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Thread: Hot water issue

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    1

    Unhappy Hot water issue

    Help!! I have a gas hot water heater that is approx 10 years old. All the faucets in the house become clogged with a white, chunky "porcelain" looking material that crumbles between my fingers. It is only on the hot water side of the faucets. Once a week I have to take apart each faucet to clean otherwise hot water flow is extremely restricted. What do I need to do to rectify?
    Last edited by BEFAST; 03-07-2010 at 07:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Northeast
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    661

    Default Re: Hot water issue

    You can try shutting off the gas at the hot water heater and draining it and see what comes out. I've never heard of that before but I'm sure someone on the Forum has. It sounds like your gonna need a new Hot Water Heater as 10 years is about all they last.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    612

    Default Re: Hot water issue

    Possibly a disintegrating dip tube in the water heater is causing the chunks that block the aerators. New water heater or dip tube if you can find one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    40

    Default Re: Hot water issue

    replace anode rod and flush water heater.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    11

    Cool Re: Hot water issue

    Bite the bullet and replace the water heater, unless you want the leaking surprise on Christmas day or Thanksgiving. The lime and calcium has built up so high that no matter how long you flush it, you won't get it out. Food for thought.
    Plumbers protect the health of the Nation

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    163

    Default Re: Hot water issue

    This is most likely a disintegrated dip tube, as one other reply suggested.

    It is not sediment from hard water, because such sediment settles in the bottom of the tank, but the hot water is drawn off the top of the tank.

    The dip tube is made of plastic, so the bits float up inside the tank where they are drawn off with the flow of hot water.

    The dip tube, if you're unfamiliar, is simply a plastic tube that carries the cold water from where it enters at the top connection on the tank down to the bottom--this way, cold water is heated at the bottom and hot water stays stratified at the top available for use.

    Several WH manufacturers have had trouble in years past with dip tubes disintegrating, and they have been very good about covering the cost of replacement. The age of yours may be reason for them not cover yours, but it is certainly worth making a call to the facory to see if you're covered.

    Dip tubes are fairly easy to replace, and are available at any plumbing supply house.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Hot water issue

    10 years is about due for a new tank anyway --- if you want pull the cold water inlet nipple out with the dip tube and have a look-see.
    There's also a good chance the anode rod may also be gone --- might pull that out as well and a look -see.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    163

    Default Re: Hot water issue

    BEFAST: You can keep a water heater going for a very long time with a little maintenance. Mine is 15 years old and going strong.

    The things that make them last are to have soft water supplied to the WH so that hard water sediment doesn't build up, and to replace the anode rod whenever it is more than half consumed. The anode rod is almost never replaced or even considered by most homeowners. Most plumbers would certainly much rather sell you a new water heater than to install a $40 anode rod.

    Water heater tanks are steel with a glass lining which protects them from rusting out. The glass lining will crack or flake over time, and the magnesium or aluminum anode rod is a sacrificial component that contiuously gives of itself (actually a process of galvanic action) to coat any exposed iron where the glass lining has cracked.

    If you replace the (apparently) disintegrated dip tube and the anode rod, you may very well make your WH last many more years.

    The anode rod should be checked every 5 years or so.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Hot water issue

    Quote Originally Posted by rdesigns View Post
    Water heater tanks are steel with a glass lining which protects them from rusting out. The glass lining will crack or flake over time, and the magnesium or aluminum anode rod is a sacrificial component that contiuously gives of itself (actually a process of galvanic action) to coat any exposed iron where the glass lining has cracked.

    .
    All metals fall somewhere on the galvanic scale of reactivity.

    When the tank is filled with water, an electrolytic process begins.
    Having two different metals connected together in water, the "nobler" -- or less reactive -- one will remain intact while the more reactive one corrodes.

    Magnesium and aluminum are less noble than steel, which is why they're used for anode rods.

    The anode corrodes instead of the steel tank --- they don't coat the steel --- it's where the use of sacrifical comes into play
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    163

    Default Re: Hot water issue

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    The anode corrodes instead of the steel tank --- they don't coat the steel --- it's where the use of sacrifical comes into play
    Quite right. I should have said that the flow of ions in any galvanic action is from the anode (magnesuim or aluminun rod) to the cathode (steel tank), thus preventing the steel from corroding, or rusting.

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