Saturday, March 23, 2013

Not cool

Our new water heater arrived at the West Marine store down the road. Quick delivery, comparable price, and I did not have to pay for shipping. Cool. Placing it in the engine room, where the previous water heater was, required only minor modifications. Cool. The WM ad said all connections are 1/2 inch NPT. Cool. Got all the fittings and hose ahead of delivery so I'm ready to go. Cool.
Instructions? Who needs them. It has five connections, all 1/2" NPT. Does it get any simpler than that? No problem. Heat exchanger connections go here, oops, hose too short. Not cool. I'll just get the fittings installed. Can't use the ninety degree fitting as it hits the regulator when I thread it in. Not cool. Hot water out gets a coupling, and then a ninety, but wait, why is the coupling threading all the way? Tapered thread should tighten before it bottoms...What the hell?  OK, we'll deal with that later. Moving on to the cold water inlet. Need  a coupling and then a ninety. Doh, more interference. Why does this nipple look different? Damn it! Does that nipple require a compression fitting? None of this is cool!  I have to go back out and get more fittings and hose, and what's with the hot water out thread? Instructions. Where are the instructions? The hot out is a BSP thread. What? Are you kidding me? What the hell is a BSP thread?

After a google search on "Isotemp water heater installation", I stumbled across an instruction bulletin indicating my model requires a BSP coupling, and some special thread lock. There was a link to the McMaster Carr website to order. Son of a...
I ordered the damn coupling, and thread lock, hit West Marine and Home depot for the rest of the stuff, and three days later we have hot water.

What is it about plumbing that makes me so angry? I feel it's an art more than a science, and I think that's what irks me. Two of the 1/2 inch NPT fittings required a compression fitting, but I said screw it and put a coupling on it. I'm really surprised the damn thing isn't spraying water all over the place, but hey, it's in and working.

So we have water, and six gallons of it is not cool. In fact, it's rather hot.

Update: The BSP fitting sprang a major leak after it warmed up. The thread lock basically fell apart. I went to a high temp thread lock, and so far so good. Why, if selling in the US would you include a BSP fitting? Oy.

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