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THANK YOU - and information on (Rheems) Richmond "Miser" 8V52-2 (1996 model)  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Wed Dec 29th, 2010 07:16 am
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bui501
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:) THANK YOU, waterheaterrescue.com, for all the great info you've provided on your website, on your instruction sheets, and in your email. When I did my research on repairing/refurbishing my water heater prior to purchasing all the parts for it, I found other vendors that had lower prices on anode rods and dip tubes, but I decided at the end to purchase from you because I felt that with all the great advice I found on your website, you probably know what you're doing and would more likely sell me the right parts. I'm so glad I did. The information I found on your website and in the instruction sheets you provided in the water heater rescue kit were invaluable. Since this was my first major DIY plumbing job, I went back and read and re-read the information over and over again before each step. I could not have completed the job without the information provided.

I mentioned I found lower prices at other vendors, but I truly think the slight premium for your products is well worth it to keep websites and businesses like yours active.

Here's some information on my water heater repair job:
Brand: Richmond (by Rheems)
Model: 8V52-2
Year manufactured: 1996 (judging from the serial number)
What: 50-gallon, electric water heater with the water inlet and outlet at the top; hex head, magnesium anode rod buried under some sprayed-in insulation with a plastic cover on top. Has an all-plastic drain valve with a 3-inch plastic stem.

ANODE ROD REPLACEMENT
I had to dig around for the anode rod; the hole for the anode rod was capped with a plastic cap on top of the water heater. Under the plastic cap was a 1/2 inch layer of sprayed-in insulation that I had to dig out with a screw driver tip. The anode rod had a hex head, and it would not budge when I used a socket wrench and breaker bar on it. Luckily, I had read this website's section on "Stubborn Anode Rods," so I used a (Dewalt DW059B 18V) cordless impact wrench with a 300 ft-lb torque capacity that loosened up the anode rod after only 15 seconds.

DIP TUBE REPLACEMENT
My water heater's inlet pipe was hard-plumbed into the water heater. The cold water pipe was soldered directly into a copper nib that screwed into the water heater's (female) threaded opening. After 14 years of deposits on the threads, the nib would not budge when I used a large crescent wrench, then a 14-inch pipe wrench and then a hammer banging on the crescent wrench for almost two hours. So I committed a big no-no and sprayed PB Blaster on the threads and left it to sit for two days (adding a drop or two more on the threads every morning and night for two days). Even after all that PB Blaster, the inlet nib would not budge, so I cut off the cold water pipe as close to the nib as possible and just used my impact wrench on the nib (which also happened to fit a 1-1/16" hex socket just like the anode rod's hex head). Again, it took only 15 seconds for the cordless impact wrench to loosen up the inlet nib. (Luckily, either the deposits on the threads was so bad or the nib had been put on so tight that the PB Blaster had not penetrated all the way through the threads of the inlet nib into the water heater. I should have just started out with the impact wrench to begin with!!!)

After the old nib came out, I removed the old dip tube: There was only two inches of it left at the top; I used a straightened-out clothes hanger to fish out another 6-inch section of the old dip tube that was floating in the water heater. The rest of the old dip tube was in a million pieces -- mostly sitting in the sediment at the bottom of my water heater and partly clogging up all of my water faucets in the house.

I next had to use a 7/8" hole saw to cut out the metal ridge that the old dip tube was sitting on. (I never would have figured out to do this without the waterheaterrescue.com website!!!) The new plastic-lined steel nib with six layers of teflon thread tape fit into my water heater perfectly.


DRAIN VALVE REPLACEMENT
I drained the rest of the water from my water heater after putting back all the inlet and outlet plumbing at the top of the water heater.

The OEM drain valve was a small ball valve -- all plastic. I had to use tin snips to widen the opening around the valve because the valve itself wasn't correctly centered in the opening of the water heater's outer sheet metal jacket, so the sheet metal was pressing very hard against it. That and the sealant around the threads of the stem prevented the drain valve from loosening up even after I almost deformed the plastic valve with my pipe wrench. So after I used tin snips to widen the opening on the jacket, I used a screw driver to dig out all the sealant and foam insulation around the drain valve's plastic stem that screwed into the water heater. The valve came off with a little bit of torque on my crescent wrench after I had scraped off the tacky sealant around the stem. The plastic-lined steel nib and large brass ball valve that came with the rescue kit screwed into my water heater just perfectly.

FLUSHING
The most time consuming part of all this was the 6 hours it took for me to drain/fill/drain/repeat to remove all 14-years worth of sediments from the bottom of my water heater. The new dip tube and new drain valve really did a great job of forcing large chunks of debris and lots of sediment to flush out, but it would have been faster for me to run to the local Home Depot, purchase a dry/wet vac and retrofit it to suck out all the sediment while I still had the old drain valve off and before I had put on the new valve.

:D My wife and I are now so happy how well our water heater works. The hot water comes out hotter and faster, and it lasts for much longer than before. I had inspected the inside of the water heater while I still had the inlet plumbing off, and everything inside looked perfect except for the old dip tube and old anode rod, so with the refurbishment, I'm expecting another 5 to 10 years from my already-14-year-old water heater.

Last edited on Wed Dec 29th, 2010 07:27 am by bui501

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 Posted: Wed Dec 29th, 2010 04:44 pm
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eleent
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Hello:  Thankyou for the detailed description.  That's just what it's like when you service a heater for the first time.  The next time will be EASY! :cool:

Yours,  Larry

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