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That was quick…

November 23, 2004 | Home Improvement

Swapping out a water heater is pretty darn easy for someone who knows what they’re doing.

After only 3 hours of work we now have a new 50 gallon water heater that is double the efficiency of the old unit. It really wasn’t that hard to top the efficiency – the old one was 20 years old!

What was scary was all the brown sludge we drained out into the street. To think that we drank that water – we should have replaced that thing sooner but its just one of those things you don’t think about until it breaks.

Another scary thought was the buildup on the inside of the input and output valves – I’m guessing our water pipes look the same way since they are all older than that water heater. We’re probably loosing a ton of water pressure there.

So now that we’ve opened up that can of worms, we’re probably gonna want to replace most of the piping in this place before we redo the basement. Then we can have Scott do it and spread the work around to our friends. We can get the plumbing and electrical done by guys we know and who have done good work for us in the past. And since we know them personally there’s a good chance we’ll get the best of their attention. Not that I distrust journeymen – it is just so hard to trust anybody these days the comfort level of having a competent friend like that is nice.

So, now to start planning the basement and get started on the yard. We’re still debating aspects of the yard but we should be able to get it started soon. That’ll be nice and should reduce the amount of crap the boys track into the house. In fact I have muddy footprints on my jeans right now…

4 Responses

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  • Where you probably losing the most water pressure is coming in from the street. WE just had ours done. It is an old galvanized line it is probably the original. (My house was built the same year as yours in 1923). The old galvanized steel will be far worse then anything the copper would do. The steel would be likely to cause brown sludge not the copper piping i’d guess is in your basement. If you are going to work on the yard i’d do the water line first. We have a pressure reducing valve on there (as required by local code) to bring the pressure down to 50 or so PSI. We also ran a 3/4″ line as opposed to the old 1/2″ original line. We then stepped that down to the 1/2″ that is in the house at the pressure reducing valve.

    Not sure you really wanted advice, but i hope you find this useful.

    Alden Merchant, November 25, 2004 4:38 pm | permalink

  • Hm. Good thought on the line from the street. You’d be surprised at the amount of mix and mash we have in the basement. It is a wild mix of copper and steel. Some of the pipes have been updated, mainly the cold water lines. They left a lot of lines capped off and some just hanging in there – they didn’t take out what they chose not to use any more. But the water isn’t the only thing that does that – I must have 8 phone lines down there.

    But in any case – all advice is welcome – this is our first house and we’re learning everything as we go.

    Shawn, November 26, 2004 11:55 pm | permalink

  • i would drop all the steel, steel pipes are nasty. Copper lines should be good, though you might want to replace them as many times they soldered with something that was 50% lead. It could put trace amounts of lead in your water but it is doubtful if it did, it would do anything to you. Also remember any copper pipe you haul out is worth probably .50¢ a pound in scrap, so it is worth your while to not just toss it. If you want more help/advice let me know. I have almost 2 years experience in building supplies and appliances.

    Alden Merchant (This is WBG4 if you didn't know), November 27, 2004 11:13 pm | permalink

  • Your website gave you away on the first post 😉

    I appreciate the advice though – I’ll have a bit of time to think about it though. We don’t plan on taking on the basement until next year in February or March.

    Right now – its the lawn. And since we got a ton of snow and its gonna be 20-25 degrees all week that’ll get set back some more…

    Ah, the joys of home ownership.

    Shawn, November 28, 2004 11:22 pm | permalink

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