Draining Hot Water Heaters

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On Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 12:07:06 AM UTC-6, Don Y wrote:

a real glass tank without breaking it.

This is "commonly" known as "ceramic" coating not "glass". இ_? ?
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On Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 7:06:58 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

+1
If you're planning on periodically draining it, I'd replace the cheap drain valve with a quality one at time of installation.
Anode replacement, not sure what to do. One theory is that checking and replacing it will prolong the life of the tank. The other is that the anode is good for the life of the tank, and even if you do replace it, it won't do much to extend the life of the tank, because it's going to fail anyway from other causes. Probably depends a lot on the water you actually have too.
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On Tue, 16 Feb 2016 17:28:10 -0600, SeaNymph

I used to drain mine but it didn't seem to make any difference in how long they lasted. What I found works best is to buy the cheapest tank you can get, then turn the temperature down to about 125. At lower temperatures it seems that far less sediment precipitates out and the tank lasts much longer. The "six year" tanks typically last 10 years or more at the lower temperature. With all the time you saved over the years not bothering to drain them you have saved up enough time to spend the half day just replacing it once a decade.
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wrote:

TIME? How much time does it take to connect a garden hose, run it to a floor drain, shut off the flame or electric, and the cold water valve. The draining itself can happen while you cook supper or watch a movie. Then you close that drain valve, remove the hose and turn back on the heating source and cold water.
10 minutes worth of time at most....
You probably spend at least 10 minutes daily brushing your teeth and shaving!

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On Tue, 16 Feb 2016 19:28:56 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

Perhaps it depends on the water quality where you live. When I kept the temperature set at "normal" there would be so much sediment after a year that water would not drain from the drain. I would have to use a screwdriver and jam it up into the drain and break up the sediment to get the water flowing. Then put the hose on, let it drain for a couple minutes, then it would plug with sediment again and I'd have to disconnect the hose, poke it with the screwdriver again and do that a dozen or more times. With electric water heaters I have more then once had the bottom electrode burn out due to the sediment building up over it and preventing enough water to get to it to keep it from boiling off the water and then burning up and blowing the fuse. I had one where I almost couldn't get the electrode out it was so badly trapped with sediment.
After that happening a few times I tried to get to draining them each year and discovered it was NOT a 10 minute job but the arduous task I described. That was when I started turning the temp down and just ignoring draining them and found they lasted at least 10 years.
So my final answer Alex is to set the temp at 125 and ignore it till it starts to leak, probably between year 10 and 15.

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On Tue, 16 Feb 2016 17:28:10 -0600, SeaNymph

At most it's only needed by some people. The notion that everyone should do it is poppycock.
I've been here 33 years, never done it. Never had any problem bedcuase of it. Last time this was discussed there were a lot of stories of valves that couldnt' be fully closed after they were once opened, especially if they were plastic.
First electric WH leaked after 15 years (counting 4 years before I bought hte house.)
But I got mixed up, I think, and decided after 10 years that one WH was broken when it probably just needed a new thermostat or heater. Cut it open and found only a tablespoon of sediment in the bottom. Only 1/4" high. Since the heating element was a few inches higher than the bottom, it would have taken over 250 years before the sediment reached the element. If it does't reach the element, it causes no harm.
I have "city water" that comes ultimately from one of 3 reservoirs around here.
You would be better off asking neighbors with wells in the same aquifer and similar water softening what happens when or IF they drain theirs. Do they actually get sediment coming out? How much? Unless there is a lot, there is no point to doing this.
In the last conversation, with different people maybe, most people were against it.
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wrote:

* INCORRECT *
If the element becomes encased in sediment, it develops hot spots, which causes it to fail, as well as distort and deform. I've seen it more than once. Sometimes you cant even remove them, because the element is so stuck in the sediment, as well as deformed, that it wont come out of the tank.
In YOUR case it might take 250 years, but I know one nearby town on "city water" where a water heater becomes half full of lime sediment (sludge) in about 3 years. I have helped several people replace their WH and it's almost shocking how bad they are. The plumbers in that town make a lot of money just replacing WHs.
Actually, my WH came from a house that was being demolished. The guy doing the demo needed help and posted an ad. I inquired and got hired. The pay was lousy, but he said I could have any lumber I wanted to salvage. I stocked up on lumber, took down the whole garage and saved all of it, and got quite a bit from the house too. I noticed an electric water heater which was dated and only 2 years old. He told me to take it if I wanted it. I did. When I got it home, it was 1/3 full of lime. But I was in need of a WH, so I removed the elements, the drain valve, relief valve, and of course the pipes were removed. I laid it on it's side (on my lawn), with some 4x4s under it, and with the element holes down. I stuck my garden hose in it and rocked it back and forth. That lime just fell out in chunks, and when I was done, I had to rake it up from my lawn. I filled 1 - 1/2 five gallon pails with that lime.
I replaced the deformed lower element, and put it back together and had a good (almost new) WH, for the price of one element. I've been using it for 3 or 4 years now, and it works fine.
I have a well, so I dont have that lousy city water with all it's lime. My water is kind of hard and leaves an orange ring in the toilet (iron), but aside from a little extra scrubbing of the toilet, it's not a problem.
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On Wed, 17 Feb 2016 05:10:24 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

Nothing you have below makes what I said incorrect.

So, I told her to check with neighbors with similar water and water softeners.

Are you saying a 4 foot water heater had 16" of lime in the bottom? How come they kept using it after the lime covered the heating element?

Apparently there's something wrong with the city water near you. I never said all city water was the same. In fact I pointed out that I had city water to let the OP know that my results might be different from his with a well. But now iiuyc you're saying that you're well water doesn't have a lime (or other sediment) problem. He'll be happy to hear that.

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On Tue, 16 Feb 2016 17:28:10 -0600, SeaNymph

And if for some reason you do let the water out, turn the electricity off first. If it's empty and the heater goes on, it wiill burn out within a few minutes. Elements can be replaced, but why let it happen.
Kibble works well for training. Don't give it the kibble until the water is actually hot.
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I recently had a new water heater installed. The manual says to drain the tank every six months.
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On 2/16/2016 5:28 PM, SeaNymph wrote:

I wanted to thank everyone for their responses. This place can be a literal fountain of good information.
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On Tue, 16 Feb 2016 17:28:10 -0600, SeaNymph

Did anyone ever ask you if you had a gas or electric water heater? With many questions it makes a difference. You could have volunteered it.
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On 2/17/2016 9:30 PM, Micky wrote:

I don't remember, but if someone had asked, I would have told them. It's actually an electric Marathon.
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wrote:

BTW, my last two WH, maybe all 3, do have the thing that swirls the water when fresh water enters, but I'm not sure if or how that lessens sediment, despite the vendor's claims. The plastic input tube goes almost to the bottom of the WH and then goes to the outside and turns to be parallel to the outside of the circle.
How would that lessen sediment.
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On Sat, 09 Apr 2016 17:46:37 -0400, Micky

It causes the water to swirl whenever it enters, keeping sediment from "settling" so you don't get an accumulation in the bottom. They work. (turbulator tube)
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On 4/9/2016 5:46 PM, Micky wrote:

The sediment is more likely to go out the hot water faucet, instead of stay in the tank.
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On 4/9/2016 5:46 PM, Micky wrote:

It keeps it in suspension and flows out when you use water
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In a place with significant amounts of calcium in the water, the effect is negligible. The stuff falls out of suspension far faster than the water is used. It may not cake up as bad but it is still there. Water heaters are a 6-10 year thing and you chuck them. A water softener helps but it is not a panacea.
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