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How to clean a hot water heater with bleach
Chlorinate water heater: to eliminate bacteria that can accumulate and grow in water heaters.Bacteria often cause odorous or discolored water conditions.
|1) Turn off gas or electric
2) Turn off cold supply to water heater
3) Drain tank... open bathtub spout on hot side
4) Remove anode rod(s)
Note: Some anode rods are installed in a port located on top of heater. Some anode rods are 'combo' and are part of hot water nipple Read about anode rods Read: how to remove short nipple
5) Use funnel to add bleach into anode rod opening
6) Add 1 Gallon Bleach for every 25 gallon capacity
7) Inspect and/or buy new anode rod
8) Install anode rod back into water heater using 6 wraps teflon tape on threads
9) Fill tank with cold water
10) When tank is full, draw chlorinated water to every hot water fixture.
11) Run dishwasher until chlorine odor is detected. Then turn off dishwasher.
12) Run washing machine until chlorine odor is detected. Then turn off washing machine
14) Run each faucet on hot side until chlorine odor is detected. Then turn off faucet
15) Every hot water pipe must be filled with chlorine water.
16) Let chlorine water sit inside pipes for at least 1 hour.
17) After 1 hour, drain tank.
18) Refill tank and wait 15 minutes, then drain tank again.
19) Keep flushing tank until chlorine odor and/or discoloration is gone.
20) Then flush each water line until chlorine odor is gone
21) Water heater must be full of water before gas or electric power is restored Read: how to light gas water heater
Remove anode rodBacteria reacts with anode rod, causing odor
Important to remove and inspect or replace anode rod when chlorinating water heater
Re-install anode rod during chlorination so anode is treated with bleach
Anode rods at Amazon
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How to replace anode rod
Don't use Bleach unless necessary
Use hydrogen peroxide to eliminate odorsSafer.
Easier to rinse out of tank and plumbing afterwards
Will remove odor
Applies to gas and electric water heaters
Read about odor and anode rods
Control odor by
adding Hydrogen Peroxide or bleach regularly
Buy plastic tank rinserTank rinser at Amazon
Brass hose cap
If drain valve is drippingBuy brass garden hose cap with washer
Most local home centers sell plastic cap
Install plastic cap and then order brass hose cap for permanent solution.
Brass hose caps at Amazon
Hose cap requires rubber washer.
Rubber washer will seal tank.
Drip pan saves damage
Prevent water damage to home:Set water heater in drip pan
Make sure water hose can attach to drain valve !!!
Water heater drip pans at Amazon
See drip pan installation
Drain pan no greater than 1-1/2” deep and at least 2” wider than tank.
Pan must not restrict air flow to bottom of gas water heater that has 3-legs. Set 3-legged water heater on bricks..
TP discharge pipe cannot be lower than top rim of drain pan.
Automatic shut off valve
Product that can save money: Prevent flood damage/ automatic shut off valveSavings undetermined/ save massive damage to home
Shut off water automatically when leak is detected
Valve attaches to water line... detector sits on floor... electric power does not rely on batteries
Water detectors at Amazon
Automatic water heater leak shut off at Amazon
Leaking water heater/ steps
Water softener shortens life of tankSoftened water will cause anode rod to deteriorate faster.
Andode rod prevents tank from rusting
Resources: Read about anode rods
Product that will save money: Use mixing valveSave 50 cents per month/ vrs cost of product and install
How does this save hot water?
Remember, a mixing valve is exactly what you do at shower faucet to keep temperature from being too hot... you add cold water to hot.
So each faucet; bath, kitchen, shower and tub faucet is a mixing valve... where you manually adjust water temperature by adding cold
Each time hot tap is turned on, cold water immediately enters bottom of water heater as hot water leaves top of tank going to shower..
When you use mixing valve located at water heater instead of mixing valve located at shower, then you save the amount of hot water that travels down the pipe going to shower.
Good off-peak strategy... heat water off peak... then conserve hot water during peak times
Good solar strategy.... heat water during peak sunshine... then conserve hot water throughtout night
How much hot water is saved?
Every 10 feet of 1/2 pipe holds .12 gallons of water.
If bathroom is 20 feet away. 3 showers per day .72 gallons per day x 365 days = 262 gallons of cold water that does not enter tank.
That means 262 gallons of cold water is not heated to thermostat set point.
The math can be more complex than this 2-D example. But a mixing valve keeps more cold water out of tank, and water heater stays hotter
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Mixing valve kit at Amazon
Water heater mixing valves at Amazon
Advantages-disadvantages of mixing valve
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Off peak ideas for electric heater
Ways to increase amount of hot water
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