To delime or not to delime

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by alexh, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. alexh

    alexh New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    CA
    I have a 12 year old A.O. Smith that makes a lot of noise when heating.

    Smith has a very detailed document on how to delime but it does not seem to be a very common procedure since I can't find any stores which carry a delime kit. A search turns up advice on using CLR or vinegar.

    Is this worth a try?

    I searched here and found another thread that seemed to suggest living with it until the unit dies or replace it.

    Thanks
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,917
    Location:
    New England
    At 12-years, it is probably on its last legs. Your anode rod is probably long gone, and what you are hearing is water caught in a small pinhole through the glass lining of the tank creating a burst of steam as the water gets heated since it is partially trapped there and can't cool off by convection. A delime at this time at that age may hasten its demise. The anode rod is scaraficial...it is more reactive than the walls of the WH, and gets attached first. Eventually, it litereally gets eaten up. If you don't replace it before that happens, it then starts eating up the tank. Once that starts, you're on the course of no return.
  3. alexh

    alexh New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    CA
    Thanks Jim,

    I knew that noise is probably more than just lime buildup as it's very loud.

    Time for a new WH.

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