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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a HTP SSU-45 water heater installed in 2013 (link to manual below). I have never drained sediment from the water heater, and when I asked my plumber, he said not to touch it because it has a lifetime warranty. This doesn't make sense to me because no matter warranty, I feel preventative maintenance is important for anything in life.

Manual talks about the drain and having a qualified professional perform this operation, and also states
"Preventive maintenance can help avoid any unnecessary breakdown of the water heater and keep it running at optimum efficiency."

and one exclusion to the warranty is:
20. Failure of the heater due to the accumulation of solid materials or lime deposits.

So what's the general consensus here?

Do I get a new plumber? Do I drain it myself? Or don't touch it?
Thanks all


Manual:

http://www.htproducts.com/literature/lp-83.pdf
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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Draining it yourself is easy.

First make sure that it is shut down.

Then get a garden hose, attach it to the drain valve, run this hose to a shower drain, or outdoors.

shut off the fill valve, open the drain valve, let the tank empty.

open the fill valve for 30 seconds, shut the fill valve off.

This short blast will dislodge any sediment on the bottom, and around the heat element, repeat the blast process several times. allowing the tank to drain fully between the blasts.

Finally turn off the drain valve, remove hose, store hose.

open the fill valve, turn on the heat , wait for the full tank to fully heat, then resume life as usual.

And forget that plumber's number, he's lazy.


ED
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Draining it yourself is easy.

First make sure that it is shut down.

Then get a garden hose, attach it to the drain valve, run this hose to a shower drain, or outdoors.

shut off the fill valve, open the drain valve, let the tank empty.

open the fill valve for 30 seconds, shut the fill valve off.

This short blast will dislodge any sediment on the bottom, and around the heat element, repeat the blast process several times. allowing the tank to drain fully between the blasts.

Finally turn off the drain valve, remove hose, store hose.

open the fill valve, turn on the heat , wait for the full tank to fully heat, then resume life as usual.

And forget that plumber's number, he's lazy.


ED

Thanks ED...
I've heard arguments on both sides of this.
Whats your thoughts on potential problems/complications? I posted on another forum and a poster had issues as described below..

"caused problems in two faucets in my home. Draining the heater stirs up sediment at the bottom of the heater. I lost most of the water pressure in my kitchen faucet, which caused me to take an entire weekend learning how to take the faucet apart in order to clean out the sediment that had settled in it. I was able to fix it, but a similar type thing happened to my shower head in the master bathroom. The pressure remains lowered there, as well."

I'm by no means handy. And absolutely do not have an entire weekend to learn plumbing in case something goes wrong (busy dad, work about 60hrs/week).
Thanks for your feedback!
 

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retired framer
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So when you have it empty you run water thru it to flush it out, by turning on the water while the hose is still connected. Then maybe after it is full leave it unused as long as possible so stuff can settle before you use it.
 

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You should recognize that the manufacturer's literature is written by lawyers to protect the manufacturer from liability for all of the manufacture's products not just the product you purchased. It is also intended to protect the manufacturer from liability of installation and operation is all environments not just the environment you provide.
The manufacturer is and has to be concerned with possible personal injury or death. The manufacturer would not be concerned about replacing the product or even replacing any damaged property. Those cost would be pennies in the manufacturer's budget. It is the liability for possible personal injury or death that the literature is intended to limit or eliminate.

Water heater can be drained or they can be flushed. The procedure described by de-nagorg is draining not flushing . Which is, that you open the drain valve and let the water drain out.
NOTE: The tank will not empty. Water will drain but only until the pressure is relieved. He forgot to tell you to open a faucet somewhere to let air in so all the water in the tank can come out. (Sorry about that ED.)

The maintenance instructions specify that the tank be flushed not drained. That is, you open the drain valve and let water be forced out under system pressure. In other words you don't close the cold water inlet valve. You simply open the drain valve and let water out under pressure to carry out any accumulate sediment.

(I know you are smart enough to connect a hose to the drain valve first)

Manufacturer's Maintenance Instructions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Drain Valve
Open the drain valve and drain a few quarts of water from the bottom of the tank to flush any hard water deposits. Replace if valve is blocked or does not operate properly.
NOTE: TAKE CAUTION WHEN OPERATING DRAIN VALVE. DRAINED
WATER MAY PRESENT A SCALD RISK.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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When draining the tank, DO open the nearest Hot water faucet valve to let air into the tank to drain it faster, It will drain eventually with the faucet closed, but might trickle for a long time.

As for the settlements plugging the faucets / shower head, the blasting that I described will carry them outside, and should not be much problem.

Yes Harold, I omitted the faucet opening, Thanks for the memory jog.

After filling the tank again, then you can close the faucet HOT, this allows all air out of the tank that you let in.

And should confine any loose settlings, to accumulate in that faucet aerator .

Then you might need to clean the aerator.


ED
 

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If we were to list all the things that can fail when attempting to flush OR drain a water heater we should readily see why there are people that say, DON'T TOUCH IT.








Then we get to the supposed lifetime warranty and just imagine what a fiasco that would be attempting to file a claim. Don't ever doubt those people have their BUTTS covered form A-Z and if you doubt that try it.










That's why mine goes un-drained and un-flushed.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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I am on a private well and get lots of sediment. I never drain my WH to flush the tank. Let me say when I have installed my WHs I install a full flow ball valve to replace the cheap plastic drain valve. I put a 5 gallon bucket under the valve and open the ball valve a few times for 2-3 seconds. I take the bucket out on lawn to empty and see how much sediment I have. I repeat untill the bucket looks clean.
I don't turn off the electric or water supply. My WH is in a stand so I can get a bucket under it, the same can be done with a hose.

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk
 
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I flushed my water heater once. I replaced dip tube and the anode rod once. I am on a municipal water system and the water quality is quite good.


My water heater is 29 years old. I was planning on taking it with me when I die, but after giving it some thought I probably won't need it where I'm going.
 

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I flushed my water heater once. I replaced dip tube and the anode rod once. I am on a municipal water system and the water quality is quite good.


My water heater is 29 years old. I was planning on taking it with me when I die, but after giving it some thought I probably won't need it where I'm going.
Do a little HVAC work in a few attics before you go and you'll be just fine.:smile:
 

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I am on a private well and get lots of sediment. I never drain my WH to flush the tank. Let me say when I have installed my WHs I install a full flow ball valve to replace the cheap plastic drain valve. I put a 5 gallon bucket under the valve and open the ball valve a few times for 2-3 seconds. I take the bucket out on lawn to empty and see how much sediment I have. I repeat untill the bucket looks clean.
I don't turn off the electric or water supply. My WH is in a stand so I can get a bucket under it, the same can be done with a hose.

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk
Me to rj. I don't know why they put those cheap little plastic valves on them.

If and when you do buy a new wh take rj's advice and buy a 3/4inch full port ball valve to replace that plastic one. You'll be glad you did. They only end up leaking and will need to be replaced anyway.
 

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I flushed my water heater once. I replaced dip tube and the anode rod once. I am on a municipal water system and the water quality is quite good.


My water heater is 29 years old. I was planning on taking it with me when I die, but after giving it some thought I probably won't need it where I'm going.
Wow! almost 30 years, that's got to be a record breaker hk. I take it you probably take good care of it and change out anode rod and flush regularly.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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Wow! almost 30 years, that's got to be a record breaker hk. I take it you probably take good care of it and change out anode rod and flush regularly.
There was an GE electric 40 gallon WH in my parents home when they bought it in 1957. When I sold the house in 1998 the same WH was in service. That is 41 years plus how old it was when the house was purchased in 1957 and how long in stayed in service after I sold the house. Never had the anode rod changed but my dad drained sediment every 6 months or so. Municipal water supply from a reservoir with very soft water.
 
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I think if you start out with a new water heater and do the drain down and multiple flushes, it'd be a good idea.

If instead, you decide to start doing that on an older system, it's up to you and how lucky you feel. If you're comfortable cleaning aerators and possibly faucet cartridges, no problem then.

Mine is near the floor drain in the basement so it gets a little purge ever time I use it to refill the dried out trap in that drain. A twofer until some day when the el cheapo drain valve on the WH pukes out its washer and refuses to shut off.

Unfortunately, when I unnecessarily disturb any plumbing device, I usually regret it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ive seen some that were never drained that had about 1 foot sediment in the bottom , so yes you must clean it sometimes.

Another forum poster told me
"That’s a Superstore Ultra. It’s a stainless steel indirect tank, and as such it CANT rust and there is no burner to get buried in limescale.Your plumber doesn’t reccomend draining sediment because there won’t be much unless you have a lot of junk coming in from the water main.

I think the online recommendations to “drain the sediment” are referring to cheap tank type heaters that are made of plain carbon steel and fill up from rust."

Whats your thoughts on this perspective?
 

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retired framer
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There was an GE electric 40 gallon WH in my parents home when they bought it in 1957. When I sold the house in 1998 the same WH was in service. That is 41 years plus how old it was when the house was purchased in 1957 and how long in stayed in service after I sold the house. Never had the anode rod changed but my dad drained sediment every 6 months or so. Municipal water supply from a reservoir with very soft water.
Those tanks from the 50s had 1/4" of glass inside them.
 

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If your water heater makes a popping/plunking noise when the burner is on, you can bet your boots that it's full of sediment. Generally when it gets to that stage, it's too late to think draining or flushing it will help.

My experience says electric tanks last longer than gas ones.
 

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I agree with @surferdude2. As Yoda said, Do, or Do Not. There is no try.

And, do put on a full bore ball valve.

The only time I drain a water heater is when I close the cabin up for the winter or when I replace a water heater. I prefer to use full strength pressure to clean out the tank.

As for reduced pressure after flushing/draining? Umm, remove the damn aerators first. Or clean them after. Your choice.
 
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