Flushing tank with hot water recirculation Line


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Old 01-01-12, 09:00 AM
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Flushing tank with hot water recirculation Line

Is there any trick to flushing a gas water heater thatís connected to gravity hot water recirculation line?

I believe unit is less than 10 years old but may have sediment level above drain valve. I tried draining the tank but only appeared to drain the hot water return line since flow stopped pretty quickly. I also tried to flush the heater, but again all flow from the drain valve seemed to come from the hot water return line.

Other info:
* 40 gallon gas
* Gravity return line attached to tank at drain valve
* No existing shut off valve between hot water return line and water heater.
*Very hard water in area, previous home owner did not have water softener and likely did not flush the water heater.
* Experiencing lots of sediment at faucets

Thank you in advance
 
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Old 01-01-12, 11:49 AM
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This is not easy to do.
One way is if you have a floor drain near the hw tank you can shut off all the water to the tank, open a fitting on the top of the tank then remove the drain valve.
You then would be able to use a thin piece of flat metal with a small bend on the end that would be able to pass through the drain fitting into the tank to fish out the sediment.
I replace the standard drain valve on my hw tanks with a ball valve so that if this ever happens you can fish out the sediment through the valve.

If your tank is older you may want to consider replacing it, sediment and all!
This is much easier to do on an electric tank if you remove the bottom element.
 
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Old 01-01-12, 01:03 PM
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Removing the drain valve is probably your only option and at that you will only get a portion of the sediment removed. With a lot of work you could probably get it pretty clean but you've still got an old water heater probably nearing the end of it's life. You can live with it's inefficiency until it dies or go ahead and replace it and get in the habit of regularly flushing the new one.
 
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Old 01-04-12, 06:32 AM
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Thanks for both replys. Should I install a shut off valve on the hot water recirculation line to isolate the system and better flush a new tank, or is this a non-factor?
 
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Old 01-04-12, 02:48 PM
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I would install a shut off valve and a union between the valve and the tank.
I also would recommend you install a ball valve in place of the one supplied with the tank.
 
 

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