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2014
Clean sediment out of water heater

                       
Sediment caused by untreated hard water.
Flushing water heater each six months prevents sediment (scroll down to see how to flush water heater)                       
Water softener prevents sediment, but costs money                
Water softener also shortens life of tank Read anode options  
 Find age of water heater/ pdf     
 Conclusion: Gas water heater efficiency is vulnerable to sediment
                   Gas water heater is not fully repairable
                  Water heater makes rumbling sounds when sediment builds up.
Tank is clean. Thermostat reads correct temperature, heat transfer surface and heat exchanger maximize efficiency at 69%    Sediment builds up, depending on hardness of water and other factors. Efficiency drops as heat transfer surfaces covered with sediment. What if water won't drain?
When drain valve is removed, opening is just 3/4" Sediment cannot be completely removed. Efficiency falls as new sediment is added over old.
Flush water heater each 6 months to prevent.
Plastic water heater drain valve  
How to remove plastic drain valve
Remove gas control valve to access 3/4" diameter opening into gas water heater.

How to replace gas control
Replace gas control
Remove gas valve
Use pipe to remove gas control valve
How to replace water heater gas valve
 Conclusion: Electric water heater efficiency is less vulnerable to sediment than gas heater
                   Electric water heater is fully repairable
                   Water heater makes rumbling sounds when sediment builds up.

New electric water heater operates at 99% efficiency
'Efficiency' is not same as 'energy saving ' read more
Burned out lower element means less hot water. Upper element keeps top of tank warm. Opening is 1-1/8" so several pipe and hose sizes fit inside tank. See more detail Full efficiency is restored to electric water heater after sediment is cleaned out and new lower element installed

Larger image
AO Smith pdf about de-scaling
Read pdf

Process will not remove sediment that has formed into solid material shown in illustrations above.
If water heater is rumbling and popping, then sediment has formed into solid.

The chemical cannot be used on galvanized tank. Most water heaters are steel.
Chemical cannot come into contact with anode rod. Must wear gloves and mask
.
Water heater element
Electric water heater
Wait until tank is completely full of water before turning on circuit breaker.
Wait to turn on circuit breaker
Use borescope to peer inside tank.

Buy:
Borescopes at Amazon
Connect to USB port on laptop

Make your own tool
Put flashlight bulb on end of wire using minature bayonet lampholder
Solder wires onto LED bulb
Flush open water heater
Applies to gas and electric water heaters
Water-heater-will-not-drain
 

How to flush water heater & Prevent sediment

Flush every 6 months to prevent sediment from building up


Flush each 6 months to prevent build-up


Steps for flushing GAS water heater

- Turn off water at shut off
- Turn gas control to pilot
         -pilot stays lit but no burner flame
Two ways to proceed: Best if you do #1 followed by #2

1) -Turn off water at shut off
- Open bathtub spigot to let air enter water heater
- Open water heater drain
- Drain water from tank
What if water heater is clogged?
- After tank is drained, turn on water at shut off
- Continue flushing tank until water runs clean

2) Fill tank- turn water ON - Open water heater drain at bottom of tank
Check that water runs clean.
If you do this first, it can stir up sediment instead of flushing tank

- Close tank drain
- Refill tank
- When water comes out bathtub spigot, tank is full
- Turn off bathtub spigot
- Reset pilot control
- Flushing does not work if sediment builds up

Steps for flushing ELECTRIC water heater

- Turn off water at shut off
- Turn off circuit breaker
- Elements that still have power will burn out when water leaves tank
Two ways to proceed: Best if you do #1 followed by #2

1) -Turn off water at shut off
- Open bathtub spigot to let air enter water heater
- Open water heater drain
- Drain water from tank
What if water heater is clogged?
- After tank is drained, turn on water at shut off
- Continue flushing tank until water runs clean

2) Fill tank- turn water ON - Open water heater drain at bottom of tank
Check that water runs clean.
If you do this first, it can stir up sediment instead of flushing tank

- Close tank drain
- Refill tank
- When water comes out tub spigot, tank is full
- Shut tub spigot
- Turn on circuit breaker
-Do NOT turn on circuit breaker before tank is full, or elements will burn out
water heater ball valve
Water heater drain valve

Replace Water heater drain valve with ball valve

Easier flush and clean out
Full open position lets you insert 1/4" copper pipe flushing tool
How to replace drain valve


Buy water heater drain valve and curved dip tube
Buy ball valve and curved dip tube
Also install curved dip tube to help prevent sediment from settling on bottom of tank
How to clean sediment out of water heater

Buy parts:
Di electric nipple at Amazon
Dielectric nipples at Amazon
3/4" ball valve at Amazon
Lead-free 3/4" ball valve at Amazon
3/4" NPT pipe thread ball valve
3/4" pipe to 3/4" garden hose
Use 6 wraps teflon tape on threads
Shop Amazon - Industrial and scientific
Flush tool
tank rinser

Buy plastic tank rinser

Tank rinser at Amazon
Water heater flush tool

Make a flush tool

36" aluminum tube or plastic tube connects to garden hose.
Remove drain valve to insert tool -or- install full-flow ball valve shown above
Tube inserts through ball valve opening.
Make tool using 3/8" flexible copper pipe
Buy:
3/4" Hose barb adapter at Amazon
Hose adapter to 1/4" compression
No-rust hose shut off at Amazon
3/8" clear hose at hardware
Hose clamp at hardware
Water heater odor
Applies to gas and electric water heaters
Larger image

Read about odor and anode rods

Control odor by adding Hydrogen Peroxide regularly

Read more about anode odor problem at pro water heater forum
Install ball valve on Hot side so you can pour in peroxide
Hot side will allow peroxide to enter top of tank. (cold side will put peroxide at bottom)
Applies to gas and electric heaters.

Turn off power to water heater:
Let tank cool so hot does not explode out ball valve
Shut off cold water to tank.

Open bathtub hot side to release pressure.
Leave bathtub valve open until finished. This will tell you when tank has refilled and ready to apply power.

Drain 2 gallons from tank

Add 2 pints harmless Hydrogen peroxide to water heater. Let stand for 2 hours.
H2O2 is easy to flush out, and generally harmless to people. Can be used as mouthwash, read label on hydrogen peroxide bottle.
Do not use clorox.
CLOROX is NOT used for this purpose since it cannot be easily flushed out, and bleach odor can last weeks or longer coming out each tap for extended period of time.
Then drain tank to flush hydrogen peroxide. Refill completely until water is coming out of bathtub drain, then turn on water heater. Applies to gas and electric heaters.

Buy parts to make this drain valve
Di electric nipple
Ball valve at Amazon
Lead-free 3/4" ball valve at Amazon
Plastic funnels at Amazon
Buy hydrogen peroxide at Grocery store or Drug store
Water softener shortens life of tank Read anode options

Additional links

clogged water heater
Water heater will not drain

How to remove water heater from attic

Remove rusted/stuck element


Install electric meter on water heater

Flooded water heater

Leaking water heater

How to install gas water heater

240 V Intermatic water heater timer
Trace chemicals
9-ways to save with water heater
Do it yourself
Do it yourself water heater

Troubleshoot gas water heater

Low water pressure

Electricity from pole to breaker box

Compare all water heater timers
Cutler Hammer C25BUB230A
Contactors

How to wire off-peak water heater
Compare box timers
Compare box timers

See basic water heater circuit

How to Install subpanel


Stacking

Dayton off-delay timer
Glass lined steel water heater
How to replace anode rod

How to de-lime tankless
How electric water heater works

Troubleshoot electric water heater
Troubleshoot Rheem tankless
Troubleshoot Bosch tankless

How to install tank-type gas water heater

Technical information

Water heater efficiency

Electric water heaters operate at 99% efficiency
Gas water heaters operate at 69% efficiency
Tankless gas heaters operate at 80% efficiency
High-efficiency tank-type gas heaters at 96% efficiency

'Efficiency' is not same as 'energy saving' .
All costs are energy: Consider total cost of water heater: Cost of unit, cost of installation, projected repairs, whether repairs are do-it-yourself, if parts are generic and available locally, true life expectancy of unit,  monthly energy bill over life of unit, and disposal-replacement cost > read more
Other factor will weigh eventually including direct carbon emissions
released at each home from gas appliances.
All costs are energy: If there was a breakthrough water heater that suddenly lowered people's bills, and reduced overall energy consumption, people would be waving their monthly bill in the air and everybody would know.  There is no news. Choose lowest overall cost water heater to save energy.
Research pdf: water-softener/water-heater efficiency comparison
Read do-it-yourself: 9 ways to save with a water heater

Effect of hard-water WITH water-softener

Efficiency of gas and electric water heaters is unchanged over time when hard water is softened, however softened water corrodes anode rod and will reduce life of water heater unless anode rod inspected and replaced every 2 years. Once anode rod is 50-75% corroded, water heater tank begins to rust. This condition leads to leaking water heater which cannot be repaired. Rusted water heaters can rupture and cause massive damage as water runs until problem is discovered.
Read more & See Anode rod options

Effect of hard-water with NO water-softener:

> Efficiency of gas heater drops 6-8% after two years > cleaning tank of sediment build-up will not restore full efficiency > however, regular flushing to prevent sediment maintains efficiency
> Tankless gas heater will fail when pressure sensor clogs with sediment within 2-3 years depending on hardness of water > regular de-liming will not restore efficiency > softener and filter are required
> Efficiency of electric heater stays at 99% until sediment reaches bottom element > cleaning tank and replacing lower element restores full efficiency > regular flushing to prevent sediment build-up also maintains efficiency
Research pdf: water-softener/water-heater efficiency comparison

Water-softener reduces life of anode rod in gas and electric water heaters

Water heater manual says: "Artificially softened water is exceedingly corrosive because the process substitutes sodium ions for magnesium and calcium ions. The use of water softener may decrease life of water heater tank."
Six-year tanks come with 1 anode rod. Read manual.
Generally, tanks with longer warranties come with 2 anode rods.
Anode rod options
Gas and electric water heaters Support the economy:
Buy water heaters  from my associate links:

50 gallon Gas water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon gas water heaters at Amazon
50 gallon Electric water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon electric water heaters at Amazon
Hybrid / heat pump/ water heaters at Amazon

Resources:
How to install gas water heater
Troubleshoot gas water heater
Troubleshoot electric water heater
Intermatic control centers Intermatic control centers:
+ manuals and parts


Including Z-wave
box timers Compare box timers

Control with Z-wave
programmable timer Compare programmable timers

Control water heater with programmable wall timer
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Control water heater with countdown timer
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