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Weird goo from draining old water heater

CBRob
CBRob Member Posts: 214
Drained an old heater..
This goo was in the bottom.
Eww

Comments

  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,819
    That a reaction to the Aluminum anode rod I bet.... May actually be a form of bacteria.
    CBRob
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,242
    Every water heater I drain looks like that. I am pretty sure it is the anode rod also. The stuff is slimy enough it makes it hard to drain them though.
    Rick
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,022
    A glacier blue gel looking goo? Let it dry out and usually it turns into a crusty white particulate, calcium and magnesium most likely. ,
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    mattmia2CBRob
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,284
    Hi @CBRob , Have a look at the head of the anode. For most heaters, if the head of the anode is flat with no bump in the center, it’s an aluminum rod. Rheem breaks that rule of thumb. Aluminum does make a bluish slimy mess. >:)

    Yours, Larry
    Zmanrick in AlaskaCBRob
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,957
    Some aluminum and magnesium salts make a slimy goo.
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 2,373
    edited June 2020
    The Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles may have the answer! They are all about Slime and Goo
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,284
    Hi @EdTheHeaterMan , they probably do and I'd love to hear it! In the meantime, being a water heater nerd, I collected the stuff, (see photo) and now it lives at the General Society to confuse and hopefully educate future generations. :p

    Yours, Larry

    Erin Holohan HaskellethicalpaulSTEVEusaPASteve Minnich
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,970
    edited June 2020
    I've drained my 50 gal tank heater several times in the past 9 years and never saw any kind of goo. Not even much sediment.

    I'm feeling really lucky right now.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    ethicalpaul
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,022
    H
    ChrisJ said:

    I've drained my 50 gal tank heater several times in the past 9 years and never saw any kind of goo. Not even much sediment.

    I'm feeling really lucky right now.

    It’s not so easy to flush that goo out the small opening drain cock. Remove the drain valve from the tank and power flush and most old tanks will have some, maybe gallons of that crud.

    Unless you have been running pure H2O. Anodes break down, minerals and silica are in most all water supplies.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 465
    I recently had a disconnected old indirect DHW tank that I couldn't move out of the basement...even after draining (the water only) from it. It was too heavy from the "goo" that wouldn't drain out of the bottom. The "goo" could best be described as the exact consistency of light, tan "OATMEAL". It dried to an off-white crusty powder (outside of the tank). The stuff that remained in the tank was gallons of heavy, wet "oatmeal."
    I had to apologize for leaving the tank in the cellar. Too heavy to pull up the stairs w/ handtruck.
    The previous hot water had a bad sulfury smell. I put in a new tank and changed out the supplied aluminum anode for a magnesium. It seems to have fixed the sulfur problem.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,970
    hot_rod said:

    H

    ChrisJ said:

    I've drained my 50 gal tank heater several times in the past 9 years and never saw any kind of goo. Not even much sediment.

    I'm feeling really lucky right now.

    It’s not so easy to flush that goo out the small opening drain cock. Remove the drain valve from the tank and power flush and most old tanks will have some, maybe gallons of that crud.

    Unless you have been running pure H2O. Anodes break down, minerals and silica are in most all water supplies.
    Unless I missed it.
    A few weeks ago I removed the drain to install my recirc setup. I didn't see anything in the bottom of the tank when I looked in.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,970
    edited June 2020
    The only pictures I took.
    The one is of the inside of the original brass drain.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,194
    > @Larry Weingarten said:
    > Hi @EdTheHeaterMan , they probably do and I'd love to hear it! In the meantime, being a water heater nerd, I collected the stuff, (see photo) and now it lives at the General Society to confuse and hopefully educate future generations. :p
    >
    > Yours, Larry
    > (Image)



    That's water heater sediment samples? And pardon my ignorance, but what's the General Society?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,022
    > @ChrisJ said:
    > (Quote)
    > Unless I missed it.
    > A few weeks ago I removed the drain to install my recirc setup. I didn't see anything in the bottom of the tank when I looked in.

    So you had a borescope and looked inside and around the recessed dome?
    Unless you water is 0 grains of hardness and you never applied heat to the water I suspect there is sediment in that tank🤫
    Have you performed a recent hardness test?

    Got a tea kettle with some years of use, glasses come out of the dishwasher crystal clear? Shower glass and plumbing fixtures get water spots? Those are a few places mineral deposits show up.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,970
    hot_rod said:

    > @ChrisJ said:

    > (Quote)

    > Unless I missed it.

    > A few weeks ago I removed the drain to install my recirc setup. I didn't see anything in the bottom of the tank when I looked in.



    So you had a borescope and looked inside and around the recessed dome?

    Unless you water is 0 grains of hardness and you never applied heat to the water I suspect there is sediment in that tank🤫

    Have you performed a recent hardness test?



    Got a tea kettle with some years of use, glasses come out of the dishwasher crystal clear? Shower glass and plumbing fixtures get water spots? Those are a few places mineral deposits show up.

    Funny you ask that.
    I have a borescope I just bought, a Klein I think.
    And I even thought about doing that with it but I didn't feel safe putting it in the tank because it was still fairly hot.

    I'm sure there's sediment in there, I just didn't get any out that I could tell running bursts of water. Also, I didn't see any goo or slime. That's all.

    I have no doubt there's mineral build up just like in the drain valve.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,942
    ChrisJ, because you have drained you tank several times over the years, you may not have noticed any great amounts coming out.

    Here I have seen "small curd translucent cottage cheese" in some tanks. This stuff may not be seen.
    The last old tank I relocated would not drain out the factory bib.
    A female X female hose connected to the washer supply was used to back blast the junk out of the WH bib to get drainage.

    Also when I am sure the WH bib is open, I power flush by opening and closing the CW valve. The dip tube putting water into the bottom seems to blast junk out.....sometime even plugging the bib again.....repeat the back blast as above.
    rick in Alaska
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,284
    Hi @HVACNUT , Yes those are sediment samples. You can often get clues about the water supply piping, softening, water quality and stuff inside of the heater by looking at sediment. I didn't really understand that until I had collected some samples.

    And the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen is an amazing place in New York City: https://generalsociety.org/ Part of the joy is that both of "our" Holohans are part of it! Dan, in his "retirement" is currently president and it's where Wetstock was last held. The General Society holds many stories!

    Yours, Larry
    mattmia2HVACNUTErin Holohan HaskellZman
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,981

    Hi @HVACNUT , Yes those are sediment samples. You can often get clues about the water supply piping, softening, water quality and stuff inside of the heater by looking at sediment. I didn't really understand that until I had collected some samples.

    And the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen is an amazing place in New York City: https://generalsociety.org/ Part of the joy is that both of "our" Holohans are part of it! Dan, in his "retirement" is currently president and it's where Wetstock was last held. The General Society holds many stories!

    Yours, Larry

    It is an awesome place! Any Wally finding themselves anywhere near NYC should visit.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    mattmia2Erin Holohan HaskellCBRob