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Old 12-06-2018, 11:15 AM   #21
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1/2" air space under the tank and hoses on the drain tap and pressure relief valve to lead drips to the bilge will triple the life expectancy of most tanks
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Old 12-07-2018, 03:56 AM   #22
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Ken - be glad your anode was secure! I think it was the source of my leak.

I was able to remove the heat exchanger and element OK, but decided to leave the inlet & outlet nipples in place. There is a label on the tank warning to not use heat or else you could damage the 'thermoplastic dielectric fittings'. Also, a warning not to rotate the outlet nipple as there is an air vent to release trapped air. Fortunately, with the top and base removed the outer SS skin would deform enough to slide up over the nipples and off the inner tank.

The glass wool insulation was wet around the base and stained with rust. The tank base had some pitting and flaking rust, but is about 1/8" thick so I don't think it is too concerning. As I noted previously, there had been a leak at the anode area. I cleaned the whole tank up, wire brushed it and then put rust converter on it. The base looks a bit ratty, but the concave base has a 3/4" section that is not part of the pressure vessel, so it should not be an issue.

The good news is that all of the weld-on sockets appear to be in good condition, other than a small amount of surface rust. However, pic 1 shows the anode socket and there is some pitting running down the right side. On close inspection of the anode fitting, there is corrosion of part of the thread (pic 2). I surmise that the anode has had a slight leak for a long time, and that recently the corroded thread allowed a much greater leak. The inlet socket (pic 3, apologies for poor depth of field) looks to be pretty good.

I closed the orifices off and filled the tank with water. So far no wet patches anywhere. Assuming that remains the case in the morning I will cobble together something to allow a pressure test to about 150psi. If that passes then I will connect the element to power and repeat the pressure test at normal operating temp. It will take me a few days as I want to borrow some pipe-thread taps & dies from a friend to clean all the threads on the fittings before pressure testing. My HD borescope camera should arrive early next week as well. I am keen to see what the inside of the tank looks like. The element and heat exchanger had some light brown powdery scale that is easily removed. I image the lining will have some also. I have flushed a bit out already. I might put a couple of gallons of vinegar in the tank and rotate it around periodically to dislodge it.

Assuming the pressure testing is OK then I will paint the inner tank with engine enamel, get some new insulation wool and re-assemble. I think I have gotten lucky with this!
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:07 AM   #23
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Nice job!.


Not sure what your pressure test plans are, but I have found testing with compressed air is very handy. Leave a pressure gauge on it and you will see a pressure drop over time. You can also hear air leaks where you typically can't hear a water leak unless it's a real gusher. And the air leaks don't make a mess.
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Old 12-07-2018, 03:09 PM   #24
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If I can get the necessary fittings then I will use compressed air, and yes I have a gauge and valve that I should be able have connected. But I'll leave the tank pretty full, just remove a few litres or so of water. This means a smaller volume of air from the compressor and will be more safe if the tank actually ruptured. I will see any damp spots on the unpainted tank surface if there are leaks.
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Old 12-07-2018, 03:36 PM   #25
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If I can get the necessary fittings then I will use compressed air, and yes I have a gauge and valve that I should be able have connected. But I'll leave the tank pretty full, just remove a few litres or so of water. This means a smaller volume of air from the compressor and will be more safe if the tank actually ruptured. I will see any damp spots on the unpainted tank surface if there are leaks.
Once pressurized spray down all seams with a spray bottle filled with soapy water. Careful with the amount of pressure.
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Old 12-07-2018, 03:45 PM   #26
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Thanks. My Headhunter X-Caliber water pump has a max pressure of 67psi. So there's not much point in going beyond about 75. I'll take the pressure up in stages, and give it a bit of time at each point. There is no rush. I'll leave the soapy water until the end as I want to be able to see any damp patches during the test. I have the tank on a stand outside near my workshop, in good light. Any dampness is easy to see.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:01 PM   #27
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Repair Torrid 20 gal hot water tank?

Have you ever seen the episode of Myth Busters when they ran a HW tank over pressure? Spectacular.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:22 PM   #28
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Hey TT, stop scaring me! I missed that Mythbusters episode, thankfully under the circumstances.

These days Torrid say that the working pressure limit is 150psi, but that the tanks are tested to 300psi. And that the P-T relief valve is rated at 100psi. For my old tank, I'm not sure if it had the same specs. But I'm only interested in whether the thing will leak at the max pressure of my water system. So I'll only go to 75psi. And stand clear, and don some safety gear!
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:25 PM   #29
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Hey TT, stop scaring me! I missed that Mythbusters episode, thankfully under the circumstances.

These days Torrid say that the working pressure limit is 150psi, but that the tanks are tested to 300psi. And that the P-T relief valve is rated at 100psi. For my old tank, I'm not sure if it had the same specs. But I'm only interested in whether the thing will leak at the max pressure of my water system. So I'll only go to 75psi. And stand clear, and don some safety gear!
Pressure test with water for safety purposes. Any immediate rupture with air can throw off shrapnel. Years ago a guy was decapitated where I worked when a pressure test with air blew a flange of the 36” pipe.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:37 AM   #30
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Another update, and it turns out I was over optimistic. I started a pressure test with the tank almost full of water. At 20psi the upper part of the vertical weld seam became damp. At 40psi there was a fine mist emerging from 2 or 3 points on the seam, close together. The seam looks fine from the outside, just minor surface rust. The glass lining must be at least partly shot, and it rusted from the inside.

So at this point the tank is toast. I'll see if I can get a borescope pic on Monday. But I need to fly across to the west coast for a funeral on Tuesday, so if the camera does not arrive early on Monday it will be the week after before I can post the update.
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Old 12-08-2018, 07:11 AM   #31
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That's not unexpected.
Imagine if you pressure tested till failure, that seam would rip and let loose a blast, maybe fragmentation. They do have a pressure relief valve unless you remove it. I have seen videos of water tank failures going off like rockets, they actually launch themselves.

I wonder if they make a tank sealer, you pour it in and it hardens up on the inside.
Maybe an epoxy could do that.
Have to be drinking water safe.

The old Onan water lift mufflers, they are steel shell and they pour in molten plastic and spin the 'tank' and it coats the entire inside, called rotomolded.
The one I have is from 1970 and has never failed due to rust on the inside.

If they wanted, they could make a water tank last 10 times longer than they do.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:36 AM   #32
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Great job diagnosing the problem. Now you can replace the tank knowing there was no other alternative.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:39 AM   #33
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Now that your pressure test is safely concluded, it's time for some fun.


Here's the Myth Buster's experiment.
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Old 12-08-2018, 09:21 AM   #34
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Remember that the Mythbusters spectacle involves heating the contents of the tank to superheated temps under pressure. When the tank fails, the instant pressure drop causes the contents flash off into steam. This occurs in the blink of an eye as the contents of the tank expand to 1025 times the volume. It is spectacular. It is a reminder that the lowly T&P valve on the water heater is what defines the difference between appliance and bomb. You're in little danger of duplicating that spectacle with an air pressure test to 150 psi, although I'd err on the side of safety. 20 psi or so will reveal any leak adequately. Also, those tanks are designed and rated for that pressure, a water tank or fuel tank IS NOT. NEVER consider applying pounds of pressure to an unrated tank.



Same theory in dealing with an overheated steam or water boiler, they can be deadly in untrained hands.
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Old 12-12-2018, 01:28 PM   #35
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wayne in huntington beach

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So, my Torrid Hot water tank has developed a leak. I have started to remove connections to it and will remove it (hopefully) in the next few days. It was installed then piping and other stuff placed in front of it, so getting it out is going to be a little tricky.

I see in the Torrid literature that they refer to the inner tank as being glass lined and with a non-porous porcelain surface. This does not sound like something that is readily repairable. Of course it might just be a leak around a fitting, and that might well be repairable.

Has anyone disassemble and repaired a Torrid unit?
Personally, I wouldn't even consider repairing your water heater. I have replaced the high limit and temp control sensors on mine but that is the most I would ever do.
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:49 PM   #36
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Personally, I wouldn't even consider repairing your water heater. I have replaced the high limit and temp control sensors on mine but that is the most I would ever do.
Well, it depends why it was leaking. I felt it was worth investigating that aspect at least. But I agree that doing repairs would be limited to just a few safe to-do things. Repairing the thread of the anode socket would have been one. But the bigger problem turned out to be tiny pinhole leaks along a welded seam. That clearly meant it was beyond repair.

And as TT noted, I now have the comfort of knowing it was un-repairable, which takes some of the sting out of the cost of replacing it.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:11 AM   #37
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Here are pics of inside of tank.

First one shows anode socket at top of tank. The white patch on the vertical seam is approximately where the pressure test showed small pinhole leaks.

Second one shows lower section of the vertical seam and the base of the tank.

Only the seams (vertical and part of upper circular seam) have iron staining from rust.
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Old 12-15-2018, 08:26 AM   #38
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Thanks Brian: Dedinately time for a replacement.
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