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Question DetailsAsked on 9/9/2017

hot water tank broke water started coming pipe unhooked. when doing wash water started coming out of hot wa

ter pipe

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1 Answer


OK - a bit cryptic on the description. Sounds like your water heater leaked, cold water valve to it was shut off and the heater removed, leaving an open hot water pipe at the heater ?

Then you started to do the wash and water came out of the hot pipe at the heater location ?

If that is the case, undoubtedly you have backflow from the washer fill valve through the hot water hose, into the hot piping and out the fitting at the tank. There are a number of other places this could happen in the house too, including any single-handle faucet and some toilet tempering valves - so trying to stop the backflow is a lost cause - just put a cap on the pipe at the hot water heater till it is fixed.

At the washer - you could just turn off the faucet at the wall for the hot pipe/hose - but that will not stop backflow from other sources unless you have no other hot water sources in the house (other than boiler for home heating system) and no single-handle faucets.

If it was disconnected at the dielectric coupling (brass fitting with a nylon sleeve around it and a large chromed or aluminum nut on it) you can call a plumber or go to a plumbing shop and have them make up a lower half fitting with cap (take picture and measurement of the thread diameter so they know size and which half you need - the half with the nut or the other half) - will need the half fitting soldered/glued to a stub of pipe with a cap on it.

Or, if plastic pipe - just cut and dry the pipe and prime, then glue on a plastic pipe cap fo right type of plastic (likely cream white CPVC if hot water pipe). (Make sure primer and glue containers are for type of pipe you have, or universla type for PVC and CPVC).

If copper pipe, assuming you are not into soldering copper pipe, you could also just cut the pipe above any fitting with a hacksaw or pipe cutter, and put on a Sharkbite cap of proper pipe size. Sharkbites are a push/tap on fitting - not something I like for permanent use but useful for things like this. A compression cap fitting (less likely to leak in my experience) coiuld also be used. Plumbing shop should be able to help you - just take photos on cell phone of the situation and measure the pipe/fitting size you need to match up to.

If galvanized or flex connection that was taken apart, then you should able to buy a pipe plug or cap (depending on whether bottom end of pipe is female or male thread) to put in it - use plumber's PVC tape on the thread wrapped clockwise to seal the joint.

One other possibility if backflow is low (once you turn off hot faucet at washer) is reconnect the pipe to the heater (if it is still there), connect a hose to the drain for the heater and open the drain valve to let the overflow drain outside or to a working floor drain.

Or call plumber for about $80-155 likely total charge to cap it temporarily. Handyman could also do it, but might cost near as much unless you are real near a building supply store or home improvement box store, because he would likely have to come see the situation, then go get parts, then come back to install them.

Of course, I assumed you took out the heater - if a contractor did this call him to come back for free and clean up the water and cap the pipe till heater is installed, because that was an amateur mistake.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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