak I'd noticed on the inlet side of the tank. By late Monday night, part of the basement was flooded again.

I tightened down on the leaking nut a couple of times during the day, but never got the drip stopped. This little drip proved not to matter in the least, however.

Monday evening I was working on some utensils. I had the belt sander going, the dust collector going and the radio playing loud enough to be heard over the noise made by the other two. As I was sanding this spoon, I heard a couple of metallic pops. I looked around a bit, but could never determine the source of these pops. I just shrugged it off and assumed that a small chunk of wood that had been lodged in the dust collector hose had finally come loose and hit the fan on its way into the hopper. This happen occasionally.

However, when I finished sanding the spoon and stepped back from the belt sander, I noticed that water was pouring out from under our new hot water heater and running into the basement drain. I shut the water and electricity going to the heater off, then drained the tank.

I don't know exactly what happened, but obviously the tank ruptured with enough force to split the seam in the outer skin. I would have loved to pull off the outer skin and see exactly what the rupture looked like, but I didn't think that was a good idea since I needed to return the hot water heater. I can't think of anything that I could have done to cause the rupture. It was evidently just a manufacturer's defect.

So... Tuesday I went to town (again) and swapped out my junk hot water heater for another. Then I returned home and installed it. So far, it's working. It's producing hot water and holding the water inside the tank. I'm just glad that our hot water heater is installed in a very accessible location that makes it relatively easy to swap out. Still, I'd prefer to move on to some other form of entertainment.

(BTW: The flex line nut is still leaking just a little bit. I probably should have changed out the flex line and/or the pipe nipple where it attaches.)