Flushing Water Heater

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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

If you don't have a garage then I guess one would need to pay closer attention. And you are right, my method won't work for many. I've driven with people that could care less what the strange noises are or what they might mean. The engine has difficulty turning over and they think, "Hmm, got to get to the drugstore." Big bang under the car and they say "Wow, gotta turn the radio volume up to hear everything."
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overhead
which
Happy to report I just did. The anode in my case was 34 inch. Same length as original, but did not look the same.
Original anode appears to have a center rod and two anode rods, next to it. At least in the state that it's in now. The new anode is simply a round aluminum rod of about 1 inch dia. I could bend the old anode, but no way to bend teh new one.
My tank is 48inch high (short and fat) and there was plenty of room above it. Of course you can cut the anode a bit, if need be.

and a long

I
Hard to tell how many anodes, unless you can call tech support at Sears. There's an 800 number and the folks who answer want to sell you parts, but they also seem halfway literate and can look up info.
In some cases the second anode can hang under the hot water outlet pipe - attached apparently to the inlet.
I did not develop any problems with the flush valve, due to dirt. Even if I did, it's easy to replace. Just screw-in a new one. Don't know why people thrash the tank for a $5 valve. To replace it, drain the water. In fact should have done it, while I had the tank empty :-((
Rich
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I just bought this house about 8 months ago, and it came with a 27-year-old Bradford-White gas water heater. Still working fine. The plastic cone-type drain has evidence of being opened many times with a wrench which is fine with me; apparently someone drained it periodically (to remove sediment). The dip tube on it vanished who knows how long ago, so I put one in two weeks ago. When the tank leaks, I'll get a new one. At $300+ for a new heater I'm in no hurry. I really wonder why people say throw it out after 10 years when occasional preventive maintenance - maintenance you can do - will extend that life quite a bit.
The anode prevents the tank from rusting from the inside. Even though the tank is glass-lined on the inside, the anode is still needed because the coating doesn't cover everything. After ten years your anode is probably all gone, just the core wire is left. It should be checked every 3 years or so.
If it were me, I wouldn't worry too much about the sediment (unless the tank makes gurgling noises) and I would replace the anode. More than likely it will be difficult to remove. If you do remove it, wrap teflon tape around it once to make it easier to remove in the future.
Good site: www.waterheaterrescue.com
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From the TV show, it appears that with the anode consumed, the next thing to go is the exposed metal (fittings at the top). Water runs down the tank, between the double walls and comes out at the bottom.

tank
I already flushed it, just for good measure :-) Was not too bad. Will replace the anode. I've seen water heaters last a lot longer than 10 years, so I'm optimistic.
Rich
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Exactly where did you find a new anode locally for $18? I don't see them in HD, Lowes, or Ace.
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Place called Plumbers Supply - literally, but YMMV :-)
Called a place that sells furnaces and A/C compressors first, but they did not have it, and they sent me to plumbers supply. These are frequented by contractors, mostly.
Rich
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You need to get them from a real plumbing store.
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RichK wrote:

I think the issue is related to the cr@ppy drain valves that are used on most water heaters. Open them once to drain the tank, and they may never close fully again.
The other concern is that on a 10 year old water heater, the chunks of calcium buildup may be large enough that they may not want to come out - just end up clogging the drain valve, possibly not allowing it to close fully.
Ran across an interesting website a few weeks ago, http://www.waterheaterrescue.com /. They do have some products they want to sell you, but it doesn't get in the way of all the information they provide. Got some good tips on maximizing the longevity of your water heater, such as: - Install a curved dip tube - Replace the drain valve with a ball valve - Add a second anode on the hot side (more corrosion protection) They recommend making all these changes on a new heater before installation.
FWIW, I'm not associated with this website at all. As a matter of fact, I'm one of those guys with an 8 year old water heater sitting in his garage that has never been flushed. We'll see if I follow their advice when it's time to replace it.
Jerry
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This makes a lot more sense - strange that the TV show could not say that :-). Later they show the same tank leaking from the top somewhere and the connection you make, is that it was the flushing that killed the tank.
If you never flush your tank, the sediment may be hard enough to prevent the drain valve from closing, if a chunk gets lodged in the valve. A ball valve would be less likely to fail, even due to dirt.
Of course, if the leak is from the drain valve, even on an old tank, why not install a new one, rather than pitching the whole thing.

This may be, so you get greater surface area for the chemical reaction. The next step being a second dip tube, but that's more major work.
Rich
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