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Electric water heater performance drop


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5 replies to this topic

#1 skintdigit

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 11:28 AM

Wise ones,

I have a 20-year old electric 60 gal single element COLD water heater in my home. Yes, it is ancient by heater tank standards, but it ain't leakin' yet and I replaced the T&P relief valve a few years ago and installed a new element at that time. My wife has recently complained of running out of the hot stuff mid-shampoo. I took a quick shower and measured hot water outlet temps before and after. Sure enough, after a 10 minute shower, outlet temps went from 120 to  112 degrees. Pulled the covers, checked tstat settings and had a peek around. Powered it up again and listened....when the element is energized, it makes a quiet popping sound. So, my guess is that one of two things have happened. Either the dip tube has cracked off or been severely holed, so the incoming cold water is directed to the top of the water column instead of the bottom, or the tank is so full of mineral sediment that the element(remember, there's just one) is surrounded and doesn't have free water flow around it, so the tstat shuts down early from the localized hot water "stuck" in the sediment and, therefore, takes a long while to heat the entire tank.  So, I'magonna check the dip tube and slap a new anode rod, new element, and T&P in there while I'm at it and see how long I can make this sucker last. My question, finally, is how do I best remove the accumulated sediment from the tank once I've cranked out the old element. Last time I did this, I made an attachment out of a curved piece of 1/2" pvc pipe, attached it to my shop vac hose, and stuck the pipe through the lower element hole.  I've heard of using hydrogen peroxide to descale, too. Any pointers on this method (how much peroxide to add at what concentration, etc)? Or should I just stick with the old shop vac method?

SD

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#2 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 01:03 PM

[user=6564]skintdigit[/user] wrote:

... dip tube has cracked off or been severely holed, so the incoming cold water is directed to the top of the water column instead of the bottom ...

my guess...

Besides replacing the Dip Tube, etc..

Couldn't you just turn the water supply back on and it would "flush" the sediment out the Drain Valve at the bottom of the tank ..

 

 
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#3 Moostafa

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 01:15 PM

Hello, my tepid friend. May I suggest that you consider replacing your energy-hog Ameedican water heater with a nice Muslim-built unit? Here is the model we use at our tent and we have been quite satisfied with it:

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Allahu Akbar!


#4 skintdigit

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 02:55 PM

RegUS, have tried that on severely sedimented heaters before. It clears some of the sediment, but really just blows a channel through the stuff enough to allow a full flow of water, but leaves the tank bottom still choked with the stuff. I'd like to descale it pretty thoroughly while I'm at it.

Moostafa. Alas, my good neighbors are all "new adopters" and have snapped up all of the high tech heaters you have so kindly recommended. So many use these now that, in fact, the local supply of Union Jack fuel has been severely depleted....perhaps beyond the ability of the resource to replenish itself.

SD

#5 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 03:44 PM

[user=6564]skintdigit[/user] wrote:

but leaves the tank bottom still choked with the stuff.

more of a problem with Gas Water Heaters .. (flame is from the bottom)
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#6 skintdigit

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:27 AM

Good point...I'd still like to clean it out completely, though.

SD




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