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To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: jh
Date: August 23, 2018 07:24PM
So, daughter had a plumbing inspection included in a maintenance HVAC agreement. I met the guy at her house to do the inspection today. All was well as her home is a remodeled house she bought last December with all new pex plumbing. The water heater is located on a concrete pad in the crawl space. It is a small unit (I'm guessing probably a 30 gallon or maybe 40 gallon)and is a couple of years old. Part of the inspection is the flushing of the water heater. The plumber states they don't do small units like this one because there is little if any debris in the tank and it has an insulation blanket around it also.

Is this guy correct or just not wanting to do it? I have a 50 gallon I flush once a year and it has lasted so far 14 years without a problem.

What say water heater experts here?
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: August 23, 2018 07:26PM
I have a 50 gallon tank that has not been flushed in 15 years without a problem...yet.

I also change the oil and rotate the tires on the car, replace brakes when I need to do so...but will never pay for mileage based check-ups.



“Live your life, love your life, don’t regret…live, learn and move forward positively.” – CR Johnson
Loving life in Lake Tahoe, CA
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: space-time
Date: August 23, 2018 07:40PM
FWIW: I called the plumber to ask how much it costs to replace the sacrificial anode on the heater he installed 5 years ago. I also asked how much it would cost to flush. he asked me why? I told him because it says so in the manual. he told me he could do it, but it's gonna charge my by the minute while waiting for the 40 gallon to drain (my guess is it takes 20-40 min) and he thinks this is not necessary. He also said he can't guarantee that all sediment is removed. he closed the argument with "OK, I'll do it if you really want it but it's gonna cost you". I understand from his response that I would be wasting my money.

The other thing is this seems simple enough to be DYI. You flip the breaker, check that power is out with a non-contact voltage detector, close the input, open the drain, let it flow, then close the drain, fill it back up, and finally restore power once you make damn sure the unit is full. At least I guess this is how you do it, I should check the manual again.
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: jdc
Date: August 23, 2018 07:50PM
Same. here both plumbers said it was a waste.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: btfc
Date: August 23, 2018 08:08PM
Flush the gas models.
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: space-time
Date: August 23, 2018 08:27PM
Quote
btfc
Flush the gas models.

Interesting. Why?
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: btfc
Date: August 23, 2018 08:50PM
Electric models can end up with electrodes coated with mineral deposits which can affect performance; flushing doesn't really help for that. Gas models can end up with a thick layer of precipitated minerals on the bottom, which can act as insulation, and flushing works pretty well for that.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/23/2018 08:51PM by btfc.
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: Bernie
Date: August 23, 2018 10:10PM
What do the shower heads look like?

If you have hard nasty water, Flush!




Staunton, Virginia
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: testcase
Date: August 23, 2018 10:28PM
"close the input, open the drain, let it flow,"

Kill power to the water heater the night before so the water can cool. In addition to "close the input", once the drain is opened, lift the lever on the TP Valve (Temperature/Pressure valve). That will allow air to enter the top of the water heater which in turn, will allow the heater to drain MUCH faster. After the flush, having the TP valve open will allow the water heater to fill MUCH faster. Once water starts coming out of the TP valve, lower the lever and check for leaks. There will still be some air in the system which you'll need to be bled out.
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: wowzer
Date: August 24, 2018 06:57AM
I replaced the anode on my heater. Look up the unit and order the properly sized anode. Drain water from the unit. Remove the top nut. Lift out old anode. Reverse instructions.



All I ever really needed to know, I learned from watching Star Trek.
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: Pam
Date: August 24, 2018 08:35AM
Gas hot water heater here. Never flushed the two I've had. My plumber said flushing doesn't help extend it's life.
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: Acer
Date: August 24, 2018 09:17AM
My run-of-the-mill gas heater is supposedly self-cleaning. The cold water intake is directed to the bottom of the tank, which swirls any sediment about to keep it from accumulating in the tank.
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: billb
Date: August 24, 2018 09:51AM
Sediment build up is either sand or minerals.
If you live in an area that has these in the water or have a well that has these materials they can build up in the bottom of the tank. Maybe even become a problem.
Sounds like sedimentation is not a problem in your area and your local Plumber would know.

I have a well with an iron rust problem and when I checked the sacrificial anodes at 5 or 6 years there was no sedimentation in the tank.
Draining the tank (and not shutting the heater off while on vacation ever again) also eliminated the iron bacteria problem we were having.



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The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/24/2018 09:51AM by billb.
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: space-time
Date: August 24, 2018 10:30AM
Draining the tank (and not shutting the heater off while on vacation ever again) also eliminated the iron bacteria problem we were having.

Can you clarify about vacation? Should you shut off or not the water heater? I usually shut it off when we leave more than 3 days, and then I also shut off the main water. Leaving the heater on with the water off seems dangerous to me, even though no one is home to use water. I don't like the idea of having the heater ON without cold water supply ON.
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: August 24, 2018 10:43AM
....if it is yellow, let it mellow.....if it is brown, flush it down......



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I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: billb
Date: August 24, 2018 11:34AM
Quote
space-time
Draining the tank (and not shutting the heater off while on vacation ever again) also eliminated the iron bacteria problem we were having.

Can you clarify about vacation? Should you shut off or not the water heater? I usually shut it off when we leave more than 3 days, and then I also shut off the main water. Leaving the heater on with the water off seems dangerous to me, even though no one is home to use water. I don't like the idea of having the heater ON without cold water supply ON.

If you have Public Water Supply then your tank is treated with the same chemicals as your Public Water Supply's pipes. You should shut off the water and water heater on vacation. I'm going to posit that most people don't but should.
I have my own well for water.
I also have a hybrid solar/oil boiler how water maker.
Different concerns.

From what I've read about Legionella bacteria there's not a lot of evidence to supoort shutting your water system down being a large concern.



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: August 24, 2018 06:42PM
relative has kept their electric water heater going for several decades by not only checking/replacing the anode/elements

but also draining the tank, unscrewing the drain valve, and vacuuming out the bottom with a wet/dry vac every couple of years.
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Re: To Flush Or Not To Flush--Water Heater That Is
Posted by: Schpark
Date: August 25, 2018 06:50AM
I am a proponent (now) of flushing gas water heaters. Just replaced my 18 year old water heater and am glad I didn't do it myself. There was so much sediment that no water would drain so my contractor had to remove a full 50 gallon water heater.



"Without death, life would lose much of its meaning. My goal is to live in such a manner that I alter world in some fundamental way before I'm gone. As I get older and watch my son grow I realize I've already achieved my goal." - Ztirffritz
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