Mystery Plumbing Item

Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by tuberadiogeek on Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:14 am

I was at my little brothers house today helping him hook up his new washer and dryer. While he was putting the cord on the dryer i decided to take a glancie at his furnace just to see where his ac lineset came in and see where his evap coil was just bc i was curious. While over there he asked me if i knew what that big silver thing was (see picture) next to his hot water heater. I looked and said i have no flippin' idea what it was. It has a cold water supply going into it, but not coming out of it. The spigot you see is actually behind it. If i had a pipe wrench handy at the time i would of attempted to loosen the nut and open it up to see inside. It kind of looks like a water softener but every one i've seen has an out. He said the plumber that installed the water heater had no clue what it was either. I told him i'd post on here and ask you guys.Mystery Plumbing Item Img_2011
tuberadiogeek
tuberadiogeek
Member
Member

Number of posts : 648
Age : 37
Registration date : 2013-02-11

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by Dr. Radio on Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:32 am

I'm gonna say its a really old thermal expansion tank.

Google it.

Looks awfully large for its intended application...perhaps the residence once had a heated water (steam boiler) heating system....


Merry Christmas!

Smile
Dr. Radio
Dr. Radio
Member
Member

Number of posts : 910
Age : 39
Registration date : 2012-09-17

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by N7ZAL on Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:03 am

Looks like the top is made to lift up, where maybe you add something into the tank. The drain faucet seems kind of high up. Wonder if it is left over from a water softener system?
N7ZAL
N7ZAL
Member
Member

Number of posts : 494
Registration date : 2011-11-05

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by tuberadiogeek on Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:15 pm

I googled thermal expansion tank and couldn't find any that look like that, even tried antique thermal expansion tank, and nothing came up like that. The top does lift up, it has a very large nut, probably 7/8",13/16" or even 15/16" possibly larger. It is hinged, but the thing that baffles me is no outlet. In other words water goes in but doesn't come out. His house was built in 1906.
tuberadiogeek
tuberadiogeek
Member
Member

Number of posts : 648
Age : 37
Registration date : 2013-02-11

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by 75X11 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:37 pm

Could it be an air chamber to prevent water-hammering of the pipes? Shut off the valve to the tank , open the top, drain the tank to the faucet level, close the top and faucet and open the inlet valve.
75X11
75X11
Member
Member

Number of posts : 4468
Age : 62
Registration date : 2013-03-10

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by Dr. Radio on Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:34 pm

Well...if I understand correctly, there is one inlet and no outlet of any kind. The spigot is an optical illusion? It's actually on a pipe behind said tank, correct?

I'm going to copy your pic and send it to a plumber (retired) who has done plumbing longer then I've been alive. Hopefully he will know exactly what it is.

Here's something I found (not the same but similar):
http://annapolis.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-home-appliances-stoves-ovens-ranges-Furnace-Boiler-Expansion-Tank-W0QQAdIdZ538120017
Dr. Radio
Dr. Radio
Member
Member

Number of posts : 910
Age : 39
Registration date : 2012-09-17

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:42 pm

There is another pipe between that tank and the heater, I'll bet that is what the spigot is connected to. The top of the tank appears to be made for pressure. I wonder if it is some sort of water hammer apparatus.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by Dr. Radio on Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:27 pm

Well, I heard back from my plumbing friend. Here's his reply cut from my e-mail:

Hi Joe,
I've worked it many old houses and mansions but I don't recall ever seeing
one of those so I really have no idea.

The removable top seems like it would be for either a clean out or to add
something which makes me guess some sort of filter or old water softener BUT
either one would need an outlet pipe.

I've seen many old expansion tanks but never saw one anything like that plus
they always had drain valves on them.

The copper water line feeding it would sorta indicate that the installation
was sometime in the last 50 years or so but then who knows if the water pipe
might have been iron pipe originally.

It doesn't make sense to me that there would be no outlet pipe or drain
valve.

IF you ever do find out what its purpose is/was please let me know.



Sooooo......Looks like my ideas is all washed-up (ha ha) on the expansion tank idea..but the fact it only has an "inlet" and no "outlet" really cuts down on the possibilities...

I'm not sure if I would try to open it. You may end up releasing an evil spirit. OR just get wet  Laughing 
Dr. Radio
Dr. Radio
Member
Member

Number of posts : 910
Age : 39
Registration date : 2012-09-17

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by N7ZAL on Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:54 pm

Thanks for posting and these "mysteries" are always interesting. Just to toss out another idea, which I doubt, is some form of a cistern. All the ones I am familiar with are a lot larger and usually made from brick. However, it could be a left over tank for a well pump?
N7ZAL
N7ZAL
Member
Member

Number of posts : 494
Registration date : 2011-11-05

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by tuberadiogeek on Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:10 pm

I will take a closer look at it sometime soon or have him look at it and take another picture. The copper looks like it is somewhat of a newer addition to the plumbing. When i took this picture i had only took a quick glance at it. I'm still going to open it mainly out of curiosity. It could be a water hammering prevention device, however i've never seen anything to prevent that.
tuberadiogeek
tuberadiogeek
Member
Member

Number of posts : 648
Age : 37
Registration date : 2013-02-11

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by N7ZAL on Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:57 pm

Careful opening it. Someone could have been breeding rattle snakes or black widows.  Shocked Shocked 
N7ZAL
N7ZAL
Member
Member

Number of posts : 494
Registration date : 2011-11-05

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by 75X11 on Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:27 pm

Every time I see one of those strange appendages to peoples' plumbing and heating apparatus, it reminds me of this movie. My folks house in Michigan had a setup like this to extract water from the earth in some manner.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVZAWZJlIDI
75X11
75X11
Member
Member

Number of posts : 4468
Age : 62
Registration date : 2013-03-10

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by N7ZAL on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:34 pm

Good clip:  Laughing 
N7ZAL
N7ZAL
Member
Member

Number of posts : 494
Registration date : 2011-11-05

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by 75X11 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:35 pm

Thanks. That is a mighty funny movie. It airs occasionally on TNT.
75X11
75X11
Member
Member

Number of posts : 4468
Age : 62
Registration date : 2013-03-10

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by ke3gk on Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:37 am

Old water softening tank, add salt
ke3gk
ke3gk
New Member
New Member

Number of posts : 14
Registration date : 2012-12-07

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by N7ZAL on Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:48 am

Old water softening tank, add salt

That was my first thought, but wouldn't it have to be back flushed?
N7ZAL
N7ZAL
Member
Member

Number of posts : 494
Registration date : 2011-11-05

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by ke3gk on Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:45 am

N7ZAL wrote:
Old water softening tank, add salt

That was my first thought, but wouldn't it have to be back flushed?


I don't know about that, I have only seen one, a new system, and really didn't pay much attention to it other than saying "Why Salt ?"
ke3gk
ke3gk
New Member
New Member

Number of posts : 14
Registration date : 2012-12-07

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by 75X11 on Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:12 pm

There are usually two tanks with a salt/resin bead softener system and they usually are made of plastic due to the corrosive effect of the salt. The salt helps the minerals bind with the resin beads and they must be flushed out to rid them of the salt and minerals.
75X11
75X11
Member
Member

Number of posts : 4468
Age : 62
Registration date : 2013-03-10

Back to top Go down

Mystery Plumbing Item Empty Re: Mystery Plumbing Item

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum