Flushing Water Heater

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Hi,
A few days ago, I saw a guy flush and later replace a water heater on This Old House, or similar program.
Something puzzled me. He said that after a flush, the old water heater may start leaking. He did not explain why.
I'm about to flush my 10 yo heater and wonder about what would cause the leak, after a flush.
Also wondering, how many people actually replace the anodes?
Regards,
Rich
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Because ... the mineral buildup may be plugging leaks. Leaks that resulted almost certainly because of anode going bye-bye and no longer protecting.
People generally replace the anode, as required by local water quality, flow-rate and temp setting, separately or as part of new heater.
What makes you conclude that you need to flush it?
J
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----- Original Message -----

Well, it's 10 years old and I doubt it's been flushed. It's a gas heater, I failed to state.
The only symptom which I see currently is that the temp is not very stable. I have it set low and at times the water temp is about 130F, at other times it's just over 105F. Seems at random.
Rich
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At 10 years its near the end of its life, even opening the drain valve may be a one way event:( Valves are junk quality.
I would leave it be and shop for a new one. Or just buy a new one now at your convenience. Rather than having it fail at 4am and flood your basement, and no hot shower in AM.
Maybe its me, I replace my car battery at 4 years too.
It costs a little but saves a LOT of aggravation!
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Won't the life depend on the quality? Wandering through a mall once, I paused to glance at a booth promoting a famous-name water heater. One of the people staffing the booth asked me how old my water heater was and I told him -- perhaps close to 10 years at that time. He said, "Oh, so you'll be needing a new one soon." I told him that we had a <small local brand> (cost little more than the famous-name one), to which he replied, "Oh, no, you won't need a new one for a long time yet."
Perce
On 02/07/06 04:15 pm snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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My last two cars had 72 month batteries. I replaced them in the first cool weather after 60 months. I hear stories about batteries lasting even longer, but I'd rather change it at my convenience that surely is not when the temperature is 5 degrees.
I though water heaters had a longer life though? Some have a 10 or 12 year warranty/ http://www.rheem.com/consumer/catalogRes_Index.asp
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

It saves no aggravation, it just cost more and it is extremely wasteful. Most replacement auto batteries have a 72 or 84 month guarantee and have greater capacity that the OEM batteries. Occasionally a battery just goes kaput, but age has little to do with that. Ordinarily batteries just age and if you can't tell when the battery is beginning to go bad maybe you shouldn't be driving.
I have never had a battery last less than 5 years (and that was back in the 60's) and most last 7 or more years. Just replaced the original battery in my 1994 Explorer but that was a real exception. And yes I knew the capacity had diminished for over a year. And you would have been your 3rd replacement.
BTW, the normal failure of a water heater is for it to leak a little, not burst and flood the place.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Wow you get 4 years on a car battery!!!
They only seem to last about 2 years here in Houston, TX, no matter how much you pay or how long the warranty is!!!
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I heard that these gas tanks can go like a splash. In this case, even if you shut of the main valve, you still have 60 gallons of damage.
--
Later \'gator

snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com
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FloodStopper Providing 24x7 Protection Against Flooding Due To Internal Plumbing Failures and Accidental Overflows Now Available at The-FloodStopper-Store on eBay
<<>>><<>>
Why bother to spam when you won't even answer your email?
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If it's one of the ones that has two anodes, I'd check them and see if it needs to be replaced. If it has only one anode, then you might be too late and you should start shopping for a new water heater and have one picked out.
I saw the TV show in question and do not recall any connection between the flushing and the dying of the tank. My recollection was that they called up two months later to say that it had leaked. I don't think they said that the sludge acted as a sort of stop leak.
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Thanks for addressing my topic Scott :-)

My tank has just one anode. I called locally and the replacement is $18.
Well, it seems that the anode consumption would depend on local water chemistry, water usage and temp setting over the life of the tank. This is why you can't say it's dead, based on time alone.

The guy in the show was vague enough to make the info useless. He did not say the sediment plugged the leaks, it was someone replying here. The TV plumber did say that it may start leaking after a flush - why I have no idea - it's why I asked here :-)
After the TV plumber cut the tank apart, it was leaking at the top - not where the sediment was - again I see no relation to flushing. The anode in that tank was all consumed and there was lots of sediment, so the tank was quite old - how old they did not say.
Other thing they said, was that the tank life is pretty much a month after the warranty runs out. Again a half-truth. Depends on a lot of things. One website recommends getting a shorter life tank and replacing anodes or installing a "big one" at the time of purchase.
Wish that the show producers would do better job, if they bother at all. Of course the tape probably had no idea what he was editing and cut the pertinent stuff.
Rich
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RichK wrote:

For anyone who has changed the anode, is it difficult to do? How much overhead clearance is required? My basement ceiling is only about 7 feet high, which doesn't leave a lot of room over my tank to install a long anode rod. I've heard that the main difference between a tank with a short warranty and a long warranty is the length of the anode. My 3 year old tank (Sears 'Miser' - I forget who the manufacturer is) has a 12 year warranty, so maybe it has 2 anodes.
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George E. Cawthon
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

It saves no aggravation, it just cost more and it is extremely wasteful. Most replacement auto batteries have a 72 or 84 month guarantee and have greater capacity that the OEM batteries. Occasionally a battery just goes kaput, but age has little to do with that. Ordinarily batteries just age and if you can't tell when the battery is beginning to go bad maybe you shouldn't be driving.
I have never had a battery last less than 5 years (and that was back in the 60's) and most last 7 or more years. Just replaced the original battery in my 1994 Explorer but that was a real exception. And yes I knew the capacity had diminished for over a year. And you would have been your 3rd replacement. BTW, the normal failure of a water heater is for it to leak a little, not burst and flood the place. --------------------------------------- Well I for one dont like getting stuck somewhere when a battery dies:( Also I USED to buy more alternators. Its my theory heavy charging required when a battery gets near the end of its life contribuites to alternator failure...
I give my old battery to a buddy with a wind generator, he uses them on his system. so they arent being wasted.
Incidently the most common battery failure is on a zero day, and that sucks. They can load test a battery, it gives a idea of its condition.
yeah most hot water tanks just leak. thats minor in a basement with a floor drain, buts not necessarily the case with newer homes. besides being without hot water is inconvenient.
I look at things differently and believe in preventive maintence. I repair office machines for a living, primarily for schools. around here they all start the end of august. the time to service all those machines isnt sept 1st. better to start in early summer so they are all looked at before the first day of school.
you buy insurance in case something bad happens. with a low cost item like a hot water tank or car battery I would rather spend a little more and avoid a hassle.
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How can you say it saves no aggravation?
I agree that 4 years is too short, but don't you find it aggravating when the first sign of battery failure is when your wife calls from the supermarket parking lot. Or your car won't start when it is 5 degrees and windy? I like to change my battery when it is sunny and above 50 degrees.
My one car is 5 years old next month. Battery will be changed in October while it is still good weather. To be honest, I've not even seen in in the 5 years and 107,000 miles I've owned it. It is under the back seat. On my other car, the battery is under a shroud that is a real PITA to remove.
FWIW, the truck at work got a new batter and it was just 70 months of the expected 72 months life.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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batteries away from the engines heat last a lot longer. in my case I drive a lot fixing machines at one time putting over 45,000 in one year. all that traveling on pennsylvanias rough roads does vibration damage to batteries, leading to shorter life.
sometimes getting the very last bit of something is no value at all. espically on a zero nite, having to get a tow:(
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

My wife called me only once about the car not starting. In fact, I didn't think it was the battery and even pulled the starter. Turned out the battery had shorted, first I had ever seen. Not something one can anticipate.
If the car wouldn't start I wouldn't have it outside in 5 degree weather. Actually I pride myself on auto maintenance and knowing the condition of the vehicle. So if the car won't start at 5 degrees, I would have had a good indication when it started slowly at 20 degrees.

My cars used to have high mileage on them, usually didn't buy them until they had 50,000 on them. But now I buy newer and drive less. I don't have any hint that my 2000 pickup will need a new battery anytime soon. And I sure as hell wouldn't just replace it out of the blue. There would be just as much chance that the new battery would be bad.
Yep, the battery in my 1994 Explorer had a shield and it was big enough that I also had to disconnect the air intake to get the battery out. I opted to not put the shield back in.

Happens, especially with vehicles in a pool and many drivers who aren't the owner. But I've never had a battery last shorter than it's guarantee period.
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Where would millions of car owners keep them when the temperature is 5 degrees? Many don't have garages. You don't always get that warning at 20 degrees, and even if I did, I'd still rather change it at 50 degrees than 20 under the pressure of needing a car tomorrow. Or getting that 20 degree warning on a trip hundreds of miles from home. Glad your method works for you, but it does not for everyone.
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I use my garage for my business, and its so small my van wouldnt fit anyway. For ME the convenience of a good battery is worth the minor bucks cost.
Some people drink or smoke, I do neither.
I spend a bit keeping my old car dependable
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