Water heater iron deposit/sludge


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Old 03-03-14, 07:36 PM
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Water heater iron deposit/sludge

Due to an issue with my water softener, I had hard water sitting in my toilets and hot water heater for a couple months.

I finally realized what was happening and fixed the water softener. The toilets had a brown sludge like build up in the tanks that left the clean toilet water looking yellowish. I was able to wipe it off the tanks pretty easily.

The same sludge (sorry don't know a better word for it) exists on the inside of my water heater. I've flushed it 3 times and drained it. The water still looks yellow when I fill up a bath. I took the t/p relief valve off and stuck my finger in and wiped the inside wall of the heater and the sludge is still there. Stuck my bore scope in and anywhere that it touched left a mark in the sludge.

So there is a build up in there. I think it is primarily from my issue with the water softener. Before that, everything worked normally.

I guess my options are attack with chemicals or replace? If there was a way to wipe down the inside of the heater with a paper towel (that is all it took for the toilets), it would work. But there is no way. Chemicals seem like it would take forever. Unless there is some miracle iron-out product I don't know about?

The tank is 12 years old so I know it's coming to the end of it's life... but it's a bradford white so I thought it could get a few more years (and probably could).

Any thoughts?
 
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Old 03-07-14, 05:22 PM
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Just in case someone reads this from google some day.

Ended up replacing the water heater. It was 12 years old. Couldn't get the water to not be rusty coming out of it. Couldn't get all the sediment out either, and I tried for hours. Flushing the tank really disturbed it, it hadn't been flushed in forever. I could see rust spots on the inside of the tank with my bore scope. So I figured it was probably time.
 
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Old 03-07-14, 05:30 PM
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Sorry we missed your post...

I would of said bleach the tank and let it sit overnight. Then flush...

Couldn't get the water to not be rusty coming out of it.
It would have settled out eventually...
 
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Old 03-07-14, 11:19 PM
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Thanks for reply. Is it normal to see some rust in the tank? There wasn't a lot, but there was some easily visible toward the top of the tank.
 
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Old 03-08-14, 04:18 AM
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Sure if the softner was not working. The sludge is probably a bacterial iron. Your water has certain bacteria in it that eat the iron and leave that sludge/slime layer.

The proper way to treat that is with chloronation , greensand , or terminox from what I know.

You should never use the softner as a iron removal filter...
 
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Old 03-13-14, 10:14 PM
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Why do you say that? The softener can get some of the iron out. I know it's not really designed for that but if you use the right salt, it can work...
 
 

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