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Superstor sidearm problem?

JL_2JL_2 Member Posts: 17
Has anyone seen or heard of the cupornickel coil in a Superstor indirect scaling up? The tank is taking forever to reach set point. I have checked and verified all there is. Flow is good. Delta T through the heat exchanger is ok. I drained the tank expecting to find sediment build up but it is clean. The only thing I can think of is scaling on the coil? Thanks for any input.


  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited March 2014
    The Scales of Lime:


    It scales up on the water side, not the inside of the coil. Do you get a lot of white lime scale on your shower heads? Have you had your water tested for hardness o TDS? If you take a pot of cold water, put it on the stove, and boil the water away, is there a white powdery substance in the bottom of the pot? If so, those are dissolved solids no longer dissolved. They form on the outside of the coil because the coil is hot and the water inside the coil causes water inside the crust to boil away. I don't think the coil is removable. The only way I can think if to clean it is with a massive dose of diluted muriatic acid, CLR or full strength white vinegar.

    Where I worked, Vaughan Top Performers were notorious for becoming plaqued up. But they come out easily.
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    Cement lined vaughns

    my back hurts now that you mentioned them....

    I would start with a vinegar treatment... And go from there.... I had a tank doing something similar but wasnt sure it was an insulating scale issue, so I like you, went through the process of elimination and it was all I could come up with, it was a 9 year old tank, no longer under warranty, but it wasnt leaking so the homeowner didn't want to change it. So I used the vinegar and it helped, a little under 6 months later, the tank was leaking, so I changed it....
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited March 2014
    Aching Backs:

    Vaughan "Top Performers" aren't cement lined. The coil goes in at the top. They usually leak bye at the square cut O-Ring between the coil flange and the top flange. All connections like that, I always pulled it apart at installation and greased the gasket surface with Super Lube synthetic grease. Once the water got under the gasket, it will boil away and leave lime or rust deposits. I hate going back to leaking things that I installed. Its a personal thing. Never seize the bolts too.
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    edited March 2014
    here is the one I was thinking of...

    *Easy installation & servicing

    *Seamless hydrastone cement lining provides long prodcut life

    *Industry's lowest stand-by heat loss reduces opering costs

    I have worked on a bunch of them, I actually sold one here in the classifieds, says cement lined, I know the ones I worked on weighed as much as a boiler..

    I used food grade grease on the seals, them things were known for scale build up, but easy to clean... UNLESS they installed it on blocks in a low basement where you didnt have room to pull the coil and had to un plumb it, and tip it on its side to remove the coil.... Ask me how I know that...
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    That's the one:

    That's the one. My Oldtimers brain is getting fuzzy. I only installed a couple of those because of special situations. I preferred Super Stors because I could cart them around by myself on my dolly. Not so with the cement lined Vaughan's.

    That depicted coil is from one of those tanks.
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    yah they are heavy, I think they are the only cement lined left...

    The vaughns are not as popular as they once were, I have seen them with scale, leaking coils, and leaking tanks. For their cost there are much better options out there...
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Old tanks:

    I got to tell you, the oldest electric water heater I ever replaced was installed in the early 50's. I think that Vaughan went by another name. Willard M. Romoney was around and the Carlyle Group probably bought and flipped them. It was a cement lined heater. The top element had been bad for years so I ran it on the bottom element. It was the 4 bolt flange type. It finally went around 1996 and I replaced it. I had an account that had a couple of steel hot water storage tanks that were cement lined. The main one was for a hotel and all the hot water. The recovery went south because the tanks had been in for about 15 years without being re-lined. I found a company in Boston that specialized in re-lining water tanks. The sent a couple of guys down to do it. That hole at the bottom end of the tank at the bottom with the oval shaped cap/plug, held in place by that backward clamp? This little guy crawled through that hole and his helper passed him the mud to re-line it.

    If you can get your shoulders through, YOU can get through. Just like a rat. If a rat can get his shoulders through a hole, he can get the rest of his body in.

    There's still something to be said about cement lined tanks.
  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 3,438
    the Superstor...

    descaling treatment is to.... drain the heater, run the hot water zone through coil, pull out the aquastat well and using the coldest water you can spray in cold water onto the superheated coil. Usually this is done w/ a wand made from 3/8" soft copper tubing w/ a bunch of small holes drilled into it. This will shock the scale off the coil.
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Descaling Super-Stor:

    That might work.

    I'd be trying this, now that you brought it up,

    White Vinegar, pumped in through the hole you mentioned and cover the coil. You could use diluted Muriatic acid. But leaving the coil submerged is the better way to go. You could "shock" the coil before you did it, but you won't get all the calcium from between the fins on the coil. You do that before you install a water softener to get rid of the dissolved solids in the water that caused the problem in the first place. Cheaper than a new indirect, that will do it again quickly.

    People would be amazed at what white vinegar will clean and fix. I had a few customers with 'Broadway Collection" faucets, popular among the designer set who bought them as something special. Imported by a office company that had them made in a country that would make them cheap, based on a very old design that the patents had run out. They upgraded them with a ceramic cartridge. The faucets were such junk that they went bankrupt. But the cartridges are notorious for getting hard to turn. So hard that porcelain handles break off in your hand and gash the palm, requiring stitches. There's a company in California that sells most every kind of ceramic cartridge made at $80.00 a pop, but which one. Pre-paid of course. An overnight soaking of a sticky cartridge makes them like new.

    What do you say to a customer that provides a specialty faucet that their "designer" sold them that they paid over $4,000 for, and two years later, it won't shut off, and the porcelain handle breaks off in their hand. And you can't get parts for it. And it's all exposed chrome in a bathroom that is supposed to look like 1920 threw up on it.
  • MikeL_2MikeL_2 Member Posts: 236
    Rydlyme mineral solvent

    I've been using this amazing product for at least 20 years. Apex Engineering manufactures this non - toxic, biodegradable, extremely effective electrolyte. I use a 5 to 1 ratio ( water- Rydlyme), to clean most mineral deposits, and, have saved the used, diluted fluid to clean toilet siphon and rim jets.

    For Vaughn 50 gal. indirects, I drain 10 gals of water from the tank, pump in 10 gals of rydlyme, and then connect my transfer pump to the hot water pipe and the bottom drain; I'll run the pump for 4 or 5 hours. Rydlyme works best at ambient temp, so I'll usually cool off the water heater before starting the treatment...............
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    That would work.

    Do you sell them a water softener afterwards?
  • MikeL_2MikeL_2 Member Posts: 236
    Good point


    Whenever I'm involved with an indirect install, I make sure to find out if there are any water condition issues. The well water in my area has elevated levels of chlorides, which has taken its toll on stainless tanks. I prefer the Vaugh indirects, they are stone lined, have a bottom drain, a lifetime warranty, and, excellent tech support.

    Congratulations on your escape, and I'm sure you are enjoying your retirement ..............
  • icesailoricesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited April 2014
    High on Chlorides:

    High Chlorides aren't as much of a problem as Low PH, High chlorides and high TDS. Add hot water and you have a disaster. Iron is a form of hardness.

    You'd be amazed t how well a Cuno APUN 200 can raise PH and remove iron as a byproduct. Just don't ever use "N" Neutralizing compound in one. Only Calcite.

    "" "Congratulations on your escape, and I'm sure you are enjoying your retirement "" "

    Escape? It feels like a death sentence. For over 50 years, I never got up not looking forward to what the day would bring, not ever. And I never went to bed dreading the next day.
  • MikeL_2MikeL_2 Member Posts: 236
    edited April 2014
    I'm with you

    I love what I do, and the way I do it........and I was referring to your escape from a good, old fashioned, New England winter
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