(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Flushing a Hot Water Tank and leaving it off for extended periods. Good Idea or Not?

  1. #1
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    2,986
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default Flushing a Hot Water Tank and leaving it off for extended periods. Good Idea or Not?

    I'm doing some work out on Galiano Island here on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast and noticed a strange noise coming from the Hot Water Tank. I have never heard this sound before from any Hot Water tank and it was kind of a Whirling Sound. The hot water tank is an electric John Wood JW50SDEB1 (twin element).



    Manual for this model



    Manual for this model


    I thought that perhaps there was a leak in a water line and tried shutting off the cold water supply but the noise continued. When I used the sink a lot of sputtering happened and I chalked this up to the home's Bunk House (Detached Building) just not getting any regular action. The cabin and bunk house are four years old and everything is brand new back when it was built.

    I read through the instructions for the Hot Water tank and it says these sounds can happen when the hot water tank is not used very often. Should I warn the client of a potential problem?

    My gut tells me to flush the hot water tank and leave it be. I'm going to try and drain it as well with a garden hose and think perhaps I should just leave the hot water tanked switched off since this bunk house gets little use. What is the longest time a hot water tank should be left powered down? If it is say powered down for 4 months at a time should it be reflushed before use once powered back up?

    What about some kind of timer? Would a timer that switched on for say 4 hours every week be better than leaving the bunk houses hot water tank shut off completely for months on end?
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 07-21-2013 at 01:25 PM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  2. #2
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    2,986
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default Smell from Hot Water Tank - Very strong after flushing the hot water completely.

    I finished flushing the Hot Water Tank and did this by simply running the sink and shower at full blast on hot water for about 20 minutes. I went back to the Bunk House and there is a strange odor - almost like sulfar or rotten eggs. I would think it was natural gas but the home and bunk house use electric heat not gas.

    I have smelt this smell as well while using the cabin but the smell is intensified in the bunk house after flushing this tank.

    Any connection here between the sounds and the smell?


    JW


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  3. #3
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Bothell, Washington
    Posts
    14,207
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    there is a strange odor - almost like sulfar or rotten eggs.
    That could be from the water.
    Is it well water?
    I don't think you have anything to worry about. There are a lot of seldom used homes with electric that are only used at random times.

  4. #4
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    2,986
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    That could be from the water.
    Is it well water?
    I don't think you have anything to worry about. There are a lot of seldom used homes with electric that are only used at random times.




    Thanks Terry.

    I could not drain the tank but did hook up the hose and flushed it a second time with the water running out the hose and into the yard. The home here is hooked up to the local water source and it is not a well. I did not notice any sediment or crap in the water when I flushed it with the hose.

    So you think I should leave the the hot water tank on or off?

    Would adding in a bleeder valve be something like it be something I should do at a later date? So the tank could be drained fully and then refilled with ease?

    Would this help any?

    JW
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 07-21-2013 at 01:12 PM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  5. #5
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    2,986
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default What is this fitting for?





    Terry I'm reading this manual and it says that an odour can come from the hot water depending on the location. Especially if the local water has a little sulphur. The manual recommends draining the system completely which I guess means I need to get a little air into the lines above which means coming back with fittings and a torch.

    It also says the hot water tank might need a new anode rod made from aluminum and not magnesium. How hard is it to replace this fitting? Is it worth the expense or is it cheaper to just change the entire tank?

    It also says in certain circumanstances chlorinating and flushing the water heater may be required.

    JW
    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 07-21-2013 at 01:07 PM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  6. #6
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    2,986
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default Extended Non-Use Service Warning on John Wood Hot Water Tank

    There is a bolded section in the manual that cautions against extended non-use. It refers to periods of time over two weeks and quotes that

    Hydrogen gas is extremely flammable and can ignite when exposed to a spark or flame

    It says that there will be sounds of air escaping if present.

    This is something we have heard and I'm worried about.

    I will be for sure contacting the dealer about upgrade information for this bunk house hot water tank and the one for the main cabin.

    Last edited by johnfrwhipple; 07-21-2013 at 01:27 PM.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,659

    Default

    I have seen the warning, but have NEVER seen it happen. The odor is often a reaction between the magnesium anode rod and the water, especially soft water, which is creating magnesium sulfide, (rotten egg odor). It will also often leave black flecks in the bathtub which cause streaks if you rub/slide them with your finger. The "Thing" is a vacuum relief valve which is to protect the tank from 'implosion" when drainage or siphonage occurs.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  8. #8
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    2,986
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default Thing-a-ma-do-bobber

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    I have seen the warning, but have NEVER seen it happen. The odor is often a reaction between the magnesium anode rod and the water, especially soft water, which is creating magnesium sulfide, (rotten egg odor). It will also often leave black flecks in the bathtub which cause streaks if you rub/slide them with your finger....
    Thanks H.J.

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    ... The "Thing" is a vacuum relief valve which is to protect the tank from 'implosion" when drainage or siphonage occurs.
    lol - Good thing I did not call it a Thing-a-ma-do-bobber


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

Similar Threads

  1. Absolute Newbie wants to fix own Grohe 33 625 shower faucet - good idea? bad idea?
    By plumbernotme in forum Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-18-2011, 05:23 PM
  2. Water turning off for brief periods
    By Talking Dreams in forum Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-05-2010, 07:43 PM
  3. Removing tub drain from septic system, good idea or bad idea?
    By Briandl in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-12-2010, 06:19 PM
  4. Pressure boost - 30psi tank w 30/50 switch - boost to 40/60?? good idea?
    By amateur_plumber in forum Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 02-09-2009, 10:22 AM
  5. dual T&P valves a good idea?
    By northman in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-27-2007, 06:46 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •