Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Handy Mommy

It seems like recently a lot of stuff in our house has needed maintenance.  One of those projects was my water heater.  The main part of our house has a full size propane water heater, but the addition has a bathroom and it has it's own mini-electric water heater.  A couple of months ago the water started getting really abnormally hot.  Then it went cold.  I called the tech support line and they said it was probably the lower thermostat, but also recommended that since we live in AZ where there is hard water that we think about replacing the heating elements.  I went ahead and ordered the thermostat and elements.  Dustin went in and replaced the thermostat and the upper element.  He attempted to drain the tank to replace the lower element, but the drain faucet would not flow to empty the tank.  Also when he tried to pull the element out, with water gushing behind it, it appeared to bend out where it would not clear the hole.  We decided to just put it back together and leave well enough alone since the upper element that we  replaced was not too badly corroded. 

It still seemed to be flaky about temperature, and I noticed the lower element dripping, so I decided to attempt to drain it by allowing the water to pour out from behind the lower element.  It took forever since it is a 50 gallon tank and I had to use a baking pan to bail it out.  I had to use a bunch of towels to catch the water that I missed in the pan. Once I finally got it drained we got a better look at the element. It was VERY corroded and did fork out, which the replacement one did not.   I took a channel locks pliers and squeezed the element together and it bended easily.  I had to continue crimping it to get it out.  When it finally cleared the hole it was so corroded that the metal had disappeared in several places and the wires were exposed.  The corrosion must have caused it to fork out.

From the hole of the lower element we could look in and the whole bottom of the tank was full of calcium deposit flakes which is why the drain faucet would not flow.  It's crazy how hard the water is here.  If I had to go back I would have definitely invested in a water softener for this house when we bought it. 


  1. Wow! I am impressed! I never would have tackled that projecT! Way to go!


Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment!