LOTS of sediment

The Tank LOTS of sediment

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    I have an electric water heater that has a huge amount of sediment buildup. So much that the the drain valve only trickles water out. So much that it actually is up to the electric heating element. This causes the element to corode very fast. I dug out as much of the crud as possible. It obviously doesn’t drain out so what can I do to get a large amount of the crud out? Am I past the point of no return and just waiting for the tank to die? Any suggestions?


    Larry Weingarten

    Hello: It can be fixed, but you need to make sure that whoever does the work is good with 240 volts and water. Shut heater off and drain down. Unscrew lower element. Get a wet/dry shop vac and fashion a “wand” of 3/4″ copper pipe, roughly three feet long, with a 45 degree fitting and a six inch length of pipe in the end. Fit this into the end of your shop vac hose. Use it to pull out sediment from the tank. You should be able to get most of the sediment. Replace dip tube and drain valve with proper flushing parts, (see elsewhere on this site) and refill tank. Depending on age, you might want to check the anode too.

    Yours, Larry


    I have gas water heaters in my apartment buildings and have faced the same problem. At one building I had to replace the heater every 3 years (very costly!!) I then put a grit water filter on the feed line since then I haven’t replaced this tank in over 12 years. Every time I replace a heater now I put a filter in as well. The only down side is replacing the filter every 3 – 6 months.

    In my own house I have all of my water filtered with a full house filter system and have noticed a big difference not only in the waters taste but also the color of my whites (there not brown from the rust).

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