Hot Water Heater hose broke

The 18 inch 'hot water heater hose' broke. This is the hose that connects the outgoing hot water to the rest of the house. After cleaning up the flood, I've replace the hose and we've had hot water as usual for the past couple of days. Do I need to be concerned that the broken hose wasn't really the problem but is a symptom of something else?
Other notes:
The pressure relief valve has a slow leak, dripping about a third of a small jar over night. If I 'test' the PRV, it sticks open and I need to push it back in to close it. From reading this newsgroup, I get the feeling that this is common and I simply need to replace it.
Also, about 6 months ago the bottom heating element failed. While replacing it I found a large amount of scaling build up. In fact the failed heating element was basically buried in it. I cleaned as much up as I could from the bottom of the tank by breaking it up and pulling it through the hole where the heating element attaches. I'm sure this problem will come back soon enough, but it was much cheaper and timely than purchasing a new hot water heater or purchasing some descaling kit.
Any advice appreciated.
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Information lacking . . . 1. How old is this heater? 1b. How often flushed to remove mineral scale? 2. How heated (gas or electricity)? 3. How connected? In this jurisdiction (I think) copper pipe is mandatory -- a hose would not comply with the building code.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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I don't know the age of this heater. There's an EnergyGuide sticker on it that states "...Based on 1994 U.S. Gov't energy costs..." I'm not sure if that year matches the year it was sold.
Only once have I attempted to clean it out, and that was when I replaced the heating element. Of course on hindsight, that was a mistake.
It is an electric heater.
Its incoming source is connected by what looks like a flexible copper piece. Its output side is connected via a flexible tubing (?) that has an outer stainless mesh. Because they sell this stainless mesh suff at the home centers, it's probably safe to assume it complies with building codes.

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"outer stainless mesh" has an "inner rubber hose". That's what failed.
If it's not required by code in your area, get rid of it and plumb it with copper tube. And no, just because it's sold in a Home Cheapo or Lowe's doesn't mean it's legal for your area.
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HolyCow wrote:

If, by 'hose', you mean the flexible, metal-clad connection, they are usually quite strong. Obviously not as sturdy as a solid pipe, but sturdy nevertheless. I wouldn't think its failure is related to any other water heater symptom. Question: Does the pipe vibrate for any reason? Mabe metal fatigue?

Yeah, you can't really fix it. They're cheap.

Can't you replace the bottom heating element with one that doesn't have scales?
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HeyBub wrote:

May be an "Across The Pond Thing" but have you used fish to heat the hot water tank? It's a trick I've missed! ;)
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Sorry, I never got the British humor. Ok, I can appreciate Benny Hill but that's about it....
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HolyCow wrote:

"with one that doesn't have scales" ;)
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Yes, the 'hose' or 'tubing' is a flexible thing with a stainless mesh on its outside. So you are suggesting that this flexiable thing failed on its own? My guess is that it would be the weakest link if a heating element stuck on and the PRV didn't pop open.
No. I've never heard any pipe vibration.

I wonder if the PRV leaks, does that mean that it will fail for which it was designed -- if the pressure got too high?

I don't know if the new one I put in a few months back already contains scales...
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My only question would be WHY is there a HOSE on it? What's wrong with doing it properly with a union and hard plumbing??
s

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wrote:

I don't know where the OP is, but I know that many areas require flex connections for seismic reasons.
JK
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Big_Jake wrote:

Yep. And in some jurisdictions there is a requirement that the water heater be strapped to the wall!
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A 'hose' is probably not the correct term. It is some sort of flexible thing that has a stainless mess on it's outside. All the home centers and hardware stores sell them so I'm sure they are in code. I think they call them 'water heater supply' tubing or hose or pipe. Not sure of the full name.

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I hear what you're saying. BUT, just because a store sells something, Does NOT mean it is legal to use it. Or that it meets code.
s

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