Water heater question

We live in an location with very hard water. We don't have a water softener and our hot water heater has the build-up of deposits so that when it starts heating up it sounds like rocks bouncing in a dryer.
Last spring, I drained it and it was all good. This spring, I drained it twice, but we still get the loud noises when it's heating up. I've seen a product that I can add to the water heater that will soften these deposits so they can come out. Does it work?
Also, our water heater is in the back of the house, near the washer/dryer. When the door is closed to this area, you can't even hear the noise. Can I just ignore this and pretend there's no problem? I'm pretty good at that solution.
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On 5/24/2012 9:07 AM, Tater Cole wrote:

I once replaced the lower heating element in a heater on well water. There was about a foot of sediment in the tank. Dug it out with a spoon and flushed the tank before installing the new element. No more problems.
If you choose to ignore, it, you can disconnect the lower heater or just wait till it burns up.
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On Thu, 24 May 2012 09:07:27 -0700 (PDT), Tater Cole

When you get this kind of hard scale, it is not coming out the drain. Remove the drain pipe and the lower element and shovel it out with a piece of PVC pipe, cut in half long ways
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the boiling sound isnt hazardous, it just cuts into efficency a little......
if your tank is gas just ignore it
if your tank is electric you can try removing and cleaning the elements and remove what crud you can from the bottom of the tank.
but you might cause a leak and have to replace the tank.......
if i were you i would just ignore it. till one day the tank begins to leak then replace it!
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On Thu, 24 May 2012 09:07:27 -0700 (PDT), Tater Cole

To minimize this problem (so many deposits) in the future, turn the water temperature down to about 140. My electric heaters used to fill up with this crap and cause the lower element to burn out. Once I started setting them for the lower heat setting the problem went away. I have a dishwasher that will heat the water, which is a concern if your dishwasher won't. Dishwashers really should have 160+ water for proper cleaning and sanitizing. Lower temps also theoretically create the possibility of listeria in the water heater. I've not found that to be a problem but it is cited as an issue. One thing I've thought could be done is to turn the temp back up real high for a week or so each year to 'burn it out'.
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No good reason it should be any higher than that with any water heater.
My electric heaters used to fill

I've yet to see a dishwasher manufacturer call for anything above 140F.
Lower temps also theoretically create

I have seen lot of recommendations from credible sources that say 140F is sufficient to keep a water heater safe. If you have a reference that says listeria can be a real safety issue that requires 160F, I'd be happy to see it. With tens of millions of water heaters at 140F or possibly lower, I've never heard of a listeria outbeak traced to a water heater. Usually it's some agricultural product, improper food handling, etc.

Again, any reference that says this in necessary?
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wrote:

My question wouldn't be "is this necessary" but instead would be "Wil this work?"
I've never heard that the sediment could be "burned out". It's not like it will actually burn nor would I expect that hotter water would simply dissolve it. Even it it did, I assume that you would then need to run the hot water until the existing water was changed out to remove the suspended sediment to prevent it from coming back once the tank cooled down.
Doing that once a week seems like it would reduce the overall efficiency more than the sediment would.
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I took the "burn it out" comment to be about the alleged dangerous bacteria that requires temps of 160F to kill. I agree, you can't burn out sediment.
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me too. never heard of a infection from a home water heater. probably because they are small and the water cycles fast.....
the infections seem to be large older buildings.... they may have more lightly used locations where water can linger and bacteria grow.
i keep my hot water around a 120. I figure lower heater temps equal longer heater life. the thermal cycling would be less extreme
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You're thermal cycling it more, since you're using more hot water and will drop the tank temperature faster. The normal thermal cycle is only a few degrees.
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On Jun 10, 7:07pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

but the degree change is smaller:) I tend to buy a oversized tank. this one is 75 gallons 75K BTU
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for most of my life i had elderly realtives here and wanted to avoid them getting burnt.....
that can happen quickly with 140 degree water:(
so I upped the tank size and BTU... that works fine and lower temperature water minimizes energy waste.
although i did consider a tempering valve.
140 tank water would be mixed automatically with cold water so output water temp would never exceed 120 degrees or whatever you set it at
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wrote:

Required by law on all new tank installations here. Unless one is installed on the shower, which SOMETIMES exempts you from installing at the tank.
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No, the degree change is larger since you're filling it with more cold water (since you're taking out more water to mix to a constant temperature). The size is irrelevant.
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wrote:

My error...made the wrong connection.
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UR right. I just measured my actual temp and it's 120 degrees.
On Sun, 10 Jun 2012 06:12:59 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

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On 5/24/2012 12:07 PM, Tater Cole wrote:

If it's making those noises, it's already too late. Start shopping for a replacement now...and if it isn't already equipped with a drip pan or other provision for a surprise leakage...it will be after the failure.
GrtArtiste
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