Question about Rheem Water Heaters

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I have a Rheem Optima 401 series hot water tank which has started leaking from the top of the tank and dripping warm water down the side. I have now switched off the water supply to the tank. We have a rain water tank which is near capacity and feeds the water into the Rheem (I assume this to be tha case as the hot water coming out of the bath is often brown). So I am wondering whether this has anything to do with the problem, although the rainwater tank has overflown before and the Rheem didn't leak.

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1 Answer

Yes, turn off leaking water heater because it might rupture.

Sounds like the tank is rusted and needs to be replaced.
Open following link:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Leaking-water-heater.html

For your next water heater, read following information
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html

Upvote the help.
And take advantage of fixya expert assistance live.
For a price, expert works with you while you work on water heater or any do-it-yourself project.
Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

Posted on May 25, 2011

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1 Answer

Corroding top of rheemglas 21vr50-2t


Corrosion caused by condensed acidic water dripping down vent pipe, bad venting pushing acidic combustion by-product out of vent hood, trace chemicals stored in same room as water heater, dielectric corrosion because water pipes not grounded, hot water pipe above tank is not insulated and condensation dripping down on top of tank ... are things that come to mind.
Test venting:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-gas-water-heater.html#vent
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-gas-water-heater.html#venting
http://www.thetankatwaterheaterrescue.com/forums/forum3/

Mar 26, 2013 | Rheem Water Heaters

1 Answer

I have a Rheem B33325 hot water tank, it is leaking from the pvc pipe that runs down the side of the tank. Help!


Sounds like TP valve is leaking:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Leaking-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-TP-valve.html

Do not cap off TP valve.
Raise lever and gently lower back down to see if TP will turn off
Replace TP valve.

If problem persists, re-post question with specifics about your tank: such as electric, or gas, and if unit has a blower on top, and if gas control valve is electronic or has a dial.

Aug 10, 2011 | Rheem Water Heaters

1 Answer

My Rheem electric hot water heater occasionally leaks water then stops completely. This has done this three times now over the pact couple years.


It sounds like TP valve is releasing water, but you don't describe where water is located.
Run through process-of-elimination check list on following link:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Leaking-water-heater.html

1) If problem is TP valve, event could be caused by 'stacking'
Stacking is where you draw amounts of hot water many times in succession.
Top part of heater is plenty hot because water heater is keeping up with hot water draw.
Incoming cold water enters bottom of tank through dip tube causing thermostat to read cool temperature and activate burner or element. This causes higher than ordinary temperatures at upper part of tank and TP valve reacts by releasing water.

2) TP valve could be going bad.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-TP-valve.html

3) Improper venting can cause gas water heater to have water on top of tank or dripping down inside tank where it shows on floor after rusting out combustion chamber.

4) Thermostats are old or not reading correct temperature.
Turn down thermostats:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-adjust-water-heater-temperature.html
Replace gas valve on gas water heater, and flush tank.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Clean-sediment-out-of-water-heater.html
Replace electric water heater thermostats
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

5) Add a comment for more free help.
Also take advantage of fixya phone service.
For a price, expert speaks with you over phone while you work on heater or any do-it-yourself project.
Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

Jan 17, 2011 | Rheem Water Heaters

1 Answer

I have a Rheem 40 gal. tank that is leaking water front the top where the vent stack is. It is pouring out. Can it be repaired?


A leaking water heater cannot be repaired, assuming it's the tank leaking and not nearby water pipe.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-leaking.html

First thing is to protect your property from catastrophic tank failure where tank ruptures and water runs until it is shut off:
Tanks are under pressure when they are hot.
Close cold water shut-off located above tank.
Turn control knob to 'pilot' so pilot is lit but burner will not turn on.
Open hot side on tub for few moments to relieve tank pressure.

Now your property is safe.
You need a new water heater.
In mean time, gas water heater makes 41 gallons hot water per hour.
Shower used 5-9 gallons hot water.
Bath uses 10-15 gallons hot water.
You can turn on water heater for short stretches and limp by until you get a new heater.

Steps for installing gas water heater:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html

Dec 20, 2010 | Rheem 40 Gallon FVR NATGAS Low WATER...

1 Answer

We have a brand new rheem 40 gal elec water heater, after installation we have water leaking from the base of the relief valve, pooling up in the plastic fitting and making it way over the side all over...


Water heater should be set in a drip pan.
Otherwise, put 1 gallon bucket under TP release pipe to catch water.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-at-bottom-of-water-heater.html#drip-pan

When you say relief valve, I assum you are talking about brass valve located on top of tank or near top of tank. This is TP valve and a pipe connects to this valve and runs down to within 6" of bottom of tank. TP valve has a small lever on it.
If you are talking about tank drain valve located at bottom of tank, then add a comment.
Following information is for TP valve.

Dripping TP valve can be caused by 3 different thing:

1) Obstruction inside TP valve. Open TP valve for a moment to flush away particles and slowly lower lever back down. See if water stops dripping, if not, then replace TP valve

2) Defective TP valve: replace TP valve. Turn off electricity to water heater. Let heater cool for several hours so you do not get scalded. Close shut off valve located above tank on cold side. Open tub spout to relieve pressure, open tank drain or open TP valve and empty water below TP valve level. If TP is located on top of tank, not much water has to be drained. Tank is under press when hot, so be careful. Put teflon tape on new valve and install with big pipe wrench by turning clockwise until TP valve is very tight.

3) Overheating tank. TP valve is temperature-pressure valve. If tank water is over 150 degrees, the TP valve starts drizzling hot water to relieve tank pressure.
Lower tank pressure two different ways:
a) turn down thermostat
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-adjust-water-heater-temperature.html
b) install expansion tank on incoming cold water line
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-at-bottom-of-water-heater.html#expansion-tank

Dec 19, 2010 | Rheem Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve

2 Answers

Leeking water from bottom


I wrote a page on leaking water heaters with resources and information:
Page lists things to check.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-at-bottom-of-water-heater.html

Also run hand over tank to find warm spot that says where leak is coming from
A rusted tank cannot be repaired.

If your tank is rusted out, it might burst open and flood the area.
Hot water inside tank is under pressure.
Turn off heat source to water heater.
Turn off water valve located above tank.
Open tub faucet on hot side and relieve pressure from tank.

You can limp along with a leaking water heater by turning it on when hot water is needed.
For example a shower uses 5-9 gallons hot water.
Turn gas water heater on for 15-20 minutes.
Turn electric on for 20-30 minutes.

To conserve resources with next heater:
http://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html

Nov 15, 2010 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

I have a rheem hot water tank when you turn on the hot water it comes out nice an hot but not even 30 secounds after that the water cools off and it stays as just warm water. I hear the gas kick in to heat...


Could be your thermostat but it might be your inlet dip tube. Your water heater has a plastic pipe that carries the cold water to the bottom of the tank. When you open your tap, it takes the hot water from the top of the tank, the cold goes to the bottem and gets heated. If this tube breaks, or comes loose, it will short circuit the cycle. The tank is hot but as soon as you start using water, cold water comes in at the top and mixes with your hot water, giving you just warm water. If you have room above your tank, you can remove the union on the cold side , screw out the pipe nipple, and look inside and see if there is a tube. If not you can buy one from home depot or lowes for just a few dollars. Also a water heater should be partially drained annually to remove any solids from the bottom, which will allow better heat transfer.If you find bits of plastic when you do, then you know where your dip tube went. Also if you've had a hot water faucet stop up and it looked like plastic there it is.

Jun 21, 2010 | Rheem 40 Gallon FVR NATGAS Low WATER...

1 Answer

Top heating element was broke. Replaced got hot water for week. Now have to run hot water for 20 mins before it goes from warm to hot. Top heating element reads 240VAC bottom heating element reads...


look for a badly connected power line ont he bottom element, or any connection upstream of the power terminals. voltage readings usually drop to that range when you only have one side of the 220v circuit connected.

Jun 20, 2010 | Rheem 50 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

Pop off valve dripping Rheem 50 gal electric valve at bottom


If you are reffering to the drain valve at the bottom of the hot water tank. It may be leaking due to the O ring being cracked or worn out. You can either drain the tank and replace the valve or you can buy a hosebib brass cap and thread it on the existing valve. There is no cause for alarm when doing this as this valve is just to drain the tank when replacing your hot water heater

Feb 23, 2010 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

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