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Water Heater Woes

Discussion of AC's, plumbing and sanitation related issues.
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Topic author Canada
Midnightsun
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Water Heater Woes

Postby Midnightsun » October 16th, 2018, 4:24 am

Was winterizing and went to drain the water heater. As usual I opened the drain valve and pulled the manual relief valve flap. No water was draining, nada, maybe a drop here and there at best. Found the manual relief valve handle to be very stiff so I unscrewed the valve, still no water, WTF. Shoved my finger into the hole only to find a bunch of oxidation crystals. Had to unscrew the water inlet line which did nothing and finally unscrewed the outlet which did the trick allowing the tank to empty. Figured the tank must be jam packed with oxidation crystals (aluminum corrosion)

Options....... remove tank, replace relief valve, remove heater element and try to wash out the corrosion/crystals. How long will it continue to function not knowing the depth of the corrosion before it springs a leak? Another thing I found out is you can buy an OPTIONAL magnesium sacrificial anode that would protect the tank form corrosion :banghead: Of course this is not supplied when purchasing. Read this. http://www.onboardwithmarkcorke.com/on_ ... art-2.html

Looking at new tanks it does say this in the literature. "To protect against galvanic corrosion and extend tank life, use of a magnesium anode is highly recommended." :-O

Bottom line is if you have a drain valve you most likely do not have an anode as the optional anode replaces the drain valve which requires removal to empty the tank since you no longer have a drain valve. Did find this though that has a valve built into the anode http://www.suremarineservice.com/Galley ... 1496661821 Will modify it by removing the petcock (valve) and replacing with a 1/4 turn ball valve and hose barb fitting so I can drain to shower sump like it was set up from the factory.

After 11 years of service I decided it is a good time to replace the tank and get an anode for long term protection being I have all winter to shop for a great deal. :-D
Cheers, Hans
2007 Carver 41 CMY
Twin Volvo D6-370's
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Canada
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Re: Water Heater Woes

Postby pepmyster » October 16th, 2018, 5:52 am

Great read! Is it because the water being used is too hard? Hense, causing this problem?
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Topic author Canada
Midnightsun
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Re: Water Heater Woes

Postby Midnightsun » October 16th, 2018, 6:10 am

Nope, hard water causes mineral build up, not corrosion. Tanks are aluminum inside and will react to galvanic corrosion. Bottom line is they too need protection.
Cheers, Hans
2007 Carver 41 CMY
Twin Volvo D6-370's
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Re: Water Heater Woes

Postby mjk1040 » October 16th, 2018, 6:51 am

Hopefully the anode will not react to the water supply in ur area and give u smelly hot water. Here in NY with certain types of water supplies, the anode that comes in a home hot water heater has to be removed to help eliminate smelly hot water supply. I agree a new hot water tank after 11 years is probably the best way to go!
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Re: Water Heater Woes

Postby g36 » October 16th, 2018, 6:54 am

sorry to here that i had to replace mine this year on my 405 it was only 21 years old :-) .
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Re: Water Heater Woes

Postby Viper » October 16th, 2018, 7:25 am

Good read Hans.
I've touched on the drain-able anode assembly before. Like most ideas that set out to make life easier by eliminating a step, inevitably they lead to a different problem. In this case, by adding a valve in the assembly, they eliminate the need to remove the anode which is something you should be doing every time you empty the tank so you can inspect the condition of the anode and keep protection at it's max or you're defeating the purpose of the upgrade and might as well put the faucet back in. A simple anode plug in that location forces you to remove and inspect if you want to drain the tank. The addition of a valve on the anode while convenient will in all likelihood make it very easy for people to simply put off inspection and replacement IMO. You don't want to miss inspection especially with magnesium. Also consider that any metal flaking off a deteriorating anode that hasn't been inspected for a while will end up in your hardware and cause other problems. With magnesium, that could be one season.
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Re: Water Heater Woes

Postby Midnightsun » October 16th, 2018, 7:38 am

mjk1040 wrote:Source of the post Hopefully the anode will not react to the water supply in ur area and give u smelly hot water. Here in NY with certain types of water supplies, the anode that comes in a home hot water heater has to be removed to help eliminate smelly hot water supply. I agree a new hot water tank after 11 years is probably the best way to go!


Hopefully not however home units tend to use aluminum for anodes as the tanks are steel. We need to use magnesium because our tanks are aluminum. Not sure how magnesium with aluminum tanks fair when it comes to the stink department.

Speaking of home water heaters, they are a royal pita. They tend to have a lifespan of about 10 years due to corrosion. They are poorly insulated in general. Changed mine out 12 years ago and hopefully never will change it out again. Rotomolded pastic tank, insulated like a thermos, lifetime leak warranty, no need for anodes.

Last edited by Midnightsun on October 16th, 2018, 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers, Hans
2007 Carver 41 CMY
Twin Volvo D6-370's
Montreal, Canada
Midnight Sun I Photos
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Topic author Canada
Midnightsun
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Re: Water Heater Woes

Postby Midnightsun » October 16th, 2018, 7:49 am

Viper wrote:Source of the post Good read Hans.
I've touched on the drain-able anode assembly before. Like most ideas that set out to make life easier by eliminating a step, inevitably they lead to a different problem. In this case, by adding a valve in the assembly, they eliminate the need to remove the anode which is something you should be doing every time you empty the tank so you can inspect the condition of the anode and keep protection at it's max or you're defeating the purpose of the upgrade and might as well put the faucet back in. A simple anode plug in that location forces you to remove and inspect if you want to drain the tank. The addition of a valve on the anode while convenient will in all likelihood make it very easy for people to simply put off inspection and replacement IMO. You don't want to miss inspection especially with magnesium. Also consider that any metal flaking off a deteriorating anode that hasn't been inspected for a while will end up in your hardware and cause other problems. With magnesium, that could be one season.


I thought of that and figured I could easily remove and inspect after winterization draining. Good point on the particle issue, however the only issue it may cause unless I overlooked something is clogging a faucet filter screen or shower head. Will inspect after the first season to see how much deterioration has occurred. ;-) I may luck out and it will be minimal. I do have access to 60 micron in line stainless steel element filters easily capable capable well over 100 psi that could be installed at the tank outlet if it is really bad. ;-)
Cheers, Hans
2007 Carver 41 CMY
Twin Volvo D6-370's
Montreal, Canada
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Re: Water Heater Woes

Postby Viper » October 16th, 2018, 9:05 pm

Midnightsun wrote:Source of the post..... Good point on the particle issue, however the only issue it may cause unless I overlooked something is clogging a faucet filter screen or shower head.....

Solids can clog washerless faucet valves which is likely what you have in your application. Metal solids especially, under the right conditions, can ruin seals or worse, score the cylinder which will cause leaks that will require valve replacement.
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Topic author Canada
Midnightsun
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Re: Water Heater Woes

Postby Midnightsun » October 17th, 2018, 3:49 am

This would solve any sediment issues installed out bound on the hot water side. Installed after the winterizing bypass would be ideal since it would be automatically included in the winterizing process. Also nice to have a transparent bowl for visual inspection.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/General-Pump-B ... 2749.l2649
Cheers, Hans
2007 Carver 41 CMY
Twin Volvo D6-370's
Montreal, Canada
Midnight Sun I Photos

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