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Re: Quick basic advice on a dripping gas 40-gal hot-water heater

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Donna Ohl, Grady Volunteer Coordinator, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. N8N

    N8N Guest

    Preventative Maintenance. or Project Management, depending on
    context. Either one applies in my case :)

    nate
     
  2. So far, on my side of the story, the water heater, full of tepid water,
    fell over, and the drain valve popped off spewing water about. I won't soon
    forget that! The garage still stinks of smelly carpet!

    The replacement of the water heater seems to have clogged all the faucets
    (easy to clean), showerheads (even easier to clean), tub (still clogged),
    and maybe even the dishwasher (work in progress).

    I'm not sure *where* the sand came from but it's clearly in all the faucets
    so I guess we kicked it loose somehow in the water heater removal and
    replacement process.

    Anyway, now it's time to "remove" the dishwasher, if I can.
    Does it look like it can be removed from these pictures taken today?

    Counter Top:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2279233722/in/set-72157603947125744/

    Latch:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2279869536/in/set-72157603947125744/

    Bottom Right:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2279869542/in/set-72157603947125744/

    Bottom Left:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2279869546/in/set-72157603947125744/

    Do you think this dishwasher can be removed without breaking the counter
    tile?

    Donna
     
  3. Hi Only Just,

    Another great confidence booster!

    Given that wonderful suggestion, I snapped some more pics, just now, of
    under the sink where the dishwasher water seems to be coming from instead
    of looking under the "kickplate" where the dangerous-looking wires are.

    It looks like a wire and two hoses come out of the dishwasher:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2279911402/in/set-72157603947125744/

    The white hose seems to go to the garbage disposal
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2279911408/in/set-72157603947125744/

    The steel hose seems to come from the (badly corroded) hot water input:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2279911438/in/set-72157603947125744/

    Something, I'm not sure why there are three hoses, goes into the sink:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2279911420/in/set-72157603947125744/

    Does something here look like what you are describing might be clogged?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/sets/72157603947125744/

    Donna
     
  4. Hi Hallerb,
    I'm sorry I didn't see this earlier. I'm so confused with this discussion
    as to where to post.

    I hope others can keep up as I read *everything* everyone says and try to
    answser the questions so I can help myself and others can follow after
    we're done so the advice is never wasted.

    I took a bunch of pics of the dishwasher today and put them here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/sets/72157603947125744/

    (Flicker apparently allows only 3 sets so I have to mix the dishwasher clog
    with the tub clog which is, in a way, the same problem as it happened after
    the water heater replacement).

    I did do research on clogged dishwashers but it's hard to find anything
    specific to the GE Nautilus.

    This article says "unscrew the water inlet hose" to remove sediment:
    http://www.rusticgirls.com/appliances/dishwasher-not-filling.html

    This one says "debris" could be caught in the "spray arm":
    http://www.mrappliance.com/expert/manual/dishwashers.aspx

    This one again points to the "filter" and "solonoid":
    http://www.home-appliance-kitchen-aids.com/dishwashers.html

    This one suggests it might be the "float" that's clogged:
    http://www.applianceandair.com/Dishwasher/dishwasher.html#nofill

    I think what I'll do later today (I have the grandkids again) is take apart
    the inlet line and the solonoid line if I can.

    If I see sand in there, I'll know it's the problem!
    Any other suggestions?

    Donna
     
  5. Hi James,

    You gave me the courage to tackle this maybe-clogged dishwasher:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/sets/72157603947125744/

    Here's a pic, taken just now, with the "kick plate" removed:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2279869546/

    Are you suggesting I can remove that blue "solonoid" on the left side with
    the brass pipe in it and that might be what's probably clogged?

    Donna
     
  6. GregS

    GregS Guest

    I might first think about using a good shop vac and start sucking at the feed
    from the water heater or main entrance. open all taps, and of course close
    main valve. I think the line would have to reseparated at the tank. The
    dishwasher fill would have to be activated to open valve.

    ??

    greg
     
  7. GregS

    GregS Guest

    Do one tap at a time, or valve.

    greg
     
  8. Hi GregS,
    Unfortunately, we do not have a "shop vac". My vacuum cleaner isn't likely
    to do the job either ...

    I will try tonight to remove the inlet water line if I can find where it
    goes and to remove the solonoid to see if either have a screen.

    If it's not that, then I'll look at the "float" and the "nozzle" wherever
    they are, but first I'll try to see if it's the blue solonoid or the hidden
    inlet screen if there is any.

    Donna
     
  9. Guest

    If it's anything like the little filter screens on the hot water and
    cold water inlet pipes to clothes washers machines, those little filter
    screens should occasionally be cleaned.
    cuhulin
     
  10. Guest

    clog can be anywhere and is likely multiple locations.......

    good luck and replace you galvanized ASAP the rough interior surface
    of galvanized pipe leads to gunk accumulating and breaking lose
    causing clogs of all types.

    soleanoid valves are easy to replace but expensive
     
  11. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    soleanoid valves are easy to replace but expensive


    In the unlikely event that it needs it, she can have the solenoid from my
    junk dishwasher, I haven't had a chance to haul it to the dump yet. I see
    free dishwashers on craigslist all the time, most are made by just a few
    different brands and have many parts in common.
     
  12. Only Just

    Only Just Guest

    You can only try to get it out but to avoid problems try clearing the hose
    first then worry about pulling the dishwasher out from its location. It
    always annoyed me when I had to remove them from the benches for servicing
    when I did it for a living as kitchen builders seem to always work to very
    close fitting making it nearly impossible to remove and that is when it is
    all built as a full unit. They never allow for variations including putting
    down a new floor or replacing the unit whereas the new unit is usually a
    different size, cupboards can easily be built up or facias placed in but
    removing tops and cupboards is more difficult and expensive. At least it
    looks easier for you as you have a level tile floor which will be easy to
    slide it on and not damaged as easily.
    Good luck and waiting for the result.
    Just.
     

  13. I always open an outside faucet wide open for about five minutes any
    time the water is turned off to blow as much crap out of the lines
    before using anything inside the house.


    --
    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
     
  14. Hi Michael,
    This is a GREAT idea! (if it works).

    What I don't get is WHY there was all that sandy stuff after I replaced my
    wagter heater. If anything, there should be LESS sediment in the lines, not
    more (way more).

    Where did all that sandy sediment that clogged every single faucet in our
    tiny house come from?

    Is this common that sediment blocks everything in one quick pass after
    replacing a water heater?

    If so, why did NONE of the tutorials I read mention that simple hint you
    just gave us?

    Donna
     
  15. Guest

    ahh when you turn off the water, drain the lines, and turn the water
    back on. did you note the shuddering the first time you used water?
    thats normal but you have galvanized lines full of crud which broke
    loose and clogged stuff.

    PEX and copper have smooth insides which dont collect crud.

    sorry donna you need all your water lines replaced.

    incidently water companies have the same trouble, and this is whu they
    flush fire hydrants a couple times a year. confirms the hydrant works
    and moves along dirt in lines.

    thats why flushing sometimes causes brown or cruddy water
     
  16. Guest

    with copper of plastic lines its a non issue, and few today have
    galvanized.

    my neighbor got severly burnt at work after a water outage. when it
    was turned back on the hot tea machine sprayed scalding water all over
    her hand. she has permanent nerve damage
     
  17. Hi Hallerb,

    Ah. Yes. When the water was turned back on, there was a lot of sputtering
    and shuddering going on, mostly sputtering. I thought it had to do with the
    new burner.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2276890136/

    But, this shaking & flushing of the pipes must have shaken loose sandy
    grainy "crud" as every galvanized pipe I replaced was almost clogged
    completely with what you called "scale".
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2273250265/

    The water *was* brownish for a long while (you can see that in this photo
    even after cleaning out the showerheads, so the crud was *still* coming
    through the lines even ten minutes after initially turning the water back
    on!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/donnaohl/2279233720/

    I guess all that brownish was sandy grainy stuff that caught in the filters
    of *all* my faucets, showerheads, and dishwashers!

    Nobody warned me about that so I'm *adding* it to the how to that I wrote
    up!
     
  18. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest


    The sputtering is due to air in the lines, it gets trapped in all sorts of
    places and sputters and spurts out when a tap is opened.

    I've only ever seen a couple houses that had galvanized pipes, and in one
    case they were all being replaced. The sediment problem is something mostly
    specific to galvanized, so it's not on the radar for most people.
     
  19. msg

    msg Guest

    James Sweet wrote:

    Huh? Look most anywhere in the 'rust belt' or in areas where the housing
    stock is largely greater than 80 years old ;-) Too bad that 'tutorials'
    aren't directed at those situations to which they are most needed.

    Michael
     
  20. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest


    I'm not anywhere near the rust belt.

    I know several people with old houses that originally had galvanized, but
    they're all copper now.
     
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