What the heck is this device!!

What home made device is installed at the drain of the water heater?

Looks like a home made device for filling the tank. Have never seen this set up before.


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Homemade hot water re-circulation pump or an expensive tank drain setup.

What are they trying to accomplish with this setup? Being able to drain sedement faster? Seems like a waste of time & material.

It recirculates the hot water to distant fixtures for immediate hot water.

Kinda like a home made tankless hot water heater.

How would you report this system?

That’s two pipe hot water. Common in higher end homes. It’s neither home-made or incorrect. It’s been a documented system since at least the late 1930’s, according to one antique text I have.

These devices are not that uncommon but most people are not aware of them.

You didn’t ask but I do notice several issues from the pics.
-The discharge line from the TPR looks to short to me.
-The galvinized tee fittng at the WH draiin location should have been brass to prevent corrosion from the use of dissimilar metals. Same issue with and the galvinized straps between the copper pipe and the MC cable

  • What appears to be phone wire is not secured away from the gas vent.
    -Can’t tell from the picts how the circulation pump can be turned off.
    -The MC cable to the pump should have probably been EMT to avoid the support issue.

Report the system as observed and inform the client of the possible issues.

There may be more but I will let other chime in.

In regards to your observations.

I am not doing a code inspection. Is the discharge within the 4-6 inches of the floor. No. Is it to short. Yes. Is it a problem. Not really.

Tank is 13 years old. No corrosion observed. No problem.

Standards do not include phone & cable unless it is really sloppy.

David, I wasn’t trying to be a smart alec my apologies to you.

I agree it’s not a problem. I simply report that it not per accepted industry practices.

That’s great. The corrosion is from electoloysis and can result in pin holes in the pipe that can’t be observed fro mthe outside.

From the pics they appeared to be in contact with the WH vent pipe which does get very hot.

I know we are not code inspectors but most of the issues we report are code based and safety related.

Report the concern an dlet the client decide.

I’ll bet David knows what causes the corrosion.

I don’t call out the missing dialectric either…unless it is a brand new tank. If it is 13 years old and not showing…I’ll mention it in passing…but the corrosion will be evident when it IS AN ISSUE.

Tony, I’m sure your your right. :slight_smile:

I try to remember that there are plenty of lurkers here who don’t post and might find the information helpful.

As to the dielectric fittings, what can I say but that my dad was a plumber and that’s what he taught me. They are not required in all jurisdictions and the acidity of the water and the integrity of the electrical bonding system are both factors how needed they may or may not be. I see them with and without all the time. :slight_smile:

I have seen my fair share of them as well…and I have NEVER seen one that was in as good a shape as the one that started this thread.

My guess is that the recirc set up is newer than the tank :wink: And if that is questionable…I would mention it in my report.