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Thread: My Weekend

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Kansas City, Missouri
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    My Weekend

    This may be a bit of a rant, so I apologize.. We're needing a new HVAC system, so been spending this weekend getting read for the installation later this week. First up, I removed a 20 year old evergreen shrub and poured a new concrete pad for the new condenser to sit on. Didn't want the guys having to trek around in the mud, so got some weed mat and mulch put down.
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    Next step I needed to remove the bulkhead they built in our laundry room, which covered the entire ceiling as there didn't seem a reason to drop the entire ceiling in the room and we want to have room to stack our washer and dryer.
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    The only part that required a bulk head was about 2 feet in where they dropped the duct to allow for the main power feed to the house. the rest of the ceiling could be full height.

    So here is where the rant begins. Seems the previous owner didn't seem that is was necessary to put the wiring for a 100 amp service in any kind of protective enclosure. so the 4 wires I thought were coax wires for satellite service (and about to be cut), were actually 100 amp feeds for my shop! Luckily I looked at the print on the lines to see what they actually were before snipping them in two. I now have some HVAC guys coming in and working around something that may cause me a law suit if they don't know any better.

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    I did take care to wrap them in red tape, will post a sign on them, and will shut off the breaker while they are there. I plan to remove them from the breaker box and re-run them in conduit in the near future.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    30,017
    It's amazing what people try to get away with to save a few bucks.

    Confessing my ignorance, but what's the white tank-like thing on top of your water heater? Haven't seen anything like that around these parts (or around SoCal when I lived there).
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
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    13,361
    Ooof, Well, at least you go thing sorted out.

    Vaughn, I'm going to guess it's some kind of water hammer prevention device?
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    12,258
    Well i am happy you read the cable print or i might have lost a friend this weekend.

    As Vaughn said its amazing what people do to save a few $$.

    Used to watch Holmes on Homes many years ago when first arriving here. Blew my mind what he uncovered.
    It was not just a matter of $$ saving, in many cases the skill and knowledge of what material to use and how to use it was obviously not present by whoever did the work. Never mind building code awareness.

    And to think when i ran power to my old shop, i not only buried it 2 ft ran a 50 mm conduit i also used a armored sheath cable. Also buried a tape required by code above the conduit indicating presence of power line. Why take chances.


    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    ...what's the white tank-like thing on top of your water heater? Haven't seen anything like that around these parts (or around SoCal when I lived there).
    It's an expansion tank. Has an air bladder in it that's inflated to the desired water pressure, then it acts as a buffer when the heated water expands. They're necessary where there's a pressure regulator or an anti-backflow device on the main water line.

    I have a regulator on my incoming line from the street. The unregulated water pressure here is 135~140 psi (!) and the regulator takes it down to 60 psi. Without an expansion tank, the water heater's temp/pressure valve will pop and release water onto the floor.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
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    4,352
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Used to watch Holmes on Homes many years ago when first arriving here. Blew my mind what he uncovered.
    It was not just a matter of $$ saving, in many cases the skill and knowledge of what material to use and how to use it was obviously not present by whoever did the work. Never mind building code awareness.
    Wish that show was still on... always enjoyed watching him fix things...

    I don't know enough about electricity to mess with it much... generally always call in the professionals... I have been known to run a wire and hook up a new plug off an existing line, but always get my HOW-TO books down before I start.

    On the HVAC unit, Ft. Louden Electric (our local coop) put in my new AC unit through one of their contractors.... they brought their own pad for it to sit on... my unit is a full 4 or 5 foot square... would have taken up half the back yard, so we moved it to the end of the house and sideyard... all new duct work under house... works great and keeps the costs down...

    Good luck with the new unit.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Kansas City, Missouri
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    It's amazing what people try to get away with to save a few bucks.

    Confessing my ignorance, but what's the white tank-like thing on top of your water heater? Haven't seen anything like that around these parts (or around SoCal when I lived there).
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    It's an expansion tank. Has an air bladder in it that's inflated to the desired water pressure, then it acts as a buffer when the heated water expands. They're necessary where there's a pressure regulator or an anti-backflow device on the main water line.

    I have a regulator on my incoming line from the street. The unregulated water pressure here is 135~140 psi (!) and the regulator takes it down to 60 psi. Without an expansion tank, the water heater's temp/pressure valve will pop and release water onto the floor.
    Jim and Brent are both correct, keeps the pipes from banging. Most of my lines run directly to the faucets without any water-hammer arrestors on the lines by those faucets, except those that I've added during remodeling. So it serves as a whole house arrestor.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    4,699
    Well that's plumb terrifying right there. Really glad you figured out what the wires were before you cut them!

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    Jim and Brent are both correct, keeps the pipes from banging. Most of my lines run directly to the faucets without any water-hammer arrestors on the lines by those faucets, except those that I've added during remodeling. So it serves as a whole house arrestor.
    Fixes another problem as well..
    They added backflow preventers at the street to our neighborhood a few years back and I started having issues with the pressure release valve leaking. Not being the sharpest tack in the box I didn't put 2 and 2 together and figured that it was a bad pressure release valve and given that the heater was over 10 years old went ahead and replaced it. The new one had the same problem because the problem was the heat expansion didn't have any place to go (apparently it will often expand back down into the street). Added the expansion tank and problem solved (one unnecessary hot water heater replacement later..).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
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    I first encountered the expansion tank at my son's house. Why can't he just use a $15 relief valve like I have used all my life?

    Answer 1: Because it may leak water. Hint, the amount it leaks when the pressure rises is measured as a fraction of a cup, only occasionally. Most houses plumb the release water to drain outside, but my father wanted to know how much he was losing, so he collected the release water, and most had evaporated before it reached measurable levels. Typical lifetime of the very simple relief valves is over 25 years... I haven't have to replace any, and many of the ones I have encountered I know have been in service at least 25 years.

    Answer 2: Because current building code in this area requires it - $40, and the original lasted less than 10 years.

    I am sure glad some expert thinks a $40 device that lasts 10 years is better than a $15 device with indefinite life. End of Rant.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums View Post
    ...I am sure glad some expert thinks a $40 device that lasts 10 years is better than a $15 device with indefinite life. End of Rant.
    Actually, Charlie, your son should have both. The expansion tank doesn't protect from an over-temp. The valve on the tank protects from both over-temp and over-pressure.

    BTW, our water here has so many minerals (and other crud) in it that a relief valve typically only last 5~7 years. I've had to replace two of them since I've lived here. The local water supplier admits the problem exists, but won't foot the bill for the replacement valves. We also have to flush the tank every few months, and clean faucet aerators frequently. I also had to install a filter on the inlet to our washing machine.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

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