Who does their own plumbing at their STR?

28 Replies

What was your biggest or most complex job?  For me it was adding a 40 gallon gas hot water heater to an existing 40 gallon electric electric.  I had a spare gas heater sitting around collecting dust.  The house was a 2BR with 3 real beds and 2 sofa beds.  I plumbed the gas supply line and the cold water inlet to the gas heater, routed hot water out of the gas heater into the electric heater, then installed the vent through the roof to vent the exhaust.  Gas heat is much cheaper than electric heat.  The gas heater heats up the cold water.  The electric heater keeps the hot water hot.

My 2nd biggest job was installing the hot/cold and sewer lines for 2 clothes washers that I put in a kitchen.

Originally posted by @Tashina Taylor :

Wouldn't the gas heater also keep the hot water hot? 

A 40 gallon heater doesn't have the thermal capacity for 5 guys that are showering and doing laundry at the same time.  My renters are refinery contractors.  The 5 guys get off work at the same time, they go back to the house to do laundry, take a shower, cook, etc.  40 gallons could work for 3 or less guys, but not for 5.

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I changed out my hot water heater to a smart wifi water heater. It was pretty simple and I did it by myself.

It has an economy mode, a performance mode and a vacation mode. I can turn vacation mode on and off via my phone and change the temperature.

They are much lighter if you drain them!

I went with an on-demand electric Hot Water system that is amazing, 2 showers going at once no heat loss. No venting but you need a couple of double poled breakers so I upgraded the entire system to 200amp. Highest electric bill with water, a/c etc running was $50/month & $30/month is our min charge/month regardless of kW demand.

I do anything plumbing related except the sewer.  The biggest job was converting part of the downstairs of a house into a separate unit.  This involved moving the hot water heater out doors from what became the kitchen, which involved moving inlet pipes, outlet pipes and gas.  The same room needed further movement of gas pipes for the stove and placement of hot and cold pipes for the sink.  PEX is awesome stuff for getting around corners and retrofitting through studs.  On that project I actually did have to replace part of the sewer too, the old iron pipes had disintegrated but that was the only exception to my staying out of the sewer rule.

I've never heard of two inline water heaters but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work if you have a spare one to use.  I put a 75 gallon heater in my project but in retrospect it was not necessary, I just have a single tenant in each of the two units.  

@Paul Sandhu @pat l @john underwood

At my personal residence, I am having a bit of trouble with Hot water. Maybe you all can make some input. Hot water comes on and off randomly,almost like if there is very little of it in the water heater. like literally when I turn on the hot water faucet nothing comes up. I turned on and off the water heater , and it seemed like it started working again for a couple weeks. Now the same thing is happening. Do I have a leak somewhere or do you all think its a bad water heater ? gas water heater I bought used about a year ago?

Try replacing this.  I take it your pilot light stays lit, but the burner doesn't come on as it should.  It can happen when your hot water tank gets under water (when it's in a basement and the sump pump stops working).

I bought mine on ebay.  It's pretty easy to change.  Shut off the nat gas.  Drain the tank. Remove the burner/pilot/thermocouple assembly (3 wrenches), disconnect the gas connection (1 wrench), unscrew the assembly (b.f. pipe wrench) and pull it out.  Put some pipe thread goop on the new one and screw it really good.

Sounds like you have electronic regulator.  The picture Paul shows is a manual.  Make sure you google them so you buy the correct one.

Only electronic have an on and off switch just FYI



Originally posted by @Maugno M. :

@Paul Sandhu @pat l @john underwood

At my personal residence, I am having a bit of trouble with Hot water. Maybe you all can make some input. Hot water comes on and off randomly,almost like if there is very little of it in the water heater. like literally when I turn on the hot water faucet nothing comes up. I turned on and off the water heater , and it seemed like it started working again for a couple weeks. Now the same thing is happening. Do I have a leak somewhere or do you all think its a bad water heater ? gas water heater I bought used about a year ago?

Originally posted by @Tim Johnson :
Sounds like you have electronic regulator.  The picture Paul shows is a manual.  Make sure you google them so you buy the correct one.

Only electronic have an on and off switch just FYI



Originally posted by @Maugno M.:

@Paul Sandhu @pat l @john underwood

At my personal residence, I am having a bit of trouble with Hot water. Maybe you all can make some input. Hot water comes on and off randomly,almost like if there is very little of it in the water heater. like literally when I turn on the hot water faucet nothing comes up. I turned on and off the water heater , and it seemed like it started working again for a couple weeks. Now the same thing is happening. Do I have a leak somewhere or do you all think its a bad water heater ? gas water heater I bought used about a year ago?

One of these perhaps?

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Lucky that modern faucets don't need washers replaced much, if ever. But that is something I would do. Toilet tank parts fix, OK fine.

Water heaters here are required to be low emissions. Which of course means high price.

If and when mine dies I will pay someone, I will not wrestle that thing, even if if is lighter when empty. It's bigger than I am.

@Lee 

@Lee Bell   Don't ever rent a stump grinder.  That thing was a couple hundred bucks a day.  It was like wrestling a grizzly bear.  I could not do it for more than a few hours and my whole body was sore the next day.

So I fabricated my own grinder.  It's 4x slower than what I rented, but I can run it for a few hours and not break a sweat.

@Maugno M. Replacing that control valve (if it fits) will probably give you a 50/50 chance of fixing the problem, for $30.  You also don't know how long other components are going to last.

Replacing the whole heater will give you a 100% chance of fixing the problem, but it will cost you at least $400.  You also know that all the components in the heater are new.

If you can look at the bottom of the tank with a mirror, look for rust.  If there's not much rust, I would replace the valve.  If there is a lot of rust, I would replace the whole unit since the tank will start leaking in a few more years.  Just my $.02