Water heater question

Found this narrative on Kenton Shepard’s list of narratives.

WH Rigid connections improper.

Water pipes were connected to the water heater through rigid connections.
This is improper, connections should be flexible. The Inspector recommends correction by a qualified plumbing contractor.

In my area of the country, Midwest, I seldom if ever see this done with flexible piping. Is this for earthquake zones only? They are always plumbed directly to water heater with rigid copper pipes.

I seldom see flexible connections to water heaters in this area unless a handy man has installed it.

the ground doesn’t shake here very often :wink:

I recall nothing in the IRC that requires a flexible connection.

Maybe the point he’s trying to make is that they need to be removable?

Never seen them on water heaters in Canada .
Water softeners yes .

Same here in Michigan. The only time I see flexible connections is when the home owner or a handyman has installed the water heater. Licensed plumbers always use rigid connections.

Rigid piping is what the UPC and I call for. I would call this out for no dielectric unions as well as corrosion. Every time.

Earthquake protection is at least two straps. Upper third and lower. Who wants their water heaters to have flexible connections? Is this to ALLOW the tank to fall?

Well, that’s not exactly true now, is it? -X

How about posting the EXACT verbiage that requires rigid piping? :neutral:

No. It’s to allow the tank to move without breaking the water connections. It’s been well proven by earthquakes that rigid pipes often break during seismic events. If there are too many broken pipes spewing water everywhere, there goes the water pressure. With no water pressure, there’s no water at the fire hydrants to fight the fires that regularly break out during earthquakes.

If you think the water pipes are the only thing holding the water heater up, perhaps a little after-school tutoring is necessary…lol

Tutoring is not necessary, but thanks for offering. “The AHJ shall have the authority to require the use of an approved dielectric insulator on the water piping connections of water heaters and related equipment.”
UPC508.2 seismic straps at upper and lower thirds. Referenced only.
So, I stand corrected on symantics. Its up to AHJ on rigid or flexible, but must be metallic within 18".

California Code is based on the UPC, and requires flexible water and gas connectors - plus some other seismic requirements.

Can you provide the reference for this?

I disagree if you can get the chance to go with another Homie jump at it you both can learn from each other .
When can never stop learning .

Used here every where see them often .

The only hard connections I have run in to were with older galvanized pipes in the home through the 50’s and early 60’s. Never seen a hard copper connection, only flex lines.

Jeff Pope,

My original post has been shrunk, by the moderator(s) i presume, and a second, separate post that i made in the plumbing forum has disappeared. Quite why these things have happened i should like to know?

Anyhow, i cannot provide a direct reference in the CPC. I thought that i had one to hand but thats not the case, so i was wrong to be so confident that one exists.
Thank you for calling me out, and making me look further.


CPC 604.4 “approved flex lines are installed in accessible space.”
CPC 1212 & 1212.4 “approved length of flex gas connector”
Ca. Division of State Architect - Guideline for Bracing Residential Water Heaters:
Flex Gas Connectors are shown in the diagrams, and recommended on pages 4, 6 & 8.
Page 2 “DSA strongly recommends … flexible connectors between the water heater & water, gas, and electrical lines.”

In the Bay Area PI’s (in my limited experience) require flex conn’s, for water & gas, wherever, & however, gas apps are encountered. Of plumbers that i’ve encountered from around the state, none have told me different.

Ditto in this part of the country…

DSA- Division of State Architect in California has absolutley no jusidiction over residential dwellings. DSA is mainly for schools

Thanks for taking the time to look it up.

Flexible connectors are the preferred practice in most of the state, but they are not required by any model code. I still occasionally find builders installing rigid connections in new construction, and always recommend installation of flexible connectors.