Rusty water from 8 year old heater


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Old 01-29-16, 03:11 PM
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Rusty water from 8 year old heater

Probably know the answer already.

50 gallon AO Smith water heater installed in March of 2008 on city water. I have flushed it annually and never got any discolored water other than a quick blast of rust when I opened the pressure relief valve.
For the last few months I noticed the hot water was discolored. Today I flushed it and the water out of the drain is really rusty with a lot of rust particles. Now that
I pushed all that water in thru the dip tube it is really rusty now.
Is it done?
Hate to flood the basement.
 
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Old 01-29-16, 03:42 PM
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Sounds like it's nearing end of life.

Do you have galvanized water pipes? They can also rust.

Did you ever change the anode rod?
 
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Old 01-29-16, 03:58 PM
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Copper
No on the anode rod
 
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Old 01-29-16, 05:48 PM
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IIWM, I'd be planning to replace it, and soon.
 
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Old 02-04-16, 10:50 AM
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After you let out sediment from the water heater drain valve, there will be a little more sediment mixed up in the tank contents. Alas, it may take several tankfuls of usage for this to settle down.

I think the settling will be speeded up if you wait several hours with no hot water usage, and then flush another few gallons from the drain valve.

For example you flushed out 90% of the sediment the first time and the remaining 10% is now floating around in the water.

The second time you flush out 9% via the drain valve and the remaining original 1% is now floating around.

(After you let it settle again, the third time you flush out 0.9% and the remaining 0.1% is floating around. Etc.)
 
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Old 02-04-16, 10:58 AM
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If you don't wait several hours before trying again to flush the tank, then a smaller fraction of the original sediment will come out when you do try again.

Unfortunately, the rust will stain clothing if you run the washing machine before the water runs clear.

Do not drain large quantities of water with the cold inlet shut off (and faucets open upstairs) without also shutting off the water heater heat. Turn the water on and wait for hot faucets to gush for a minute before restarting the water heater.
 
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Old 02-04-16, 11:02 AM
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It is a good idea to turn off the water heater heat to start with because, if you do get rusty water out the drain valve, you should keep on draining from there until the water is mostly clear from that point.
 
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Old 02-04-16, 05:11 PM
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Even after repeated flushing and overnight wait the water is still discolored. I decided that replacing it now rather than coming home to a flood is the best course of action. After I remove it I will look at the anode and see if it is spent. May be more proactive next time.
 
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Old 02-04-16, 08:06 PM
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I think you said you have city water that has come from a treatment plant. I'd take a look at water quality including ph if the heater only lasted 8 years. Water with a low ph will destroy a water heater quickly. That's is what happened in Flint.
 
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Old 02-05-16, 03:13 AM
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So this morning I woke up to no hot water. Reset button popped. Working now.
 
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Old 02-14-16, 11:41 AM
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Replaced the water heater today. Nice clear hot water.
$479 for the heater and about $50 for incidentals and good to go for a few more years.
Tried to remove the old anode rod for evaluation but I couldn't unscrew it.
 
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Old 02-14-16, 12:32 PM
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Good to hear you are all set. It seems to be common that if you don't unscrew the anode rod every year or two they become nearly impossible to break loose. Even when new they often take a big cheater pipe on the wrench.
 
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Old 02-14-16, 03:32 PM
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Replaced the water heater today.
What brand did you go with?
 
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Old 02-14-16, 06:59 PM
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Another AO Smith. Not a fan of the Big box store products.
 
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Old 02-19-16, 09:08 AM
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8 year old anode rod...a little too late

 
 

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