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A Handyman Helping Hand

Re: Water heater leak

Posted By: Joe
Wednesday, 24 May 2000, at 8:04 p.m.

In Response To: Water heater leak (Mike Bari)

There is a 3/4 inch threaded pipe called a 'nipple' that screws into each Hot and Cold outlet/inlet at the top of the tank. Cold supply in and Hot water out pipes are attached to each nipple.

The problem appears to be one of a few things.

1) the nipple was not installed with teflon tape and has a sligh leak. Adding tape may solve the problem

2)a galvanized iron nipple (not good) and it has rusted away casuing the leak...(brass is best)

3) A galvanized nipple was used with copper pipe, or a brass nipple was used with galvanized pipe causing a dielectric union. A dielectric union is the result of two dissimilar metals coming into contact with one another, The result is an electrical charge and the removal of atom of one of the metals. The result is that one of the metals will eventually lose so many atoms it will leak.

4) Highly acidic water and any type of metal nipple or pipe. Result is same as dielectric union.

A plumber could fix whatever the problem is in a jiffy for only a few $$.

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