Hot Water Heater - Air?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by ajupser, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. ajupser

    ajupser New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Hi All - I have a hot water heater that seems to have air in the lines, and I don't know if there is a leak somewhere or what is causing this, but want to correct it if needed.

    Background: This is an electric HWH, about 6 years old, hooked up to city water, and I have a water softner in the house. A few days ago the HWH stopped working, so I hit the reset button and it seems to be working now, but the water comes out white, and this goes away after a few minutes. It seems to me to be air in the water, and I am trying to figure out why, or if this is a problem.

    Thanks

    AJ
     
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    water heater

    You will probably have to hit the reset button again tomorrow or the next day when your "super hot" water runs out. You probably have a shorted out element which is generating a bit of steam. The steam will condense but the entrained air rises to the top of the heater where it goes to the first faucet which is opened.
     
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  4. ajupser

    ajupser New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Thanks HJ. I think you are right about the steam. When I took off the plates and peeled away the insulation, it was damp. So the steam makes sense. The first outage was last Thursday and I haven't had to reset it but the one time. I left the plates off, so that may be helping the steam disapate. The air issue has been going on a couple of days, and my wife just mentioned today that the shower sputtered like it does when the water has been off and has gotten air in the lines. Will keep an eye on it.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    What is the thermostat set at? How hot is the water coming out of the tap?
     
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    steam

    Steam inside the jacket is not good news and has nothing to do with what is happening inside the heater. But you could have a bad element which COULD leak outside the tank and cause the moisture. Air cannot leak INTO the tank, but water can leak out.
     
  7. ajupser

    ajupser New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    HWH Temp

    I have the temperature set very high, not sure, but I had it set high to help sterile medical equipment used.

    HJ - I didn't think air could leak into the tank either, and I asked the question because I didn't know enough about plumbing to know if it could leak in through a bad pipe somewhere else.

    Also, I just got my water bill, and it was lower than it has been in many, many months. That was good news, and I know why it is low, and that is because my lawn irrigation system had a leak, which we repaired, and I wasn't watering the lawn for the few weeks it took me to fix it.

    Thanks all.
     
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Ummm Your water heater is a serious problem I would suggest calling a plumber ASAP.
     
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