Water Heater Rust

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by mrmedic, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. mrmedic

    mrmedic Junior Member

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    Delaware
    Hi all,
    I have had a electric 28 gallon lowboy water heater that was disconnected and empty about two years at my beach house and now I have been flushing it with fresh water and was wondering if the rusty water I am seeing will ever get clear. It has almost cleared up but does not seem to be getting any better. I am doing this outside with a hose hooked up and at the moment do not have the funds for a new one. Does anyone know if this water heater is trashed from sitting. Just trying to save a buck. The heater was only in use for about three years before taken out.

    Thanks,
    Ron
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,051
    Location:
    New England
    Fill it up, bleed the air out, close the valve while it's pressurized and see if it leaks. The rust isn't great. Pull the anode rod, see it's state of affairs, and replace if it's degraded and hope.
  3. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  4. mrmedic

    mrmedic Junior Member

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    Delaware
    Thanks for the info guys, I will give these a try. Also "ballvalve", Thanks for the links. That is some great info.
    I guess the tank I have is either glass or porcelain lined so I don't think it is the tank rusting it just might be from the old high iron well water that was running though it before I took it out. I will do a good cleaning and let you know how it works out. I guess a product like CLR would be to strong of a chemical? Should I look for a lime and rust remover just for hot water heaters and maybe give that a try?

    Thanks again for the info.

    Ron
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,684
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The glass lining is NOT perfect, if it were the heater would NOT need an anode rod. More than likely the metal tank HAS rusted where the glassliner failed, and if so, it is too late for an anode rod to help it. If the tank had been left full of water, the anode rod MIGHT have helped, but now I think you are either in the market for a new tank, or will have to live with rusty water.
  6. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Try the old tank first....
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,051
    Location:
    New England
    Suggest when you reinstall it (if you don't decide to get a new one), to install it in a drain pan. You may need it!
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