Question about RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

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Hear water in the pipes in the walls

Woke up with no hot water, but could hear water in the water pipes(a natural occurance in this older house-=when the water is running) replaced the heating elements, high temp cut off, and the upper thermostat. we briefly have hot water, but can still hear water flowing through the pipes, even when there is no water running. could this be a fault in the hot water heater-allowing water to seep through, or is it a fact that we have a leak in the walls? the hot water heater we are dealing with is 15 yrs old at least.
(my e-mail address has zeroes instead of o's)

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  • c00lwhipt1 Jan 16, 2009

    the sound of water seeping through the pipes is only happening whenever the hot water heater is on-=even though no faucets are on. the outlet valve is warm, not hot.Also, when replacing the element, does it matter if the wires are reversed? there is a yellow wire and a blue wire that connect to the new element.

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Before you can assume you have a problem with the hot water heater you need to find the leak first. If you indeed have a leak you are not only loosing water, but your hot water heater may being trying to heat the tank all the time.
I suggest that you get some help from a friend, First start off by making sure all faucets and toliet valves are turned off. Try to locate the sound of the running water. Now place you help new the sound and go turn off the water to the hot water heater, Have your friend tell you if the water sound stops. IF the water sound stops than this is a leak in a pipe and it is a hot water leak. In this case you will need to turn off the power to the hot water heater or the gas supply.
By leaving the power or gas to the water heater you are mearly tossing cash out the window because the water heater can not heat the amount of water traveling through it.
You will then need to try to find access to the pipe that is leaking, either through removing drywall, hopefully it's in a place that can be accessed easily, but either way you have to repair the leak.
If you have copper lines in the house or Sea tek (plastic lines) you should be able to purchase either soldier copper fittings and some soldier or some plastic couplings to make the repair.
If by chance you have a real old house that is using galvanized pipe you may have a bit harder project in having to remove the old pipe back to the nearest joint..
If you are familiar with soldiring copper pipes than you should have a issue. however because of the relative placement of the leak sounds to be in a wall you might consider finding the leak and calling a plumber or a good friend that has a good deal of plumbing experience to help.

Posted on Oct 18, 2013

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That may be normal, sometimes the heater may be pumping water into the heating system to keep pressure level.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009

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Yes, I'd say you have a leak somewhere.

Do you have a home heater that uses the hot water for its source of heat?

If your dip tube is broken it could also contribute to running out of hot water quickly or near emediatly.

The dip tube is what forces the water to come off the bottom of the tank instead of the top where the cold comes in. If the tube is failed, then you are just recycling cold water and not touching the hot water below it.

But if water is flowing through the pipes and nothing is turned on with no water based heater, then you must have a leak somewhere.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009

  • Danny Clark
    Danny Clark Jan 18, 2009

    About the element. no it doesnt matter if the two wires are reversed.



    When you say it only happens when the heater is on. Do you mean when the electric power is on to the heater, or when the water from the heater (shutoff valve) is on?



    If you mean the shut off valve, then these must be a leak. If you mean the electric, then you are probably hearing noise made as a result of water heating up, pressure building, and circulation from that.



    Also, does your system have a recirculation loop?



    Some units have that to ensure that the water in the pipes is always hot. That way, you don't have to wait seconds to even minits for hot water to come out of the tap.



    If you have a recirculation loop, then thats the source of your sound.

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Welcome to Fixya! You need to Replace that Hot Water Heater. After this is Done Hopefully, You will not here the Water inside the Walls. Either way the Water Heater is Bad. Could STILL be a Leak in the Wall though! Make sure and check!

Posted on Jan 16, 2009

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It sounds like you have a leak in the wall somewhere. you should not hear water running when it isnt. i would try to track down the leak before it becomes more major.

Posted on Jan 16, 2009

  • Ronnie Houston Jan 16, 2009

    the wires could be reversed the only thing i can suggest it that you switch them and see if that dosent solve the problem

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I would suggest if you hear water running but nothing is on that there is a leak in the pipes in the wall..
Also is the outlet pipe on the water heater hot ?

Robert

Posted on Jan 16, 2009

  • Roberta Smith
    Roberta Smith Jan 16, 2009

    My suggestion about the water heater tho you may not want to hear it is to replace it. a new water heater will be more energy efficient and durable.

    As for the noise in the walls... i suspect the leak is in the hot water side and although you haven't noticed the water leaking you will.

    a quick way to tell is to compare the water pressure between hot and cold.



    Robert

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