What is in Your Water Heater?

Here is my eleven-year old water heater which just died. My well water is filtered and I flushed this water heater every few months. Or rather, I thought I was flushing it…


How does the anode rod look?


I’ve got to say that I’m impressed with that really clean cut.

As for the debris, it looks you might need a better filter Lon. :wink:


Or Water Softener system!


I tossed the anode rod before I thought to take this photo, but it was pretty crusted up as you might expect for the age.


Is that calcium buildup?

I replaced my WH about 3 years ago, original install from 1993. I too, being on a well, it had collected so much silt (even with WH filter) that the installers of the new one couldn’t drain it. I did have hand trucks that they used to get it out and they unplugged every thing from the top to drain it. It still took both of them to load it on the truck with a struggle. I can’t imagine the amount of silt that was in that tank for them to have to fight with it for so long…


When my water heater was new, I went and flushed it once a year for 3 years. Then it was time to replace the anode rod. Covid came along and threw everything off. After careful consideration, I decided to stop wasting my time on this whole thing and use that time elsewhere.

Of course, completely different issue from the calcium buildup.

@lhenderson2 do people in your area do well with a tankless for this reason?

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Mostly calcium accumulation. We have very hard water. The pinkish color is a very fine red silt that my well pulls. Next time I change the filter, I’ll post a photo of that. My filter goes in weighing 4 oz. and comes out weighing two pounds. I tried using a fine screen filter and it was clogged within two weeks.

Tankless creates poorly understood and recognized problems on well systems. De-calcifying them several times a year is mandatory. Don’t bet more than a nickel on finding anyone doing that. Denver metro water isn’t as hard as typical well water, but hard enough that tankless systems there have to be de-calcified at least annually for adequate function. I may have met half a dozen people who understand what that means, much less doing it.


I inspect a lot of homes that have tankless heaters. In the sections that no one reads, I include the annual flush and clean statement. I also impress upon people that these tankless systems need maintenance. I doubt anyone has done it yet. lol. All my inspection are on public water though. On a well, ooofa. I can’t imagine how clogged up those things will get.

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Thanks for sharing. Treat your next unit with mineral descaling solution. Looks like sheets of and small pieces of calcium that form on the heat exchanger tower.
Thanks for sharing. Good image for a blog!

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Both good suggestions. I am leaning toward putting in a water softener.

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