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Water heater code issue ; no isolation valve on the hot outlet ?

Ron Jr._3Ron Jr._3 Posts: 562Member
2nd time I've had an inspector tell us it's not safe to have a valve on the hot side. Not exactly in the codes here ( Long Island ) , but he claims its a safety issue and open to enforcement anyway. His theory is if the cold and hot valves are shut and you have a runaway aquastat and plugged relief, you just made a bomb.

My thinking is its already a bomb if nothing is running on the hot side of any sink.

Anyone else have this issue ? Are we in the minority for wanting an isolation valve on the hot out ?
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Comments

  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,906Member
    Ron Jr._3 said:

    2nd time I've had an inspector tell us it's not safe to have a valve on the hot side. Not exactly in the codes here ( Long Island ) , but he claims its a safety issue and open to enforcement anyway. His theory is if the cold and hot valves are shut and you have a runaway aquastat and plugged relief, you just made a bomb.



    My thinking is its already a bomb if nothing is running on the hot side of any sink.



    Anyone else have this issue ? Are we in the minority for wanting an isolation valve on the hot out ?

    How many times have guys said inspectors are there to enforce code, not make it?

    You're correct, if no one is using hot water it's the same result. That's why there's a T&P.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • STEAM DOCTORSTEAM DOCTOR Posts: 909Member
    Maybe easier for faucet to blow open under pressure then ball valve? Who knows
  • STEAM DOCTORSTEAM DOCTOR Posts: 909Member
    Not that the person standing next to the faucet will appreciate it.
  • Alan WelchAlan Welch Posts: 159Member
    Probably the only time both valves would be closed would be for leaking tank replacement
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Posts: 1,602Member
    Well if both valves as closed....AND the thermostat welds closed......AND the T&P is plugged.....

    Sounds like a mythbusters episode, that's a lot of ANDs. If and if and, we all can go on thinking this way. I dont think a valve on the hot side is making anything less safe. Let's all make up rules and call them code...
    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,672Member
    what about the thermal expansion tank Other than a run away aquastst it should handle

    Gas fired aquaststs also have ECO safety, so numerous safeties would need to fail
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • clammyclammy Posts: 2,257Member
    The inspector is correct I know in Jersey you can have a cold water shut off feeding the tank but no shut off on the hot water outlet ,they also do not seperate isolated shut offs on portable expansion tanks either ,even if you remove the handle .they have there’s reason why they don’t want the tank isolated mostly a possible safety issue .peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • pecmsgpecmsg Posts: 836Member
    clammy said:

    The inspector is correct I know in Jersey you can have a cold water shut off feeding the tank but no shut off on the hot water outlet ,they also do not seperate isolated shut offs on portable expansion tanks either ,even if you remove the handle .they have there’s reason why they don’t want the tank isolated mostly a possible safety issue .peace and good luck clammy

    Do you have verse and chapter on that?

    My understanding is if the x-tank is between the heater and shut off its legal to have a shut off!
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,906Member
    edited August 20
    clammy said:

    The inspector is correct I know in Jersey you can have a cold water shut off feeding the tank but no shut off on the hot water outlet ,they also do not seperate isolated shut offs on portable expansion tanks either ,even if you remove the handle .they have there’s reason why they don’t want the tank isolated mostly a possible safety issue .peace and good luck clammy




    I'm in New Jersey and I have valves on both hot and cold and the heater passed inspection in 2012. Don't codes vary town to town in NJ?

    It's borderline insane to claim a valve on the outlet is dangerous and yet all of the faucets which are shutoff 90% of the time are not. Literally, the thought process scares me.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • clammyclammy Posts: 2,257Member
    Never failed on a indirect but have had inspectors say something about isolation on hot and cold being a no no ,but then again they never said boo about tankless set up w isolation valve s you can clean . Most of the time the inspection is just a township money grab there looking for a few required things and that’s about it aside from having to hang around a few hrs waiting for inspection so you do just what they want and if you argue with them your asking for a hard time down the road peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Ron Jr._3Ron Jr._3 Posts: 562Member
    We always pipe the expansion tank after the cold shutoff to the tank. I agree a theres alot of things that have to fail before the tank becomes a " bomb " .

    We install a valve on the hot because we really do hate getting hit with water when someone opens a sink . And if the tank is leaking , we dont want it to refill after draining while waiting for a replacement in a day or so.
  • george_42george_42 Posts: 62Member
    I love working out in the country where we do not have inspectors checking our every move
  • realliveplumberrealliveplumber Posts: 15Member
    ChrisJ said:

    clammy said:

    The inspector is correct I know in Jersey you can have a cold water shut off feeding the tank but no shut off on the hot water outlet ,they also do not seperate isolated shut offs on portable expansion tanks either ,even if you remove the handle .they have there’s reason why they don’t want the tank isolated mostly a possible safety issue .peace and good luck clammy




    I'm in New Jersey and I have valves on both hot and cold and the heater passed inspection in 2012. Don't codes vary town to town in NJ

    No . NJ uses the National Standard Plumbing Code, with amendments, statewide.

    I don't believe that it is a violation to have an isolation valve on the outlet of a domestic water heater.

  • clammyclammy Posts: 2,257Member
    Yes to having your expansion tank after your shut off ,I guess so inspectors are hard and other let it fly peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 5,918Member
    Most jobs I see do not have valves on the HW but I don't think it's a code issue to have or not have a valve in the hot
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 5,124Member
    edited August 21
    Why don't you politely ask the inspector for chapter and verse where it's in the code? If it's as serious an issue as he's making it, then it should be in there.

    As others have said, their job is to enforce the code, not add to it.
    Bob Boan


    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 5,124Member
    You probably are in the minority in putting one on the hot side. I guess you're planning for down the road.
    Bob Boan


    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 5,124Member
    edited August 21
    Ron Jr._3 said:

    His theory is if the cold and hot valves are shut and you have a runaway aquastat and plugged relief, you just made a bomb.

    "His theory".
    That's exactly what it is, and it's not a good one.

    Who in the world would shut off both valves, plug the relief, and disable the aquastat unless they WERE trying to make a bomb?

    Bob Boan


    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,906Member
    Ironman said:

    Ron Jr._3 said:

    His theory is if the cold and hot valves are shut and you have a runaway aquastat and plugged relief, you just made a bomb.

    "His theory".
    That's exactly what it is, and it's not a good one.

    Who in the world would shut off both valves, plug the relief, and disable the aquastat unless they WERE trying to make a bomb?

    Technically it's his hypothesis. ;)
    And it sucks.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • clammyclammy Posts: 2,257Member
    I know of one town that would fail you over it and no sticker and if u wanted to argue it ,it would be all on your dime and for free cause your customer-won’t pay for your time to argue w him and then call the state to complain about the inspector and then back to him and either way any permit he see s with your name on will become his bull eye to a dart board To myself it s far easier to just put one in and when u change out the tank shut it off at the main if it works great time to chk anyway , if it don’t hold while your there have the water co shut the curb key off while you replace main valve all good everybody makes money ,plus w the press fitting what’s getting a little wet while u press if you do like 30 seconds .i personally don’t give inspectors the chance to find any thing wrong ,I go out of my way to make sure it s up to code and on the plum and square w a look of craftsmanship and not done on a whim .i would image many pro s on this site see plently of garbage I myself included so if there’s some things u have to do to appease the inspectors u just do it and move on unless ur looking for a fight then fist up Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Gary SmithGary Smith Posts: 277Member
    New Jersey follows the National Standard Plumbing Code, with some amendments. The 2015 edition, the latest I have does allow a valve on both the hot and cold water piping, when a temperature and pressure relief valve is provided. See attached page from this code, note 2 in the diagram.
  • JohnNYJohnNY Posts: 2,293Member
    Here in NYC we cannot have valves on our hot outlets but it's nonsense because we often have to install mixing valves on our indirects and they require a temperature gauge and...you guessed it...a shut off valve on their outlet piping.
    It's Kafka.
    For installations, troubleshooting, and private consulting services, find John "JohnNY" Cataneo here at :
    "72°F Mechanical, LLC"
    Or email John at [email protected]
    John is a professional Master Plumber, licensed by The Department of Buildings of The City of New York, and works extensively in NYC while consulting for clients in and out of state.
  • Jean-David BeyerJean-David Beyer Posts: 2,629Member
    I am in New Jersey, have an indirect with a shutoff valve both on the cold water input and on the delivery to the house. It did pass inspection, but the inspector would pass anything.

    He passed that yellow flex gas pipe (CSST) that was neither bonded nor grounded. He passed condensate (from condensing boiler) being dumped on the ground outside the house. I forget what all.

    I do not have an anti-backflow valve between my indirect and the water coming in from the street. I do not know if that is required or not, but it sure seems a good idea.

    It would take lots of failures at once to blow up my indirect.

    1.) The aquastat would have to fail calling for heat (this has happened.)

    2.) The P/T valve would have to fail; there are no valves in copper discharge line, and no threaded connections to it. This valve functioned correctly when the aquastat failed calling for heat.

    3.) The thermostat electronics on my boiler would have to fail, as it is set at 190F +|- 5F when answering a call for heat from the indirect. Well, 195F would make my water simmer (and did make the P/T valve on my indirect release, but it was not actually boiling.
  • realliveplumberrealliveplumber Posts: 15Member
    Our continuing ed instructor teaches us that the inspector has a legal obligation to cite a code section that is in violation. Period. Technically they need to simply write the code section on the sticker, and that's it. No comments or suggestions.

    Of course some inspectors cite a code section that and have no clue what they are citIng.
  • ronron Posts: 137Member
    before you know it you'll be paying extra for bags at the supermarket or carrying all your sh1t out by hand to your car
  • pecmsgpecmsg Posts: 836Member
    ron said:

    before you know it you'll be paying extra for bags at the supermarket or carrying all your sh1t out by hand to your car

    We pay $.05 per bag!
  • SeanBeansSeanBeans Posts: 326Member
    In Jackson, WY they charge you .10 per bag
  • Ron Jr._3Ron Jr._3 Posts: 562Member
    edited August 23
    > @ron said:
    > before you know it you'll be paying extra for bags at the supermarket or carrying all your sh1t out by hand to your car

    Not sure how this diverged to hand carrying groceries ............. :)

    But it seems kinda odd theres a 5 cent plastic bag charge in Suffolk county here. When the bag is just an infinitesimal amount of plastic compared to all the crap you just bought in containers and bags .........
  • pecmsgpecmsg Posts: 836Member
    Ron Jr._3 said:

    > @ron said:

    > before you know it you'll be paying extra for bags at the supermarket or carrying all your sh1t out by hand to your car



    Not sure how this diverged to hand carrying groceries ............. :)



    But it seems kinda odd theres a 5 cent plastic bag charge in Suffolk county here. When the bag is just an infinitesimal amount of plastic compared to all the crap you just bought in containers and bags .........

    Suffolk Co law allows the store owners to keep the Nickle's!
    The owner of the IGA in Southold and Greenport donate the Nickle's to local charity's.
    2 Thumbs Up
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Posts: 62Member
    If the t&p fails and the controls fail, it is going to blow at a soldered joint or pex joint before the tank blows. Unless the valve is screwed in to the tank or it is steel or brass to the valve, that will exist even with the valve closed.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,672Member
    I use the bags that I gather at AHR and other shows, free, durable, and reusable :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • mikeg2015mikeg2015 Posts: 847Member
    On the flip side, only reason to have a valve on the hot side it to prevent having ot drain a couple gallons (residential at least) when you change it out. But there’s no pressure there. So there’s little need for it.
  • JohnNYJohnNY Posts: 2,293Member
    edited August 24
    mikeg2015 said:

    On the flip side, only reason to have a valve on the hot side it to prevent having ot drain a couple gallons (residential at least) when you change it out. But there’s no pressure there. So there’s little need for it.

    Clearly you don't work in New York City. My water heaters often have 6 or 7 stories of water above them.
    For installations, troubleshooting, and private consulting services, find John "JohnNY" Cataneo here at :
    "72°F Mechanical, LLC"
    Or email John at [email protected]
    John is a professional Master Plumber, licensed by The Department of Buildings of The City of New York, and works extensively in NYC while consulting for clients in and out of state.
  • mikeg2015mikeg2015 Posts: 847Member
    JohnNY said:

    mikeg2015 said:

    On the flip side, only reason to have a valve on the hot side it to prevent having ot drain a couple gallons (residential at least) when you change it out. But there’s no pressure there. So there’s little need for it.

    Clearly you don't work in New York City. My water heaters often have 6 or 7 stories of water above them.
    Thank goodness...no. Haha. Good point. But that’s more a light commercial issue in that case. We almost solely work on single family residential here. Probably only 1/3 are even 2 story homes. 3 story even in commercial is probably 1 in 100 jobs.

    That being said, we only install tankless (tank WH are just to unreliable, not durable enough. End up making us look bad when the spark screen plug up 3-5 years after installation)... and they always have a valve on the outlet. But I see no reason it would be any different.

  • Rich_49Rich_49 Posts: 2,529Member
    clammy said:

    I know of one town that would fail you over it and no sticker and if u wanted to argue it ,it would be all on your dime and for free cause your customer-won’t pay for your time to argue w him and then call the state to complain about the inspector and then back to him and either way any permit he see s with your name on will become his bull eye to a dart board To myself it s far easier to just put one in and when u change out the tank shut it off at the main if it works great time to chk anyway , if it don’t hold while your there have the water co shut the curb key off while you replace main valve all good everybody makes money ,plus w the press fitting what’s getting a little wet while u press if you do like 30 seconds .i personally don’t give inspectors the chance to find any thing wrong ,I go out of my way to make sure it s up to code and on the plum and square w a look of craftsmanship and not done on a whim .i would image many pro s on this site see plently of garbage I myself included so if there’s some things u have to do to appease the inspectors u just do it and move on unless ur looking for a fight then fist up Peace and good luck clammy

    Please do not take offense Clammy . This is the reason for inspectors becoming out of control and difficult . They are licensed also and as such are not immune to the rules . If more guys took the minimal time to stand up the system would work the way it was intended . First off , if you call for an inspection , it is a requirement that he give you sticker whether it be red or white , this sticker must cite a chapter , paragraph , sub paragraph without words , just a number of what you are in violation of . This way you may call DCA to dispute his interpretation , this usually takes less than 3 days ( 72 hours) to resolution . Many more times than not the inspector is wrong . Funny thing is that many inspectors actually appreciate working with a knowledgeable plumber . We have few problems with inspectors due to the fact that we do regularly let them know that they in fact are not the AHJ but in fact just a sort of policeman enforcing the adopted codes , those books and the NJUCC book are in fact the AHJ . Just sayin , Peace
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • clammyclammy Posts: 2,257Member
    No offense rich ,I do what they want weather inspectors ,ho or occasionally and rarely gc s .,I very rarely have issue w them and when I do I just do what they want if I’m in the wrong or mis something, I’m fully aware of them citing the verse and on a rare occasion have had them pass being they couldn’t cite it .butin my area we have one or two guys who couldn t spin a wrench or turn a profit and love the hassle and the fight they know dam well that most do not have the time to object call the state and all that jive so they just appease them ,while a few will fight them nail and claw and always make there point and those who do who have to deal w them a lot usually fail more on bs then those to just do . I m all for inspection but some times when I see what they pass I know it’s all a money grab .peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,906Member
    edited August 29
    There you have it...........
    ;)
    WH.PNG 14.5K
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ratioratio Posts: 2,053Member
    ChrisJ said:

    There you have it...........

    In print, so no more wiggle room about whether or not it can be done! It's clearly dangerous!!

  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,951Member
    I had that happen only once and i had to make the inspector look like an idiot by asking him forcefully if water can be compressed? i did it in front of the homeowner too. Unfortunately in Ohio, the plumbing code is a commercial code and the cities have the ability to come up with whatever rule they wish for houses. Its called 'home rule'..makes for an interesting time when on one side of a street we can do one thing, and across the street in a different town we can do something else. Weird, i know.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 9,906Member
    > @gerry gill said:
    > I had that happen only once and i had to make the inspector look like an idiot by asking him forcefully if water can be compressed? i did it in front of the homeowner too. Unfortunately in Ohio, the plumbing code is a commercial code and the cities have the ability to come up with whatever rule they wish for houses. Its called 'home rule'..makes for an interesting time when on one side of a street we can do one thing, and across the street in a different town we can do something else. Weird, i know.

    Technically.. Water can be compressed. A very small amount by a huge amount of pressure.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
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