alternative to curved dip stick

The Tank alternative to curved dip stick

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    Hi. I have a ten year old gas hwh, running very well. occasionally we hear the grumbling sludge noises. I am aware, through your wonderful book and forum advice about the cure for this. Since the hwh is old and I’m likely to get a new boiler and indirect in a few years, I was looking for another way to get ride of that bottom sludge.

    Is it viable to let’s say when the hwh is one making hot water, somehow press a vibrating device on the bottom or bottom of the sidewall and move it around the circumference to loosen up the sludge while opening the bottom drain port? (Even without the vibration I would guess more sludge or scale will be removable when hwh is heating.)

    Larry Weingarten

    Hello. I have tried flushing when a heater is making noise and I do get a little sediment out, but not much. If you could reduce the size of the main burner flame, that would certainly help. Tipping the tank towards the drain port and flushing can work. I’ve no idea if your approach will work, but please do keep us posted! 😎

    Yours, Larry


    Thanks. I would think if you flush when there’s noise it’s possible that more sediment would be dispersed within the water–not so visible but there none-theless and therefore good to flush a more substantial amount of water than usual to catch this debris in less concentrated form before it has the chance to settle out of reach at the bottom.

    Tipping tank would require detaching the water lines for me–makes me wonder if the incoming lines could be of some flex pipe that could allow tipping once the flue and gas line were detached. Replacing the dip tube would require the unit to be detached since there is no headroom. I’m attaching a photo of the connections just to see if those are flex. Oops I see you can’t attach a photo here.

    I wasn’t aware the burner flame could be reduced; I guess a plumber could adjust the valve. Nominally 40kbtu I tested usage by observing the gas meter and found it’s actually firing 30kbtu. I just flushed the unit and found hardly any sludge–probably after morning usage. Maybe better to wait until stuff has settled back on the bottom.


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