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Old gas water heater

TonKa Member Posts: 104
So this water heater is 20 years old and has never had any maintenance done on it the entire time. (Gotta love NYC water quality.) It doesn't leak and it's still functioning okay. Sure, replace it. However, they're not ready to do it.

The water heater is kettling and has been for some time. Is it tempting fate to flush this dinosaur? Or, just leave it alone?
Mad Dog_2


  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
    If you open that drain valve it will probably never seal again :joy:
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • TonKa
    TonKa Member Posts: 104
    I figured that. A cap is simple enough (and cheap). Is flushing it still not a good idea?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,254
    At that age, flushing it out could be its demise
    Run it until it leaks, I guess
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
    As they Say in Brooklyn : 
    "You NO Touch!!!"   Mad Dog 🐕 
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,331
    Hi, Let your client know that just working on it is a risk. If they approve, check at all fittings and look into the combustion chamber. Look for any dampness. If you see it, time for a new tank. If it's dry, there are two things first. Replace the relief valve and replace the anode... or add one. At this point, you could wait a year and see if the tank survives. If so, now you can mess with sediment. Replace the drain valve with a ball valve. Use a lined steel nipple into the tank. If it has a gas control that you can dial down, do that to reduce the size of the main flame. This slows heat transfer rate and quiets things down.

    Yours, Larry
    Mad Dog_2
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,614
    Even walking by it and speaking to it will cause it to fail. LOL
    Mad Dog_2