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Direct Vent condensation leak

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  • Direct Vent condensation leak

    The condensation trap on our 9 year old water heater started leaking for the second time. The first time I just replaced the fitting and crimped on a new piece of PEX and didn't look at the part. This time I pulled off the PEX to have a look. Believe it or not, the fitting below wasn't water tight. Clearly the condensation from propane exhaust is corrosive to brass fittings. I just put a third brass fitting on because that's what is available in town but I intend to replace it right away. Any idea what material I should be using?

    Corroded Brass
    An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
    A moral man does it.

  • #2
    Dang auto correct.
    Last edited by capncarl; 12-14-2018, 12:27 AM.


    • #3
      That looks like a female npt pipe adapter to pex. In this application it appears that brass is not cutting it. Plastic will probably melt under the heat. galvanized or carbon steel will probably be dissolved by the acids as well. I would recommend using stainless steel. The cheap plastic and brass replacement fittings at Lowe’s will cost $3 and last as long as the previous fittings while stainless fittings will cost $ 14.00 each and you can remove them when the water heater finally wears out and use on the new replacement water heater in 2 years when it’s cheap fitting dissolves. When in doubt use stainless!


      • LCHIEN
        LCHIEN commented
        Editing a comment
        Probably correct to use Stainless steel, but stainless is not always corrosion proof either. More like stain resistant.

      • capncarl
        capncarl commented
        Editing a comment
        Agreed.... ss is not corrosion proof, but in this application it would corrode so much slower than the brass it probably wouldn’t be detectable in our lifetime. The cheap brass fittings are so thin, if they were as thick as the ss fittings they would probably last as long as the life of the water heater.