: Why do they call it a "hot water heater?"

02-04-06, 10:23 PM
Shouldn't it be "cold water heater?" I mean, the water isn't hot when it goes in to be heated. And if it were already hot, why would it need to be heated?

Anyway, one of mine blew today. Of course it's upstairs, rather than on the ground floor.

The tank sits in a plastic "dish" of some sort, with a long piece of PVC pipe running out of it. If it goes out and water gushes out of that pressure relief thingy, it's supposed to drain outside.

Something clogged the drain pipe and water ended up collecting in the space between the floors. The plaster formed this cute little bubble and water was slowly dripping out of it. I poked a hole in the bubble and water started gushing out.

That was three hours ago. It was still dripping ten minutes ago, so I went at it with a knife to poke a hole in the sheetrock. Then water REALLY started gushing out. I have no idea how many gallons are stuck in the ceiling. I may have to do some random drilling to find out!

This unit is about 17 years old, so I probably shouldn't complain too much. I'm really glad I have another one.

Here's the hole I poked in the ceiling.

There's water standing in the pan, but not much of it. The plywood floor decking is dry all the way around to the back.

That little white stub of pipe leads outside. I guess it's clogged. The plywood floor is wet right beside it.

02-04-06, 10:44 PM
I had a similar situation when my kids where small and overflowed the sink. You have drained the majority of water out. Now let it set for a few weeks to dry out the drywall. Then you can patch, sand and paint it.

02-05-06, 10:21 AM
Haven't drained the tank yet. The ceiling quit dripping sometime last night. It should be okay. Just another annoying weekend project I don't want to do.

I had an upstairs jacuzzi explode on me once, and this isn't as bad as that was.

02-05-06, 11:05 AM
That is a bummer!!! Yeah I agree, now that I think about it, I am not sure why it's called a hot water heater either......?

02-05-06, 11:55 AM
It should just be called a "water heater". The water may not be cold either, but room temperature. Adjectives like "cold" or "hot" are overkill IMO.

Did you check your insurance policy? The damage should be covered.

I see the PVC for the pressure relief valve passing thru the bottom of the pan. Surely they didn't drill a hole in the pan for the PVC to pass thru??!! Did they seal around the thru-hole so water in the pan from a leaky tank wouldn't run out the bottom of the pan????

Are you sure the pan drain is plugged because I would expect to see an overfilled pan! Instead of the comment " There's water standing in the pan, but not much of it." It sounds to me like it leaked out around the hole for the PVC pipe. What idiot installed it that way!!

Edit: It is probably an optical illusion and the PVC just dumps into the pan. If so, ignore my ranting about drilling holes in the pan.

02-05-06, 01:19 PM
Yes the drain pan is designed to catch water from the pressure relief valve if it decides to open and from the water heater tank if it starts to leak. Then there is a separate drain line drill through the drain pan to be plumbed to outside. So if the drain pan fills with water that other pipe that is drilled through the side of the pan is to drain the water to outside.

Elvis where that pipe terminates to outside put some screening around it so no rodents or other critters make a home out of that pipe. That was probably your blockage that caused the drain pan not to drain and overflow in your house.

02-05-06, 04:52 PM
We had 2 hot water tanks leak like that before but at least ours is in the basement. Our only problem with it now is that we run out of hot water a lot and the thermostat seems to die every year:rant2:

02-05-06, 09:21 PM
Yes, it is a Water Heater. We insiders joke about the hot water heater designation lay people use. Hot water tank is fine if you are just referring to a tank. Bummer about your disaster.

02-05-06, 10:38 PM
Water heaters ...or SAMs (surface to air missle) are pretty badass ...

I have had the disinct privalge of sending one into orbit .....one of those experences that still make me laugh so hard i cry ...kinda like that buzzard i hit witht he courtesy van yesterday ....he was so trying ot get lift ....not enough .....WHACK !!!!