There are few questions about gas based storage water heater , as I may have to soon replace one in my home.
1. I see sometime some water at the bottom of platform where my water heater is kept. the quantity is less ( like 6 to 12 oz) but on repeated basis it is not good. Also it is not every day, and unpredictable, but often. What can be the reason. My gas water heater is about 10 years old. is it due for installation.
2. A friend advised me that when a new water heater is installed, it is a good idea to replace the OEM drain mechanism with a larger drain mechanism, the logic is to provide better (bigger) outlet for sediments to flush out. Is it an effective practice and how much can it increase the water heater life. Also what will be the additional cost to do this. Is the advantage of this changing OEM drain machenism justfy its cost.
3. I generally keep the temp setting low. In morning when every one has to shower I increase the temperature to very hot. If I forget to bring it back to low setting after heavy water use is over the heater remains at high for long time. Is there a programmable variation mechanism available ( for gas based storage heater) which has timer and I can set it so that it gets on high temp for say 30 mins and then comes back to low on its own.
4. Does this kind of temperature variations on daily basis affects the life of water heater or water tank. Is it not recommended, or is it fine to do it, without affecting the life span of water heater. Is installing a bigger one (size) a better option compared to this kind of daily temperature variation.
If/when you have the heater set to high, there is a greater chance the relief valve may trip. Does the relief valve outlet lead to the area (usually the drain pan) where you are seeing the water accumulating? You might tape a piece of toilet paper over the relief valve tube end to prove that the water came from there.
OT: Whenever a water heater is replaced, a brand new relief valve should (must in some cities) be installed.
As far as I know they don't make programmable water heater dial or thermostat settings.
I do not think you need to modify the water tank drain valve assembly and also I do think it is more trouble than it is worth. Opening it all the way should be enough to get sediment out.