I live in Las Vegas, which has perhaps the most alkaline, most sediment laden water in the country. It all comes from Lake Mead, (behind Hoover Dam) which is just a cesspool of dissolved mineral salts. Any resident here that did not add a water softener would probably find that within a few years that all of their homeâ€™s internal plumbing would be blocked solid by calcium deposits. Plus you absolutely can not drink unsoftened water here, it is basically non-potable. When you asked if I had non-conductive water, I assume you were asking if my water was not softened and thus did not contain significant sodium. I have been out of school many years, but if I remember my chemistry correctly, when NaCl is dissolved in H20 the salt separates into positive sodium ions and negative chlorine ions, thus enhancing the electrical conductivity of the medium. Well the answer is my water is definitely softened. On the bright side, when I finally got around to performing my obligatory preventative maintenance-draining my tank, the first time ( I know, Iâ€™m a knucklehead) after six years of home operation-the water at the bottom emerged crystal clear, no sediment what so ever, no rust or discoloration. So I guess that there there are some benefits to softening. On the other hand, the water heater is now 7 years old, and I am not looking forward to pulling that original anode and seeing that a pathetic skeleton is all that remains. I did, per the suggestion in the maintenance section of this site, pull off the burner cover hatches and peer up at the bottom of the tank with a flashlight[, it did not look too bad-not like tank failure was imminent anyway-the metal was fairly smooth, and there was very little rust to speak of.
So back to the beginning,. With the additional data that I have provided, do you think the brass reducer bushings and brass inlet and outlet pipe nipples are a help, a hindrance, or a net neutral?
I realize that this is all theoretical since no disassembly, examination or analysis of components has occurred at this point. I am currently recovering from a broken foot, and am somewhat incapacitated, so it will be a few more months before I can actually perform any real vigorous retrofitting or forensic plumbing work-I just hope that my tank will hold out till then!
Thanks for all your help so far, especially determining that I had a water heater plumbed with one inch ports. Your website states that tanks of 75 gallons and up contain larger than the standard 3/4″ connections and indeed you were correct.