Flushing my indirect water heater

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Old 03-18-15, 04:45 AM
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Flushing my indirect water heater

Hi all - I have an indirect water heater named Superstor, made by Heat Transfer Products, Inc. The model number is SS-40. (See pic) I want to flush it, but cannot find adequate directions for doing so for an indirect water heater. There are plenty of instructions for other types, but my unit has two spigots rather than one, I'm not sure what inputs to shut off before proceeding, I'm not sure if there are unknown factors with this type that I should know, and I don't know if having an expansion tank as I do makes a difference. The SuperStor site has not been any help, and my model is no longer listed. Any pointers would be appreciated.

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Old 03-18-15, 07:46 AM
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my unit has two spigots rather than one
The one at the top appears to be a temperature and pressure relief valve.

Unfortunately, the way that heater is plumbed, it will be impossible to do a 'power flush'. About the only thing you can do is drain and refill it, which in my opinion is of limited use.
 
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Old 03-18-15, 10:22 AM
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How would the plumbing change if you were to want to do a power flush?
 
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Old 03-18-15, 10:49 AM
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With that type of tank, you can't really flush it.

It only has those two ports, in on the bottom and out on the top.

If you open the drain, to try and get water flowing in, loosening the debris, and flushing it, all that's going to happen is the incoming water will go right out the drain, not even entering the tank.

I guess that if there were valves on both the hot and cold lines, one could drain the tank, remove the pressure relief valve, connect a fitting so that a garden hose could be connected at the top, and drain from the bottom.

I don't know any other way to actually FLUSH one of those.
 
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Old 03-18-15, 10:51 AM
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A regular water heater on the other hand, has the incoming water into what is called a 'dip tube', and the incoming cold is connected to the top of the tank. This dip tube extends to the bottom of the tank.

By leaving the cold water inlet valve ON, you just connect a host and drain from the bottom. The water coming in stirs up the sediment and it gets flushed out the drain.
 
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Old 03-18-15, 11:18 AM
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Thanks NJT. I will have to figure out a way to minimize the hassel of removing my pressure valve on my similar Indirect tank come the fall when I have to do my annual tank flush.
 
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Old 03-18-15, 11:29 AM
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I should think that if you shut off the cold supply to the tank, and open the drain, the residual pressure will push out of the tank.

When it stops flowing, close the drain again, and open the cold to pressurize again,,, lather, rinse and repeat... until you feel that it's adequately flushed.

If you do it often enough, like twice a year, it should be fine.
 
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Old 03-18-15, 05:29 PM
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One of my sticking points is that I don't know which spigot to open. If you look at the bottom of the picture, there are two spigots, one blue and one red.
 
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Old 03-18-15, 06:06 PM
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The Red one is the potable hot water.
 
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Old 03-18-15, 07:04 PM
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OK, I see the other one now.

The BLUE one is the piping that goes back and forth to the boiler, isn't it?

Do NOT open that one!

The RED one is the one that you would have to open.
 
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Old 03-20-15, 09:06 PM
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How creative/handy are you with plumbing? Is there a floor drain somewhere down by the water heater? Hopefully there are shutoffs to the cold supply and the hot out. The T&P valve just will just unscrew after the “drain” pipe is unscrewed. The bottom drain will also just unscrew.

Below is a video of how they are made if that helps for some ideas. The problem is the hot out pipes to top so whatever you do just kind of "rains" to the bottom if you run water into that. I saw one cleaning where they used a piece of 1/2" or 1/4" pipe, capped on far end with a hole drilled on side of pipe and hose connection on other with shutoff. Basically gave them a sideways power wash. They ran hose to it inserted through bottom cold feed and just moved that all around carefully (watch not to damage coil), removed to let drain, repeat. Something like this capped/drilled http://www.grainger.com/product/GRAI...AS01?$smthumb$

Maybe like a shallow Tupperware bin under bottom piping and pool pump or something connected so you can pump out all the water and dirt that comes out. The problem is that if it hasn’t been done like most you need something to “break” into the layer of crud that has settled, the rain from top won’t do it. Mine was outside when I did that and I got “chunks” of crap out for a while before it ran clear. Yours appears to have some union connections on everything if you were feeling really adventurous and wanted to do that.

Others on here could probably recommend a “cleaning/descaling” product that you could let sit inside the tank to clean the coil better also and then flush out. Just remember inside the tank is your potable drinking water so needs to be flushed well to get the chemical out. The inexpensive inspection camera’s could also be inserted through that bottom so you could see what it looks like before and after.

Reassemble with an additional brass T on the bottom with the drain on the bull leaving straight access through a plug. I’m sure somebody makes a gasket/ slip joint for the ” pipe so you could do that easier in the future with water draining out around the ”pipe through the drain. Use a full port turn version drain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcLEMcteKjI
 
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