My suggestion for water heater replacement in a home is as follows: Sediment has to build up in
any unit, and the manufacturers install a cheap piece of junk drain that is unserviceable from
the first time of use. I always remove the drain and use a 3/4 x 4” dielectric nipple, a 3/4”
galvanized 90-degree elbow, and a good 3/4” ball valve with a 3/4” pipe-to-hose adapter on the
end. Every three months or so, the unit would have a garden hose attached to the new drain assembly and be given a “bottom blow,” to use the trade jargon. You should let out about five gallons of water each time. Sediment buildup reduces the efficiency of a heater and is a factor in overall drainage failure. Of course, all local codes and manufacturer’s installation instructions should be followed.
I have seen three-year-old water heaters with five to ten gallons of sedimentation in them. An old water heater at a friend’s house was filled to within two inches of the top and weighted about 340 pounds; it took three men to get it out. Don’t find yourself in that predicament.
About the author: Bernard T Walker, “Bernie,” was born and raised near Baltimore, Maryland, in a bottom-echelon blue-collar community called Rosedale. Bernard attended public schools and spent a year and a half at Essex Community College before transferring to Towson State College and receiving a degree in Social Science in 1967.
Bernard was drafted immediately after college, went to Basic in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and spent ten months supply training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Then, there was an 11-month tour of duty in Vietnam. By “Nam” standards, his unit had a great job since it was located at a massive fire support base north of Saigon. He was promoted to E-5 and was in charge of the cargo crew supplies, which ran through nearby Bien Hoa Air Base to various areas in the jungle. Bernard came home in September 1969 and started a job with B&O railroad, but the job was eliminated due to downsizing after a year and a half. Next, he went to work for the Employment Security Administration for the state of Maryland as the job developer, interviewer, veteran’s rep, and counselor. This agency was a
branch of the “War on Poverty.”
The entire office shut down. Bernard found a home at Plumbers Local #48 as an apprentice plumber and gasfitter.
He worked about half the time as a mechanic and the other half as a supervisor. He retired nine years ago and moved to Creswell, NC four years ago. Bernard and his wife divorced in 1994, and he doesn’t have any children.
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