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Old 11-10-2006, 03:11 PM   #1
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BackFlushing Water Heater


Is it possible to backflush one of these things?

If not, why not?

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Old 11-10-2006, 04:50 PM   #2
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BackFlushing Water Heater


Hmmm....why would you want to? Water heater tanks can be flushed. They actually SHOULD be at least once a year. They should also be drained at the same time or you have not accomplished anything except put any debris in motion inside the tank. In order to "backflush" one, you would need to disconnect the water supply line so the water in the tank would be able to exit. Quite impossible to push the tank water against the supply water as it is at the same pressure, unless you use a compressor. Please let us know the reason for your question and how you planned on doing it.

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Old 11-10-2006, 06:44 PM   #3
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BackFlushing Water Heater


I know that sometimes, if your water heater is really mucked up, you have to to get the "flow" going out the drain. The procedure is to 1)shut off the supply valve 2)put bucket under T&P valve and flip it open 3) attach garden hose to water heater drain valve 4) open water heater drain valve 5) turn on city pressure to garden hose and prepare to catch water coming out of the T&P valve. Do this for a minute, then drain/flush water heater as you normally would out the normal drain.
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Old 11-11-2006, 12:01 AM   #4
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BackFlushing Water Heater


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Originally Posted by majakdragon View Post
Hmmm....why would you want to? Water heater tanks can be flushed. They actually SHOULD be at least once a year. They should also be drained at the same time or you have not accomplished anything except put any debris in motion inside the tank. In order to "backflush" one, you would need to disconnect the water supply line so the water in the tank would be able to exit. Quite impossible to push the tank water against the supply water as it is at the same pressure, unless you use a compressor. Please let us know the reason for your question and how you planned on doing it.
WELL the reason I asked was that I am curious. Duh...
and if I knew how I planned on doing it I really wouldn't need to ask now would I ......Einstein ??.......Duh...

I am assuming that the drain valves are not located at lowest point of tank and therefore much sediment is probably not even disturbed, much less removed when that valve is opened for drainage.
Also I presume that some of the scale is attached throughout the tank and not all is hardened to a point of not being removable or at least diplaceable.
It is my guesstimate that a simple draining at the drain valve does very little as to "cleaning" out anything more than the water in the tank and a very small amount of suspended particles.
However I have no idea if whirlpooling the sediment in the tank would result in the removal of even a fourth of it, nor whether the turbulent actions of backflushing might cause other problems.
But I do wish the board Einsteins would worry more about good answers than bad questions.

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Old 11-11-2006, 04:26 PM   #5
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BackFlushing Water Heater


<WELL the reason I asked was that I am curious. Duh...
and if I knew how I planned on doing it I really wouldn't need to ask now would I ......Einstein ??.......Duh...>

Most of the people that reply are tradesman. I be careful with the Duh business. I check in often on this forum to learn things. Its replys like yours that make some tradesmen not want to answer questions from non tradesmen. Are you going to make assumptions and presumptions or are you going to listen.
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Old 11-11-2006, 04:47 PM   #6
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BackFlushing Water Heater


You are correct that the drain is not exactly the lowest point, but it's pretty close. By draining and flushing, you will get rid of 90% of sediment or more. Many people just DRAIN their tank. This does little to get rid of sediment. Turn off the power supply (gas or electric) Turn off the cold water supply line at the unit. Open a hot faucet close to the tank. Hook up a garden hose to the tank drain and put the open end where you plan to drain the water. Open the drain valve and let it run until flow stops. NOTE: If the water does not drain, you may have a clogged hosebib (which will need to be cleared) OR backflow preventers in the inlet and outlet of the tank. In this case, hold a container under the outlet of the T/P valve and open it. This will allow air so the tank will drain. Once drained, open the cold water inlet valve and let it run. The diptube will direct the flow of water to the bottom of the tank and clean off most debris. Leave the hose drain while doing this. After 5 minutes, close the drain valve and fill the tank about half full (or full if you wish) and then open the drain valve again (again closing the cold water inlet valve) Watch the end of the drain hose and see if there is still a large amount of sediment draining. When the water runs fairly clear, shut off the drain valve, open the water inlet and fill the tank. Close the hot faucet you originally opened after it stops pushing air out. Hope this helps.

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Last edited by majakdragon; 11-12-2006 at 06:20 AM.
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