1 year old Rheem electric

The Tank 1 year old Rheem electric

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    We have a little over a 1 year old Rheem 50 gal electric water heater model XE50T12EC45U0. We have started to experience a sort of rumble/spit effect at shower heads and faucets when using hot water, but only intermittently (a few minutes maybe every 2 or 3 weeks.) No leaks. No air in lines. No noise from cold water faucets.

    We have hard water here and have lived at the same place for a LONG time. We’ve had at least 3 or 4 electric water heaters over the years. It took a while, but I developed a maintenance regimen such that I would drain the water about every 1 or 2 years, pull the heating elements, run a hose hooked up to a shop vac into the lower element hole, vacuum out all the sediment and scale, and then replace both elements with new ones. (No, mere draining was not sufficient.)

    In earlier years I would wait 2 or 3 or more years to do that and sometimes the hot water would do what it’s doing now (rumbling/spits) but once it started it would keep doing it. (Vacuuming out the water heater and replacing the lower element always fixed that.)

    What’s confusing me is the intermittent nature of the rumbling/spitting at the faucets with the new water heater. (Not much noise at the water heater itself.) I’ll probably go ahead and drain and clean it and replace elements in the next few days, and hope that fixes things, but I’d figured I could go at least 2 years with a brand new ‘long life’ water heater.

    Any ideas?

    Larry Weingarten

    Hi, You’re doing good things :D, but have you had a look at the anode rod? In conductive water, that could be the source of gas you’re getting at the taps. I’d have a look at the anode and if it’s deteriorated, consider getting a powered anode (they are sold on this site) as they do not produce gas. A test you could perform to check if it’s the anode is to remove it for a week, just putting a plug or nipple with cap in it’s place. If the spitting stops, you know it’s the anode. Another clue is that if the problem is most apparent with first hot water use in the morning, it points to the anode.

    Yours, Larry


    Hey, thanks for the suggestion, though I’m hoping you’re wrong 😉 Haven’t had anode failures before as far as I know so I’m hoping that’s not the case here. (Major pain to remove it anyway due to tight installation.)

    Anyway, went ahead and cleaned it out and replaced the elements. Lower one coated with the usual deposits but I’ve definitely seen worse. Only real point of interest was that the ones it came with are not the ones listed as correct parts for this heater by Rheem. (old ones shorter than part number called for for one thing). Anode looked lightly coated but not corroded at all. Too early to see if this ‘fixed’ anything since the rumbling etc was intermittent anyway, but I figure it’s in the “won’t hurt might help” zone.


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