Water Heater

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    • #272844

      My water heater was leaking. When I had it replaced the old heater would not drain. After taking the heater outside and poking the hole with a screwdriver a lot of gel like stuff came out that was full of a crystal and white looking substance. The hole would clog up and need to be poked again to get it to drain. The water that came out was brownish. I have a water softener and a whole house carbon filter. Does anyone know what would be causing this gelatinous stuff to form? The water heater was 7 years old. Several years ago I started getting a pinkish residue on my showerheads. Now that is clearing up. Am I drinking this gelatinous material?

      Thank you,

    • #286406

      Hi Linda. What was happening is your heater actually boiled minerals and making them more concentrated in your heater. Try this experiment. Take a pot full of cold water and let it boil out.
      Then look at all the calcium and other deposits on the bottom of this pot. Tis is exactly whats happening in your heater

      You should really try to do this draining at least once a month in high mineral area’s ONLY draw off no more than a gallon OR until the water runs clear.

      You should read the manufacturers recommendations about using the drain down bib on the bottom of your heater.

      Now for a point of information NEVER EVER use the water from a hot water tank for drinking or cooking purposes as you can get deadly sick especially if you have any lead type solder or lead piping in your home.

      Now that you know you have this mineral condition READ how to test your relief valve so in case of an emergency you know it will function. Personally I would opt for you getting a Licensed Master plumber (Not some fly by night non Master) to show you the proper way of testing and draining your heater. It is well worth the service call. Have a great week end.


    • #286407

      the gel stuff was from the magnesium anode rod and the hard flakes were the minerals from the water. They are both facts of life with water heaters. Draining water from the water heater will minimize the effect of the minerals but the mag rod just happens.

    • #286408

      Thank you so much for the response. Shouldn’t the water softener be taking out the minerals?

      Thank you,

    • #286409

      A lot of water softeners add salt to the water and salt also leaves deposits. This is the reason I suggested you should take a pot of COLD water BOIL IT OUT and look to see how much mineral deposits there are. Plumbing if performed properly is a science but unfortunately a lot of non masters just try the hit and miss approach. By boiling out the water and actually seeing the minerals left you can NOW take an educated action to remedy this condition.

      The “flakes” could also be your piping system maybe having problems like erosion ESPECIALLY on the hot water piping. Although copper tubing is a great product it still has certain guide lines that must be followed to keep this piping in great condition. Velocity on hot water can kill a copper line faster than any thing else if left unchecked.

      That is why a professional plumber never assumes BUT takes several courses of action to find the cause ..PREVENTION rather than cure the motto (ASSE).
      By checking the deposits left in the pot you now have an idea of what your facing. Good luck


    • #286410

      A water softener just replaces the calcium with sodium or potassium. All the other minerals and solids are still there except for those that can be strained out by passing through the mineral bed. to process the water further, you would need a filter ahead of the softener to remove some of the other materials. But, nothing less than reverse osmosis, or another purifying system will remove all the minerals and they are impractical for a whole house system.

    • #286411

      Thank you both so much for your information and advice. I have learned a lot today.!


      :-) Had to try one!

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