A leak, hard water and draining w/ recirculating pump?

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jaylivi

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I have a 7 year old gas hot water tank with a grundfos recirculating pump. The tank caught my attention because there was a puddle of water underneath the tank, and when I took off the cover at the bottom and removed insulation, the bottom of the tank was wet. I noticed a slow leak directly above the tank where fresh water comes in; it was dripping down onto the water tank and that area is rusted, including the hole where the hot water comes up out of the tank. The leak area had a lot of white buildup on the fittings. I fixed the leak and am waiting for the tank to dry out (which would tell me there are no other leaks, I think). We have hard water (don't know how hard, but ordered a testing kit). I would like to drain the tank, which has never been done on this tank. There is no valve between the recirc pump and tank. Should the recirculating pump be turned off, and how should I do that? And of course, how should I assess any damage done by the leak to the entire tank, the leak must have been there for months, if not years to cause corrosion on the outside. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
 

Master Plumber Mark

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Just leave it alone if you are wise.... many water heaters get wet on the outside and on the inside from nearby leaks and look rusty....

I would fix the leak that was dripping down on the heater and just allow the heater to dry out
maybe put a fan near by and let run for a few days ......

On another note, The recirulation pump is probably going to kill off this heater faster because it is constantly running all the time I assume.....

if you do not want to fix the leak you could probably rig up something like this customer of mine did
it held up for a few months before we came out and replaced the heater

bendy straws and duct tape work great....


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jaylivi

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Thanks for the reply! I already fixed the leak. I don't think I would feel comfortable with duct tape and bendy straws as a repair, but that's a clever quick fix.
 
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