Water Heater questions

Page 1 of 2  
Hey all. I have a question: what is the average lifespan of a water heater? We have one (40-gallon, gas) which is original to the house, so about 14-15 years old. We noticed lots of corrosion on the top water lines and the occasional small amount of water on the floor, and planned to have the thing inspected. Unfortunately, since Sunday night there's been a larger amount of water leaking from the very bottom of the heater, so instead of an inspection it'll probably be a replacement. I guess that leads me to other questions: how do you drain a water heater? I've heard you should drain it once a year for maintenance, but have no idea what that means or if it's effective. Also, how can I keep that corrosion from building up on the new one? And yes, this is our first home :P
Stacia
--
Visit my blog at http://www.shebloggedbynight.com

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've just had a new water heater installed and I have some questions.
Question 1: I read you should replace the cheesy plastic drain cock with a ball valve so you can get full flow when draining the heater. But, there's some kind of safety cover over the drain cock that prevents putting ball valves (which are larger) on them. So, if you can't do it, why is it recommended?
Question 2: This is a self-cleaning unit. Do you drain self cleaning units? Is so, doesn't that mean they're not self cleaning?
Question 3: My old unit had begun to leak. It's in the attic and I REALLY didn't want a sudden dump, so I turned off the supply valve at the heater, connected a garden hose, opened a couple of hot water faucets and drained it. I left the hose connected. When the plumber arrived left it connected saying it still needed to be drained. I asked him why and he said, "You can't drain it without opening a water connection at the unit." Sure enough when he cracked open one of the connections a lot more water drained out. Why does a connection at the heater have to be opened to get it to drain completely?
Question 4: I would like to be able to replace the anode in a few years, but when I've tried to remove anodes on heaters in the past I simply couldn't get them to come loose (unscrew). Would it be better to remove it now while it's new, and put some Teflon tape or something on it to make it easier later?
Ken
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Because it is a good idea if done properly. Sounds like they don't want you to in this case.

This is probably the reason they don't want you to change the valves. I have no idea how well this works.

Vacuum. Put a straw in a glass of water. Put your finger over the end and lift it out. Same thing with the heater. If air is not allowed in, the water cannot get out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote in message

You can open the relief valve to make it drain quicker IF you are draining one you are going to replace. I would advise you NOT to open the relief valve on one that you are just draining (for clean-out). I have seen too many of them that do not seat (or seal) properly once this has been done and then you end up with an annoying drip.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 05 May 2005 00:27:58 GMT, "Dr. Hardcrab"

I agree with both statements, but I ask you the same question -- why doesn't opening hot water faucets also work?
Ken
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

That'll work too....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 05 May 2005 02:36:24 GMT, "Dr. Hardcrab"

But that's the reason for question 3 -- it didn't work
Ken
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Even if you relieve the partial vacuum that will form in the water heater tank the dip tube probably doesn't reach completely to the bottom of the tank, so it wouldn't siphon all the water out either.
Never thought of a water heater overhead in the attic. Usually they have to be pumped out from the basement around here.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
They have a lot of water heaters in attics here. Even with emergency pans under them, if they leak, often the ceiling will come down. It depends on how bad the leak is. Then they usually get moved to a garage or laundry room.
The self cleaning water heaters like the "Sand Blaster" have a curved dip tube that swirls the water in the bottom of the tank when you draw hot water. The sediment comes back out the faucets as disolved solids. This way you don't have to drain the tank. It would be very hard to change the curved dip tube but the anode rod should not be a problem if there is enough clearance above the tank.
Stretch
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 04 May 2005 21:43:08 -0500, someone wrote:

Depending on the layout of your piping, it might or might not. The pipes are full of water. If there are valleys in the piping, the gravity drain can't suck them back up to the heater. Since yours is in the attic, the plumber thought this was likely. Mine is in the basement where it is more likely to work but still not assured.
Reply to NG only - this e.mail address goes to a kill file.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dr. Hardcrab wrote:

...
But probably not if the water heater is above the faucet, i.e., in the attic.
--
Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In my house the vacum was enuf to stop the flow from the 3 feet of water left in the tank, but not high enuf to lift the big slug of water in the pipes going to the faucets. I blew hard on the a hose hooked to one of the faucets and got the slug of water to drain back into the tank so the air could get thru. .
wrote:

in,
draining
and
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Why doesn't opening hot water faucets prevent/releive the vacuum?
Ken
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The hot water faucets are the bottom of the straw, You need to open the top. You can open ten faucets, but they are all fed from the same line coming out of the tank and no way to get air back into it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
First thought was BS!
Assuming the hose was hooked direct to the WH outlet, opening a hot water faucet in the system should have drained the tank. There is enough pressure in a column of water pushing down to suck the water out of the pipes to let water in.
And then I thought about it. Assuming a tank in the attic (3rd floor) that is 4ft high you only have a 4ft (about) column of water trying to suck a 20 ft column of water out of the pipes.
Then another thought. Why wouldn't the water drain out of the faucet on the first floor?? The hose connection provides for air back into the tank.
I think I'll quit, my head hurts.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5 May 2005 08:20:20 -0700, someone wrote:

Harry, the piping in the house isn't necessarily arranged to be pitched uniformly to either end. It could easily run up and down such that there are low point or entire runs filled with water even if each end is drained.
Some houses, the opening both ends thing could work, most it would not, as some additional energy would be needed to blow or suck the standing water out of the low areas.
Reply to NG only - this e.mail address goes to a kill file.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

THAT should not happen. If you need to run pipe such that there's a low loop in it, there should be a drain of some kind at the bottom of it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 05 May 2005 15:19:12 -0400, someone wrote:

I'd wager it happens more often than you seem to think. I'd say the average house is just not piped such that being able to gravity drain the pipes is a controlling consideration. And after the pipes are roughed in, the walls are sheetrocked and the pipes are covered; no drain points. Maybe a small house intended to be "seasonal" is set up so the pipes can be easily drained, but the average house is never expected to freeze inside.
Reply to NG only - this e.mail address goes to a kill file.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sorry, I didn't mean to indicate that it DIDN'T happen, just that when it does, it's wrong. If there's a low loop that you need to get water out of, the correct solution is to cut a segment out, and install a shutoff with a waste-cap.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ken Hall wrote:

there's
at
now
it
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.