Replaced a water heater this weekend and as always when replacing a water heater we drain out the water heater during or before removal. As is common and customary we found the tank to be full of crud and you can see the water running out red in this picture.
This particular water heater was over 15 years old, however even in new heaters water in the tank and become discolored. It’s good idea to flush out a periodically as part part of maintenance, annually or even more frequently.
Problems of corroded pipes and or deteriorating pipes can accelerate sediment buildup and then coloration of sludge and sediment in the hot water heater tank. For electric water heaters sediment can actually build up on the actual heating element or electrode. Build up on the electrode lowers efficiency of the water heater because it is sensually insulates the electrode instead of allowing it to directly adjacent water. As well this scenario will hasten the deterioration of the electrode.
Also, not directly related to sediment buildup, overheating can accelerate the deterioration of the porcelain or glass lining on the inside of a water heater tank.
In a future post we are going to talk about sacrificial anodes and galvanic anode protection in more detail. (I just have to sift through all my photos and find the pictures I took of one of these.)