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-   -   Water heater nipples after 3 1/2 years? (https://www.thehulltruth.com/dockside-chat/1057333-water-heater-nipples-after-3-1-2-years.html)

saltyreefer 01-14-2020 08:55 PM

Water heater nipples after 3 1/2 years?
 
https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.the...1d205bd28.jpeg
https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.the...994fc9c62.jpeg
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.the...1178f030a.jpeg
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.the...949ddec5c.jpeg

saltyreefer 01-14-2020 09:00 PM

Iím aware I need to replace them. I installed the wh. I am an hvac tech and every warehouse we go in has the sacrificial anodes to clamp on the lineset, we call them grenades. I wonder if one wouldíve helped here? Works fine on a boat...

boat_beginner 01-14-2020 09:00 PM

You need some dielectric unions.

saltyreefer 01-14-2020 09:02 PM


Originally Posted by boat_beginner (Post 13267343)
You need some dielectric unions.

Going into the heater?

boat_beginner 01-14-2020 09:09 PM

Yes sir. Thread these onto the top of the new nipples, and sweat the copper to them.
Get sweat x female.


https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.the...3a6854dcd.jpeg

Dan_F 01-14-2020 09:54 PM

A brass nipple wouldnít do that.

polarred21 01-15-2020 12:15 AM

They are always galvanized here. Do you know the internal anode is in place?

PXMAN 01-15-2020 12:53 AM

WOW! That’s a lot of corrosion. I just had a 18 year old water heater replaced and it looked a lot better than yours.

On the other hand, my new water heater is the same make and model as yours. Hope mine last longer than 3.5 years.

Why do you have the expansion tank on yours? Never had one on any of ours?

edwardh1 01-15-2020 04:52 AM

seems the manufacturer of the heater (Rheem) should be asked too- send them the pix and ask. both inlet and outlet look defective
Its not their fault of course but I bet they know whats wrong. Maybe suspect Junk chinesium metal?

a few years ago I bought a box of Hot dip galvanized nails from Lowes they were all rusted inside the box. their Jax or miami distributor told me we will send you another box free. I said thanks but ......

I have had good luck with ace hardware loose galv nails by the pound

whats my point? the stores dont test any thing- they buy on price only


buzzard302 01-15-2020 05:37 AM

Had that on my hot side outlet fitting recently. The fitting was the top of the anode rod. Just a guess, but I'll bet your anode rod is shot and the piping is taking the toll.

PF-88 01-15-2020 05:55 AM

You have Galvanic Corrosion going on, need to install dialectic heat trap nipples.

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.the...1eb05cbf6f.png

PF-88 01-15-2020 06:03 AM


Originally Posted by boat_beginner (Post 13267358)
Yes sir. Thread these onto the top of the new nipples, and sweat the copper to them.
Get sweat x female.


https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.the...3a6854dcd.jpeg

This on top off new dialectic nipples and problem solved (that is if you can get those old nipples out) You have Galvanic Corrosion issue going on that has to be resolved.

Stim 01-15-2020 06:05 AM

You might have an electrical-grounding issue. ??
Unrelated but you should have flexible connections from tank to house plumbing.

C Dave 01-15-2020 06:30 AM

I bet on a water leak at the threads from the beginning.


mojohalibut 01-15-2020 06:31 AM

My company does plumbing service and have run into this problem frequently. As someone mentioned, it is usually a an electrical problem. Have an electrician check all of your grounding connections including the connections at both ground rods at the meter base (if you have 2). It also happens when the unit is connected with PEX

Still Stoked 01-15-2020 06:38 AM


Originally Posted by PF-88 (Post 13267696)
This on top off new dialectic nipples and problem solved (that is if you can get those old nipples out) You have Galvanic Corrosion issue going on that has to be resolved.


This. And to answer the expansion tank question...You did it correctly. Any closed system needs one to accommodate thermal expansion. PER CODE TOO !

mojohalibut 01-15-2020 06:44 AM

Looking at the picture I see that the heater is served by old wire flex, is this an older house? Many houses used the copper water lines as a ground which was fine as long as they stayed intact. If the copper lines have been repaired with anything other than copper the ground no longer exists. Have a competent electrician evaluate it

HookMeUpII 01-15-2020 07:22 AM


Originally Posted by Stim (Post 13267699)
You might have an electrical-grounding issue. ??
Unrelated but you should have flexible connections from tank to house plumbing.

First thing I thought of. He probably doesn't have a grounded system and the current is causing corrosion from the leaking current.

edwardh1 01-15-2020 07:32 AM

whonder what a Rheem "professional" heater means?

chawk25 01-15-2020 07:37 AM

Lowes and HD sell 3/4 brass or stainless steel - more expensive but that might be the solution to your problem. Also - are you on well water? - high levels of minerals from well might cause this. Install water filter to capture the minerals and other chemicals in your water. I would also use stainless steel braided flex hook up hoses - so if you have to do any repairs later you don't have to cut and redo all the copper. Just unscrew it and screw back.

Kenny Powers 01-15-2020 08:19 AM

I don't know what's wrong with your nipples.... but here's what a good pair looks like.

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.the...81a284ac9f.png

bjm9818 01-15-2020 08:28 AM

I’ve had something happen on a rental so didn’t notice if for two years.
But Only one side, my guess was when I sweated the copper the pipe thread dope melted a little causing a slight leak.

Depending on how bad things are with the water heater threading when you take off the nipples you may just want to replace the tank and start over

saltyreefer 01-15-2020 09:14 AM


Originally Posted by Kenny Powers (Post 13268151)
I don't know what's wrong with your nipples.... but here's what a good pair looks like.

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.the...81a284ac9f.png

Those ainít no Home Depot nipples 😁

saltyreefer 01-15-2020 09:19 AM

Last summer I installed a transfer switch and at the same time we abandoned the old single ground rod and installed two new ground rods, had a permit and everything passed inspection. So Iím not thinking itís a grounding issue unless itís between the tank and panel box. Thereís also a ground clamped to the copper pipe.
Iím going to attempt to remove the nipples this weekend and go with either the braided hoses or those unions that were previously posted.

saltyreefer 01-15-2020 09:20 AM

And go with stainless or brass nipples.

popeyeiii 01-15-2020 09:46 AM

I gotta say, I was expecting something else when I read the title of this thread.

willf650 01-15-2020 09:59 AM


Originally Posted by saltyreefer (Post 13268360)
And go with stainless or brass nipples.

Dielectric nipples, neither stainless or brass.

The supply/outlet side of my hot water heater is rusted but not as bad as yours, Mine is due to leaking/weeping caused by the thermal expansion of the pipe as its heating up and cooling from use. The inlet side which doesn't fluctuate in temperature as much is fine. I doubt its an electrical issue.

edwardh1 01-15-2020 10:34 AM

why is it rusting on the outside? is it leaking?

where is it located- if in a garage Id be afraid to mess with it

saltyreefer 01-15-2020 11:01 AM

Itís in the garage, it had a small drip/weep from one of the nipples but the corrosion seemed to fix that lol
Ive put off repairing it due to getting busy with other jobs and forgetting about it. I gotta do something with it soon though.

Still Stoked 01-15-2020 11:08 AM

If you did indeed have a weep leak, that’s the initial culprit.

I know code calls for bonded plumbing systems, but attaching a ground to a metal plumbing system CAN cause problems. I’ve seen it. Verify good electrical bonds and grounds, and remove the plumbing bond wire.

Just1more 01-15-2020 12:13 PM


Originally Posted by saltyreefer (Post 13267345)
Going into the heater?

Yup. That's electrolysis going on there.


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