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

Thread: Draining sediment from "self cleaning" hot water tanks

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member lairdwd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5

    Default Draining sediment from "self cleaning" hot water tanks

    You all have seen them by now. They are sold everywhere - the supposid "self cleaning" hot water heater.

    I just bought the house I'm living in, and I know the previous owner wasn't draining the tank at all. Anybody have any thoughts if this should be done regardless of self cleaning or not?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,382

    Default

    Those tanks try to swirl th ewater and keep the crud deposits in suspension. Trouble is, the outlet is at the top, and they try to sink. You need a very strong flow for awhile, but even then, it probably won't cause enough to flow out. Drain it manually, if you are so inclined...that works better, but it may not make that much difference one way or the other if it hasn't been done for awhile.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    2,685

    Default

    I'd rather have the crud settle out than be distributed through the house, even if the swirl technique did work. The only benefit I can see from the "self cleaning" models is that the swirling water will keep the crud in suspension while you're flushing the tank -- otherwise there might not be enough turbulence to lift the accumulated crud off the bottom of the tank. I flush mine every 6 months and zap it with the pressure washer when I'm feeling especially ambitious.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
    Posts
    4,243
    Blog Entries
    1

    Talking self cleaning water heaters is a littel white lie

    self cleaning water heaters is a little white lie

    made up and told by all the water heater comanies

    to get people to buy their brand

    its a bell and whistle that does not work


    their is no such thing as a self cleaning water heater.....


    Purdue did a study in the 90s that proved none of them did much
    of anything they claimed that they did.....


    just get a good name brand when you buy one and simply put a garden
    hose to the bottom faucet every 6 months
    and run it full blast for about 2 minutes

    and then you have "self cleaned " your water heater
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 08-25-2006 at 04:33 AM.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,615

    Default self cleaning

    You need an unrestricted flow to have enough volume to make the self cleaning feature work, and the only two items that have that are the bathtub and the clothes washer. But that only stirs the material off the bottom of the tank. Then you need a continuous flow for enough time so that the material can be carried from the bottom of the tank to the top and then out into the piping. In other words, it will seldom happen, so if you are concerned about accumulation, drain the tank manually.

  6. #6
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
    Posts
    4,243
    Blog Entries
    1

    Talking hj you are %1000 right

    Very seldom will this self cleaning feature ever work like they claim it will.......



    The thing that is stopping it from working properly is

    called "Newtons Law of Gravity"


    you cant force sand to float upwards 4 feet in a tank of
    water from the bottom...

    and expect it to be sucked out hot outlet and into the
    plumbing system

  7. #7
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,423

    Default

    My experience tells me that draining water heaters is usually a waste of time and not much gets accomplished.

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,615

    Default selfcleaning

    How did they "make up the self cleaning thing", and HOW do you know it is working very well?

Similar Threads

  1. Toto toilet tanks not draining when flushed - flapper issue?
    By Melissa2007B in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-12-2011, 10:59 AM
  2. Water Well Line - Sediment Filter - Expansion Tank - Water Softener - H2O Htr. Order?
    By chuck b in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-09-2011, 05:21 PM
  3. Cleaning an aluminum coil of sediment
    By TinHead in forum HVAC Heating & Cooling
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-23-2009, 12:00 PM
  4. Draining Tank Lots Sediment!
    By molo in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 07-12-2007, 06:23 PM
  5. 2 HW Tanks in Parallel, Where to Tap Irrigation Line? Need for Expansion Tanks?
    By jluksic in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 09-17-2006, 04:46 AM

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
  •