Once again the “you don’t know what you don’t know” axiom has raised its ugly head. This time we ran across it while running a plumbing service call in Dyer, Indiana near our home base of Schererville.
See that little white tank on the water pipe above the water heater (see image above)? That’s a good thing. It absorbs the expansion of the hot water as the heater warms the water up, saving the stresses which would otherwise cause the glass lining of the heater to crack. Cracked glass equals a tank failure and a very expensive replacement problem.
Except in this case the expansion tank is placed in the wrong position in the water line. It should have been placed after the shutoff valve for the water heater for two reasons.
First, if somebody shuts that water heater valve while the heater is in service, they have effectively eliminated the expansion tank from the hot water heater system and it can no longer serve its purpose.
Second, expansion tanks need to be serviced occasionally and if the tank is placed before the valve, you then have to shut off the entire house to facilitate service or replacement.
Guess the guy who put that tank in didn’t know what he didn’t know.
But the next problem is the real clincher. See that grey or silver pipe coming off the top of the heater and wrapping around the other bigger silver pipe like a snake (see image below)?
The way that pipe is installed causes every bit of the flue gas (including all the carbon monoxide) produced by that water heater to spill into the room in which it is located.
In case you didn’t know, carbon monoxide is a toxic, poisonous gas that is also a silent killer. Low doses can make you sick, and slightly higher doses cause death.
Guess the guy who installed this water heater didn’t know what he didn’t know.
Before you hire anyone to perform plumbing work on your home, or allow a “friend” to help out with a DIY project, insure that you know everything a State of Indiana Licensed Journeyman Plumber knows before you begin.
If you think there might be something you don’t know, give us a call at Yes! Plumbing. We are here to insure that you and yours are safe from the many hazards associated with poor plumbing installations. We are available 24 hours a day.
Also, to make sure this doesn’t happen to you, we’ve written a guide on how to find the best plumbing company who use licensed plumbers.