Water Heater Rescue: Know-How, Solutions, Parts graphic

Products > Sediment Control Buying Guide

When hard water is heated, the minerals precipitate out and fall into the bottom of a water heater. Enough buildup and you get noise, odor, and sometimes damage to the tank. Electric elements can also be buried and burn out. There are several ways of dealing with this, and several scenarios where you might want to do something. A simple way is to expel it.

Most of the water heater manufacturers sell models that claim to have self-flushing dip tubes. Interestingly, they are all closed on the end, but have holes punched up and down the tube. The idea is supposedly to keep the water stirred up so that sediment passes out of the tank with the hot water. We don't think they do anything. Sediment is heavier than water.

We like the idea of expelling sediment. For that, we offer a custom-bent curved dip tube by itself, or in combination with a full-port ball-valve drain assembly. The latter is superior because the drain has a straight path and can be unclogged with a screwdriver. The standalone is for people who already have installed a ball-valve. These are for use in residential tanks with 3/4-inch fittings, as opposed to commercial heaters have have plumbing that is one-inch-diameter and greater.

A lot of people buy water softeners to deal with sediment and those work. We don't sell those here. If you have one and your water heater anode is magnesium, then you don't need a curved dip tube. On the other hand, if your heater has an aluminum anode, you should think about getting the flush kit because that kind of anode creates a lot of jelly-like aluminum oxide that falls into the tank bottom and stays there. Softeners don't help with that. If you get a curved dip tube or flush kit, we need to know the distance from the top of the tank to the drain valve.

Sediment flush kit, SKU16, $61 plus shipping. For more details, click here. To purchase, click here.

Curved dip tube, SKU17, $27 plus shipping. For more details, click here. To purchase, click here.

If still in doubt, you can always pay for a consultation for $30 and we'll help you figure out what you need.