Elec Water Heater overheating plus rust red water and black sediment?


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Old 10-24-14, 08:09 AM
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Elec Water Heater overheating plus rust red water and black sediment?

Hello!

My mother had no hot water yesterday. I found that the high limit had tripped. I reset it, planning to wait until today to troubleshoot it if it tripped again. After some time, I checked it and the water was way too hot, scalding. It tripped again, naturally. She said she went to take a shower later that night, and light rusty red water started coming out along with coffee grain-like sediment. Even slightly choking the water supply a time or two at lower water pressure. I went over and tried the other hot water faucets this morning with the tank cooled to make sure it wasn't just piping, but they did the same thing. This never happened before it overheated.

I know how to troubleshoot the water heater components, but my question is do you think this is just build up in the tank more so stirred up by the overheating? Or a sign that that major corrosion is taking place and we just need to replace her whole heater? I have to drain it either way, but don't want to spend time and money on an element, anode, etc if the tank is going to rust through in the near future.

Water heater is 6-7 years old and has never been routinely/properly flushed according to her
 
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Old 10-24-14, 08:40 AM
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Water heater is 6-7 years old and has never been routinely/properly flushed
That explains the sediment. Water heaters should be drained of a gallon or two monthly. The necessary frequency depends upon the quality of the raw water. A whole-house filter would help, but the filter element then needs to be routinely changed, too.

Best to replace the original drain valve with a full-port ball valve to achieve a higher flushing flow.
 
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Old 10-24-14, 11:49 AM
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Agreed. So you're saying you think it just needs to be flushed clean rather than replaced? I guess if it doesn't run clean after flushing it all out, that will be telling enough
 
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Old 10-24-14, 02:21 PM
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The high stat trips on high water temperature.

High water temp can be caused by a shorted lower element. I would recommend turning power off the water heater, remove the four wires from the elements and using an ohmmeter.... check for continuity from each terminal to the metal tank. There should be no continuity shown.
 
 

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