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Do You Drain Your Water Heater....

vgkg Z-7 Va
3 months ago

.....every 6 months as instructed in the owners manual? I used to do this but will no longer do it. I bought a new WH a few years ago and after 1 year I hooked up the drain hose to it and let it drain into a strainer to see what comes out with the water. The strainer showed no debris was present so that was good. Another year went by so I drained it again, still all clear, no debris. Then about a month later my water alarm (in the WH pan) went off and alerted me to a little dribble coming from around the lower heating element gasket. So I went to the hardware store and bought a new element and after installing it there was still a leak present. No matter what I did there was no way to "fix" this leak so I bought a new WH.

After that I did not drain the new WH (it's been 3 years now) and all works well. I have a feeling that when a WH is drained and re-filled repeatedly that the tank expands and contracts ever so slightly just enough to break the element gasket seal which results in a leak. I'm done with draining WHs, never again. I doubt that anyone (maybe 10%?) actually drains their WH as instructed. It can be a pain to do especially if the WH is located in a difficult spot. I'm on well water here so it seemed to be the wise thing to do, but our well water is crystal clear so the WH will have to die from other natual causes in the future.

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