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Thread: Hot water tank life

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member jack z's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    Ft Myers

    Default Hot water tank life

    I live in Cape Coral Fl. have city water, but like the soft water also. My HW tanks last about 3-4 years then rust out. The recycle is set for 2 am so not shure what the problem is. I know that if the recycle happens during the day that could damage the HW tank. Please let me know of any ideas. Thank you jz.

  2. #2
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Central Florida


    How often do you check the anode rod?

  3. #3
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Land of Cheese


    Yoiu need to have the untreated water tested so that an appropriate treatment system can be recommended. Certain Water chemistry can eat tanks if left untreated. A good electric tank with water that is properly treated can last 20 years or more.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Sep 2013


    http://www.capecoral.net/Portals/0/d...2012%20CCR.pdf page 4 says
    Is Cape Coral’s city water corrosive?
    No, because the City’s RO Plant uses a federal and state approved treatment process to achieve corrosion control. The
    Florida Department of Environmental Protection has established water quality parameters (WQP’s) for our city water.
    These parameters include operating ranges for pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and the Langelier Index (LI). The LI is the
    most common index used in water treatment to determine the corrosiveness of water. The City has has been using the LI
    to monitor its’ corrosion control treatment process since the Southwest Plant went on-line in 1977.
    It also claims the water is soft and that no softener is needed.

  5. #5
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Central Florida


    That's one of the most comprehensive water quality statements I've seen from a municipality, and the first one I've seen to quantify hardness. They say it's officially "soft to moderately hard", and later say "4 to 5 grains per gallon". One source says, however, that hardness is defined as:

    • Less than 1.0 [grains per gallon] = Soft
    • 1.0 - 3.5 = Slightly Hard
    • 3.5 - 7.0 = Moderately Hard
    • 7.0 - 10.5 = Hard
    • Over 10.5 = Very Hard

    so if your water is typically 4 to 5 gpg, it's hard enough to make many people want to soften it.

    That aside, remember that corrosion in a water heater is normally a galvanic action, inhibited by the anode rod in the tank. Theoretically glass-lined tanks are immune to this, but that theory doesn't always translate into practice. If it's an electric water heater, be sure it's grounded properly. You can monitor the progress of potential internal corrosion by removing and inspecting the anode rod. It's not easy, especially if it's covered up by the tank's construction. If you see the anode rod disintegrating significantly, it can be replaced with new -- as long as IT's corroding, the theory goes, your tank is NOT. As cacher_chick points out, a good-quality electric tank, properly maintained, can last up to 20 years. My mother had one in her home that was over 30 years old when I left. You can also get an idea of what's going on inside the tank by periodically draining a couple of gallons and seeing what comes out.

    There's a good site describing the care and feeding of water heaters at http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/pag...r-heaters.html.
    Last edited by Mikey; 12-29-2013 at 08:43 AM. Reason: defined gpg

  6. #6
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Wherever I park the motorhome.


    The Langelier Index (LSI) was invented to determine IF asbestos fiber reinforced cement water distribution pipe was being corroded by the water running through it which allowed asbestos fiber to be added to the supposedly potable water, and they were and that led to that type pipe not being used anymore. It, the Langelier Saturation Index (LSI) was never intended to be used for metal corrosion.

    An explanation...

    A search of that engineering site...

    A discussion of engineers concerning using it to determine if a water will cause metal corrosion...

    The AWWA (American Water Works Association) says water with up to IIRC, 150 mg/l or ppm of hardness is soft water... Most if not all industries disagree.
    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 12-29-2013 at 09:10 AM.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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