Draining sediment from "self cleaning" hot water tanks

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by lairdwd, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. lairdwd

    lairdwd New Member

    You all have seen them by now. They are sold everywhere - the supposid "self cleaning" hot water heater.

    I just bought the house I'm living in, and I know the previous owner wasn't draining the tank at all. Anybody have any thoughts if this should be done regardless of self cleaning or not?
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    Those tanks try to swirl th ewater and keep the crud deposits in suspension. Trouble is, the outlet is at the top, and they try to sink. You need a very strong flow for awhile, but even then, it probably won't cause enough to flow out. Drain it manually, if you are so inclined...that works better, but it may not make that much difference one way or the other if it hasn't been done for awhile.
  3. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Central Florida
    I'd rather have the crud settle out than be distributed through the house, even if the swirl technique did work. The only benefit I can see from the "self cleaning" models is that the swirling water will keep the crud in suspension while you're flushing the tank -- otherwise there might not be enough turbulence to lift the accumulated crud off the bottom of the tank. I flush mine every 6 months and zap it with the pressure washer when I'm feeling especially ambitious.
  4. self cleaning water heaters is a littel white lie

    self cleaning water heaters is a little white lie

    made up and told by all the water heater comanies

    to get people to buy their brand

    its a bell and whistle that does not work

    their is no such thing as a self cleaning water heater.....

    Purdue did a study in the 90s that proved none of them did much
    of anything they claimed that they did.....

    just get a good name brand when you buy one and simply put a garden
    hose to the bottom faucet every 6 months
    and run it full blast for about 2 minutes

    and then you have "self cleaned " your water heater
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2006
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona
    self cleaning

    You need an unrestricted flow to have enough volume to make the self cleaning feature work, and the only two items that have that are the bathtub and the clothes washer. But that only stirs the material off the bottom of the tank. Then you need a continuous flow for enough time so that the material can be carried from the bottom of the tank to the top and then out into the piping. In other words, it will seldom happen, so if you are concerned about accumulation, drain the tank manually.
  6. hj you are %1000 right

    Very seldom will this self cleaning feature ever work like they claim it will.......

    The thing that is stopping it from working properly is

    called "Newtons Law of Gravity"

    you cant force sand to float upwards 4 feet in a tank of
    water from the bottom...

    and expect it to be sucked out hot outlet and into the
    plumbing system
  7. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    My experience tells me that draining water heaters is usually a waste of time and not much gets accomplished.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    How did they "make up the self cleaning thing", and HOW do you know it is working very well?
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