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Old 07-25-2013, 02:00 PM   #1
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Electric water heater problem- hard water


GE Smartwater 50 gal Mfg date 12/2006. My area has hard water. I am trying to drain the tank in order to inspect and possibly change the heating elements. The water temp does not seem hot enough. I have the cold water supply shut off with a hose connected to the valve at the bottom of the tank. No water is coming out. When I open the cold water supply valve there is a pretty good flow coming out. I left the cold supply open for a few minutes to clear any hard water sediment blockage and turned it off and still no flow. What do I do?
A side issue- I was away for a week and came back to no hot water- the ckt breaker was blown. I reset it and have hot water but the same temp problem.

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Old 07-25-2013, 03:13 PM   #2
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Electric water heater problem- hard water


You have to open a faucet in te house, to allow you to break the vacuum, when you shut off te water supply.

Closed loop systema do not drain, unless you introduce a way for them to "Breathe", when purging, or have a liquid flow to move the product.

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Old 07-25-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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Electric water heater problem- hard water


Also you may end up having to stick a coat hanger up inside the drain valve to try and break it up enough to get it flowing.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:16 PM   #4
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Electric water heater problem- hard water


Also turn off all the electricity to the tank before you drain it.

AS for your hot water it may be bad thermostat you have 2 one upper and a lower our a bad element you have 2 of them also. You will need a multimeter to trouble shoot it.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:24 PM   #5
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Electric water heater problem- hard water


Odds are the bottem element got buried in rock and burned up. Take the time to scrape all of the sediment out before reinstalling the new element.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:39 PM   #6
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Electric water heater problem- hard water


Opening the TP valve will normally give enough air for gravity draining.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:14 PM   #7
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Electric water heater problem- hard water


Opening the TP valve allowed the water to drain. The upper element was fine. The bottom element had a 1/2" section burnt out- looks like a mini burst of the metal. There was moderate sediment build up on the element and at the bottom of the tank. It was very loose so I vacuumed it out with a 3/4" plastic hose taped to a shop vac hose. Hot water seems ok but I'll have to see how it holds over the next few days.
Edit: Forgot to say I did replace the bottom element.

Last edited by elmaur; 07-25-2013 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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Electric water heater problem- hard water


Good job...

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