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Old 02-05-2013, 11:08 AM   #1
Ben99r1 OP
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Plumbing advice.

I need some plumbing advice. I have a problem that I am trying to figure out. I have a gas water heater that's never been drained or service in the 11 years that I have owned it. Last month I tried to drain it but it was clogged with what I think is hard water and sediment. I also have galvanized pipes that were installed in 1964. This my problem I am starting to hear a bellowing noise from either the pipes or the water heater. I am not sure from where of the two its coming from/ Would the water heater cause that noise or could that be from the pipes being old? I seen inside some pipes and they also have sediment in them too.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:16 AM   #2
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Ben
I live down the 57 freeway from you and have the same crappy water you do. 11 years for a water heater is remarkable in SoCal. I've replaced two in my house in the past 15 years. No matter how bad your pipes are, I'm sure the water heater is toast either way. The noise is likely from your water heaters- at least is was for mine.

The good news is that new water heaters are far more energy efficient than the old ones and I saw a drastic decrease in my gas bill. It also heats the water up a lot faster too.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:12 PM   #3
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I'm surprised you have any original galvanized still in service. I figured it would have rusted away by now.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:19 PM   #4
groundrules
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totally not surprising that the drain valve filled with sediment before you could drain it entirely. It's not uncommon to have to remove the whole valve assembly, and even then you might have to jab screw driver in there periodically while draining to loosen up accumulated sediment.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:26 PM   #5
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Never ceases to amaze me. People will religiously maintain their vehicles but do not perform regular maintenance on their house. Water heaters should be drained and flushed at least once a year and more often if you have hard water or lots of sediment in your water.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wlfman View Post
Never ceases to amaze me. People will religiously maintain their vehicles but do not perform regular maintenance on their house. Water heaters should be drained and flushed at least once a year and more often if you have hard water or lots of sediment in your water.
That is true. However, if done improperly the water heater will be damaged. Much like furnace maintenance, not everyone should do this.

The primary problem is not shutting off the heat to the water heater when draining. If the gas or electricity is disconnected, the water heater will not be damaged when drained. Although, there is no guarantee the drain valve will not start leaking.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:07 PM   #7
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What You SHOULD Do!

Repost from 2009.

For those who haven't installed their just-bought new gas or electric tank-type heater yet, first thing to do is find and unscrew the corrosion-protecting anode from the top--before the pipe threads corrode and lock up tight.

Then wrap no more than 2 turns of teflon pipe thread tape around the male thread and screw it back in. Use an ohmmeter to make sure you still have some metal-to-metal contact between the anode and the tank. If not, screw it in a little more. After ~2 years unscrew the anode, which you should be able to do thanks to the Teflon tape, and see how much is left.

If you don't have enough space above the installed tank to lift the whole anode out, cut it in half, thirds or whatever so you can easily get it back out. Just connect the cut pieces with a short piece of wire and sheet metal screws--the anodes are soft alum. or zinc.

The anode dissolves slowly in order to protect the inside surface of the tank. Good hardware stores sell them for ~$20 or so. Much easier and cheaper to replace than the whole tank, especially if you treat the pipe threads when new. These anodes are available in chain form, although not easy to find.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:27 PM   #8
Ben99r1 OP
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Originally Posted by Wlfman View Post
Never ceases to amaze me. People will religiously maintain their vehicles but do not perform regular maintenance on their house. Water heaters should be drained and flushed at least once a year and more often if you have hard water or lots of sediment in your water.
I didn't know that it had to be done. Ill do it every 6 months from now on. Trust me I am a maintenance whore. 200,000 miles on my truck. 42,000 miles on my Xr650L. I know how to take care of my stuff. I am going to try to flush the water heater using a method a friend gave me. If that does not work Ill get a new water heater on Thursday. thank for the input and advice guys.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:17 PM   #9
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My gas water heater is on borrowed time. Banging noises every night and the thing is 17 years old. Gonna replace it pretty soon! In my experience though, you can have one make the banging/rumbling noise for YEARS before they give out. This one's only been makin' noise for a year now.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:23 PM   #10
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I havta flush mine here too.

Damn, too much shit to take care of! This DIY shit is hard!
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:26 PM   #11
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If the drain valve is plugged, I use a piece of 1/2" copper with a hose fitting soldered to one end and suck the water out through the hot side pipe fitting.
You need to cut the pipes off of course but you'll need to do that anyway if you're replacing it. Don't use the cold side, the dip tube won't let you shove the pipe into the tank You could siphon or use a little water bed pump.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:16 AM   #12
1911fan
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1) get a new water heater.
2) install a sediment filter in your water inlet to the house.
3) install a water softener too.


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Old 02-08-2013, 07:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciferMutt View Post
My gas water heater is on borrowed time. Banging noises every night and the thing is 17 years old. Gonna replace it pretty soon! In my experience though, you can have one make the banging/rumbling noise for YEARS before they give out. This one's only been makin' noise for a year now.
The banging noise is the water in the bottom of the heater boiling due to the sediment floating around. It's your tank telling you it needs a flush.

Another tip is to remove the plastic drain valve and install a metal one before installing the new tank. It makes draining it much easier. The plastic ones fail and leak quite often.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:10 PM   #14
PoundSand
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Originally Posted by Wlfman View Post
Never ceases to amaze me. People will religiously maintain their vehicles but do not perform regular maintenance on their house.
So not amazing. An average car costs close to $30k these days. A water heater that costs $500 can last 10 - 20 years with no maintenance, and is relatively easy to replace.
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