EcoRenovator  

Go Back   EcoRenovator > Improvements > Conservation
Advanced Search


Blog Register 60+ Home Energy Saving Tips Recent Posts Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-31-10, 08:39 AM   #1
Administrator
 
Daox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Germantown, WI
Posts: 4,599
Thanks: 382
Thanked 251 Times in 203 Posts
Default Removing sediment from a water heater

While insulating the water pipes, I took some time to crack the drain on the water heater and get some gunk out of the bottom of the tank. There wasn't much in it, and I am a bit surprised about that. I doubt this has been done to the heater ever. Perhaps I didn't do it right? All I did was drain some water from the bottom. Are you supposed to drain it all the way, then let the cold water splash in and blast the bottom a bit? That does seem like a better way, but it also drains all my hot water.

__________________
Current project -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
&
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Daox is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-10, 09:34 AM   #2
Lurking Renovator
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Daox, Water heaters may collect sediment in bottom of tank, if sediment doesn't harden then draining should be sufficient. When sediment hardens it creates a insulation barrier to the heat source and creates ineffiency. When you decide that a hardening is present and want to clean it, you may have to use chemicals to breakdown the sediment and flush. Continued accumulation of hardened sediment can damage the glass lining and lead to rust out.
hondo434 is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-10, 12:51 PM   #3
Apprentice EcoRenovator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Coast of Florida, USA
Posts: 149
Thanks: 2
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Default

If you have a water softener inline before the heater the soft water will dissolve the sediment and eventually clean it all out. Might take a while, though.

The directions for my water heater say to shut off the power supply, turn off the water, then drain the tank and turn the water back on and let it run through the heater for a few minutes. When the water runs clear you're done. Close the drain, open a hot water faucet in the house to let the air out (you can't leave the element exposed to air or it will burn out), then turn the power supply back on.
Patrick is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Patrick For This Useful Post:
Daox (10-31-10)
Old 10-31-10, 01:41 PM   #4
Wannabe greenie
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Crestline, CA
Posts: 70
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

My water heater claims to have some kind of circulating design that prevents sediment build-up. My father-in-law told me never to use that drain except when removing water in preparation for replacing the heater. He said that if any crud gets lodged in the drain, you end up with a permanent leak. (Mine, however, is threaded, so if it were to leak, I could always cap it.)
Clev is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-10, 03:55 PM   #5
Administrator
 
Daox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Germantown, WI
Posts: 4,599
Thanks: 382
Thanked 251 Times in 203 Posts
Default

I do have a water softener before the heater. So, I think I'll take Patrick's advise and completely drain it. Thanks.

I have noticed a tiny and slow leak out of the valve now. I'll have to see if I can get a cap for it. I think I can.
__________________
Current project -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
&
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Daox is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-10, 04:17 PM   #6
Journeyman EcoRenovator
 
RobertSmalls's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 344
Thanks: 3
Thanked 17 Times in 15 Posts
Default

I took a shower, set the hot water heater to "vacation", waited 40 hours, then drained the tank. The water was lukewarm, so I didn't waste too much energy. I actually didn't get any sediment out, so either there was none, or I didn't drain it fully. Maybe I'll try again.

When I was done, I closed the drain valve, and it was dripping. Probably had some sediment in the valve seat. So I opened it and closed it a few times, and now it seals just fine.

My tank's relief valve (on the top) says to work it once a year, so I did that too.

The threads accommodate a garden hose.
RobertSmalls is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-10, 05:05 PM   #7
Master EcoRenovator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Western Wisconsin.
Posts: 910
Thanks: 127
Thanked 77 Times in 67 Posts
Default

They say you should drain it once a month, I only do it every 2-3 months but I always get a bucket of light brown water, nothing to bad but there is some crud in there.
I put a garden hose cap with a gasket on mine to stop the drips as well.
Ryland is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-10, 07:25 PM   #8
Administrator
 
Daox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Germantown, WI
Posts: 4,599
Thanks: 382
Thanked 251 Times in 203 Posts
Default

Well, I did this tonight. I don't know how long its been since this was done, but wow... I thought it was going to be a relatively quick drain, wash and fill back up. No, not even close. I've been at it for about 2 hours now. I don't even have any idea how many gallons of water I've gone through trying to clean it out...

This was my 3rd or so bucket out of the heater.




Here are the first four buckets out from left to right.




After a while, I got smart and just grabbed the hose.




I finally got the water running pretty clear, so I unplugged the valve and filled it back up. Then, I had problems with the pressure relief valve leaking (and the drain of course). Got those fixed and opened up the faucet downstairs on the utility sink only to notice that the water was still cloudy red. So, as I type right now, that is just going going going. I'll definitely be doing this more often in the future as this was just ridiculous. Hopefully, I should see a good decrease in gas usage to my hot water though!
__________________
Current project -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
&
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by Daox; 11-01-10 at 06:44 AM.. Reason: spelling
Daox is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-10, 07:46 PM   #9
Administrator
 
Daox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Germantown, WI
Posts: 4,599
Thanks: 382
Thanked 251 Times in 203 Posts
Default

Finally got the water running clear. Fired the heater back up. Phew...

Now, I can get a cap for the drain valve. However, my pressure relief valve is still dripping a little. Is there any way to fix that? Perhaps remove and clean the valve? I'm not incredibly liking the idea of replacing it considering the age of the heater (13 years).
__________________
Current project -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
&
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Daox is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-10, 08:01 PM   #10
Apprentice EcoRenovator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Coast of Florida, USA
Posts: 149
Thanks: 2
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Default

Wow. Don't drink your hot water unless you have iron poor blood. :-)

You can try opening the relief valve a few more times to try to dislodge anything that might be stuck in it. If that doesn't cure it, you probably will have to replace the valve. At 13 years old your heater is on borrowed time anyway. Have you replaced the anode rod?

Patrick is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiTweet this Post!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
clean, drain, maintenance, sediment, service, water heater

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO
Ad Management by RedTyger
Inactive Reminders By Icora Web Design