I’m installing a Rheem Marathon electric 50-gal water heater, in a 2nd floor, where it’ll service only the 1st floor (so it kinda has a “built in” heat trap since the pipe only goes down). Been trying to contact Rheem for 2 weeks with no response. There’s no code official here for me to ask either (unincorporated area). I want to follow best practices to ensure safety and performance.
The manual says "pre-solder 12" minimum stub pipes before installing to unit." We don’t use copper here due to water composition. I could use a brass nipple, but I want to be sure I understand the purpose of this requirement. Is it: -(a) to ensure vertical clearance (which I’ll have regardless) -(b) to ensure that a plumber does not melt plastic components while soldering < 12" from the inlet/outlet (irrelevant to me) -(c) to make sure there is not a pressure "bottleneck" at the tank whether for safety or water pressure issues (good reason!) -(d) some other reason?
If I do need to put 12” of brass here... does it have to be vertical? Or could I instead attach a brass street elbow directly to the inlet/outlet, then put the brass nipple horizontal? Again I don’t want to mess with water pressure or safety. --And if it does have to be vertical, then why Terry ok here? https://youtu.be/m598ynGCg74. (I trust him over the manual that came with my heater, which is generic for all Rheem tank models). Thing is, my installation will be all hard piped.
The unit is being plumbed with Pex-A (Uponor) which is rated for direct connection to a water heater. Manual p. 8 says "Hot water connection fitting must have an ID > 0.725”." I can accomplish that with a 3/4" brass nipple, which I will then adapt to Pex-A (0.681" ID) - but is there a minimum length required for that nipple?
Not trying to cut corners at all – just want to understand the purpose behind the instructions so I can do what’s best in this situation. Thanks!