Don't lay water heater on side?

Discussion in 'General Appliance Discussion' started by TxBuilder, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. Jan 6, 2007 #1
    I was told not to lay my hot water heater (electric) on it's side during transport.

    Is this just a myth or does doing this harm something in it?
     
  2. Jan 6, 2007 #2

    CraigFL

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    Does it say that on the shipping carton? I'll tell you if my electric works tonight after I put it in--I transported it about 10 miles on its side...
     
  3. Jan 6, 2007 #3

    glennjanie

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    I hauled mine 20 miles on its side and it has been working for 10 years.
    I don't know of any reason it could not be laid on its side.
    Glenn
     
  4. Jan 7, 2007 #4

    Daryl

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    I have hauled both gas and electric water heaters on their sides and have never had a problem with them working. With the way they are boxed I wonder if the company is conerned with denting the exterior metal casing or cracking the glass liner. Seems like that could happen pretty easiliy if bounced around. THey have to be made to take a litlle abuse, haven't seen many situations where you can get one down a steep flight of stairs without laying it over part way at least.
     
  5. Jan 7, 2007 #5

    CraigFL

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    Mine works great!. I did notice at least 6 returned water heaters at Lowes the other day that were damaged --- maybe from handling.

    I did put a few dents and creases in mine but it's OK....
     
  6. Jan 7, 2007 #6

    Square Eye

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    The long Inlet pipe and the anode could possibly be damaged when the water heater is handled roughly, but laying it on it's side shouln't damage a new water heater
     
  7. Jan 8, 2007 #7

    MOLSON

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    It's for the same reason you transport Windows upright.

    Hitting a good bump will put stress on the interior glass liner. It may not shatter but it could get spiderweb fractures that can lead to the hot water tank rupturing.
     
  8. Jan 9, 2007 #8

    glennjanie

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    Water Heater Myths, Dispelled
    Laying them on their side will not hurt them.
    The damaged ones at Lowes have usually been slid off a tailgate on their side which damages the jacket (which is 1-1/2 to 2" from the inner tank, they would still work just fine they just look like hell.
    The long fill tube is simply a piece of copper tubing, flared to keep it from falling down in there. Many of them are plastic now; you can stick a finger down in them, bend it and come out with the tube.
    The annode rod is a piece of metal that is there to sacrifice itself in protection of the water heater; they are usually eaten up by the end of the first year.
    The "glass lining" is simply a special paint sprayed on the inside of the inner tank. Think of the old fashioned porcelain cook ware.
    If the water is hot it doesn't need heating; therefore, we call it a water heater rather than a hot water heater.
    The biggest enemy of the water heater is the sediment that collects in the bottom; a gas water heater that is rumbling is the water bubbling up through the sediment. In an electric water heater it simply shorts out the lower element, or in the case of a "Sand-Hog" element it continues to heat the sediment which heats the water. Heat rises. A new water heater may weigh 60 pounds or so, while the one it is replacing weighs 160 pounds; that's the sediment.
    If your water heater temperature is set too high, you are heating water in the incoming lines. All water heaters should have a temperature/pressure relief valve (commonly called a T & P valve) with the relief line terminated 2" above a concrete floor that has a floor drain, OR if it is piped outside, it should terminate 4" above the ground. These terminations will prevent scalding.
    Some municipalities require a backflow preventer on the water main (usually at the water meter) now which means the water heater must have an expansion tank added to the incoming line.
    If there is anyone I have not throughly confused; just post back and I will try again.
    Glenn

    A widow had been a nag all her life. When her huband died she bought a marker and had it engraved, "May you rest in peace my dear Walter, until we meet again.
     
  9. Mar 24, 2008 #9

    fuzzcar

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    Do they make a filter you can install before the water heater to help remove sediment?
     
  10. Mar 24, 2008 #10

    Square Eye

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    Yep, Look for "whole House" water filters. BUT, the anode will still disentigrate and drop to the bottom of your heater and you might be surprised what can get through a whole house water filter. I see the glass filter housings in Chicken houses occasionally and it makes me think twice about drinking tap water.
     
  11. Mar 25, 2008 #11

    Michael Thomas

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    You can damage a water heater - especially a gas or propane fired unit - due to mishandling during transport and installation, and we see the resulting problems are home inspections.

    For example in the case of gas water heaters, inside the heater's flue there is a piece of metal called a "turbulator plate" that hangs from the top of the flue by two small metal "ears".

    [​IMG]

    When the heater is laid on its side for transport the ears sometimes slip past the top of the flue and the when the heater is set upright the turbulator falls down the flue and rest on the burner. If the installer does not notice this has happened, the heat from the burner softens the metal turbulator and it can fold and collapse onto the burner:

    [​IMG]

    At a minimum this will decrease the efficiency of the water heater, it may also shorten its life and/or create a fire hazard.
     
  12. Jun 3, 2010 #12

    QualitySolar

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    The reason why it is advisable to not carry vitreous enamel lined storage systems on their side is because the sacrificial anode can hit the side of the tank and damage the glass lining. Thus reducing lifespan.
     
  13. Oct 2, 2012 #13

    FLDon

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    worked on just about everything one time or another, but never moved a brand new electric water heater. I wanted to make sure that so called glass tube would not crack off while transporting it home in my van. You answered my question simple and to the point. Thank you very much!
     
  14. Oct 29, 2012 #14

    notmrjohn

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    "hot water heater."
    Glenn, this seems to be a Southern, or possibly Texas thing. I've heard it and said it all my life. Note builder's and my locations. Then one day I heard my self and stopped in midsentence, "Hold on there," I sez, "that don't make a lick of sense." None the less It still slips out some time. But then who wants a cold water heater, I reckon that melts ice to give you cold water.

    Hot water heater may be a carry over from when water was heated in a boiler, either dedicated or part of wood, coal, or "coal oil" stoves then stored in a hot water tank. When the new fangled water heaters came along the hot prefix just stayed attached.
     

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