Working on the water heater

My showers have not been lasting very long lately, and I love my hot showers.

So I got to looking into water heater maintenance. Today I finally took the plunge and flushed the water heater. It turned out not to be too hard. The only mistake I made was at the end while refilling the tank. I left the pressure release valve open, and subsequently flooded the basement. (Note to self: next time just leave the hot water faucet open and closed the valve before refilling the tank.)

I don’t know if this is going to fix the problem. I might try a shower tonight and see. But I suspect the real problem is that the dip tube inside has broken or come undone. But disconnecting the cold water inlet to look for the tube seems (right now) beyond my ability.

Update: So thankful that there was a 24 hour plumber, without help around the clock, I’m sure loads of people would be caught off guard. So, I have actually created a new problem: the pressure relief valve is leaking. From what I’ve read online, it seems that when you open an old one, frequently is doesn’t shut back down the way it’s supposed to. Hooray. Looks like I’ll have to replace it.

About Josh Renaud

I'm the Emperor of the Renaud Empire, which is to say that I'm the husband of a Boliviana and the father of three daughters and one son. When I'm not conquering lands and expanding borders, I'm a newspaper designer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Find me on Twitter (@Kirkman) or Google+.
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4 Responses to Working on the water heater

  1. kristy says:

    If it comes to replacing it (hopefully not), we recommend the tankless heaters. We had to replace ours about a year ago. Got a real nice credit from the gas company for switching to the tankless, too. Haven’t had a cold shower since even with visitors and having 8 showers/baths one after the other.

    • Josh Renaud says:

      Kristy, great to hear from you!

      I have daydreamed about the tankless heaters in the past. They seem really nice, though I am a bit loath to hand over more money to the gas company. However if Laclede offers a credit, it might be worthwhile. We were also reading today in Consumer Reports from last fall about “hybrid” water heaters that use heat pumps to pull heat out of the air of the surrounding space, which sounded promising.

  2. No hot water, not dishwasher. Back to washing dishes the old fashion way, plus heating water with the electric kettle.

  3. kristy says:

    yolie, I am so sorry…. With 4 kids I can only imagine that your dishwasher is of more value than mine is with 3 kids!!

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