Water Heater Sediment

We just moved into a house where they probably never drained the sediment from the water heater.
The heater makes a clunk-clunk sound when it's on.
The water has a high lime (?) content which settles out overnight.
I've tried opening the drain valve, but I'm not getting any sediment. I suspect it's formed a "paste" on the bottom of the tank.
Any way I can work this problem ? <rj>
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We just moved into a house where they probably

It forms a "paste" which then turns to rock-hard stone. You're faced with removing the drain valve (which will likely break off...) and then mechanically scouring the insides.
Old heater? > 7 yrs, replace it.
Electric heater? Less of a problem.
Jim
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It may be too late for your water heater. But, ... What I have done is to replace the cheap plastic drain valve with a 3/4" ball valve. This required a short stem from heater to valve, and a hose fitting was mounted on the outlet side. If I open this valve somewhat quickly when the heater is on, it causes a bit of an "explosion" in the water at the bottom of the heater, which breaks loose and stirs up the sediment, and I can see the loosened sediment in the bottom of the bucket. I *know* I am getting sediment out of the heater. This is the way I "drain the sediment from my gas water heater." When installing the ball valve, I also tried to reach in and clean and scrape sediment out from the bottom of the heater. After several years now, my gas water heater does not rumble any more (due to sediment on its bottom surface). My plan is to remove the brass ball valve when the heater does need to be replaced, and use it on the new one from the start. --Phil
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Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
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