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Author: 3muttsmom Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 128914  
Subject: Water heater Date: 1/18/2004 6:07 PM
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New to this board. I'm learning lots of great stuff.

I have a question. We have a separate water heater for the bath off our guest room - was here when we purchased the house. The rest of the house is on the large natural gas heater in the basement, but this small one is electric. It has a separate switch and we have only turned it on once in the 2.5 years we've lived in the house. Is there any problem with leaving the water heater off for extended periods of time. Should it be drained in some way?

thanks

3MM
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Author: MFDnSC Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44807 of 128914
Subject: Re: Water heater Date: 1/18/2004 9:45 PM
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You should run water through it occasionally, but no need to turn it on. Drain it with less frequency, but do drain it.

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Author: 3muttsmom Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44812 of 128914
Subject: Re: Water heater Date: 1/19/2004 1:42 AM
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<You should run water through it occasionally, but no need to turn it on. Drain it with less frequency, but do drain it.>

Okay, the electric waterheater is in a small room off the attic (guest room) which also houses the upper furnace(gas - we have zoned heating/cooling). Do I have to turn it on to "run water through it"? Obviously, turning on the faucets just produces cold water since it's not on, but will this make "water run through it"? Secondly, how do you drain one of these? Do I drain it into a pan? There is no drain in that room that I can see. I just became worried the other day that if it produced a leak, it would wipe out the ceilings in the rooms below.

thanks

3MM

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 44818 of 128914
Subject: Re: Water heater Date: 1/19/2004 8:20 AM
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Do I have to turn it on to "run water through it"?

No. Water runs through it because of the water pressure from the street, nothing else.

Secondly, how do you drain one of these? Do I drain it into a pan?

There has to be a "drain pipe" sticking out of it somewhere at the bottom. You would screw a garden hose (assuming that's the proper sized fitting) onto it and let it run out the bottom to wherever you have the other end of the hose (bathtub, out a window, etc.) You can use siphon action if you have to run the hose uphill first (like to get out of a window.)

Obviously if you don't turn off the master water to the house, it will just drain out the bottom as it refills from the top. Turn off the master water, open the drain at the bottom of the heater, then (last) open the faucet - or anywhere else above the heater to allow air into the line so the water can evacuate. MAKE SURE you have turned off the heater first, of course.

I would probably just run the "hot water" (even though it's cold) for several minutes if I had a guest coming, but otherwise forget about it. If you kept the water "hot" all that time without ever using it, it could breed all sorts of nasty things; a HWH doesn't usually do that because the water is "used" before those microorganisms have a chance to breed and build.

If you keep it cold, I wouldn't even think about it, except to run the "stale water" out of it before a guest came.

Secondly, how do you drain one of these? Do I drain it into a pan?

If there is the possibility of damage below, the heater should be sitting in a drain pan, with a hose connected which leads to a drain. That isn't required but it is a good idea. What is required is a way to drain water if the pressure relief valve pops, which can happen because of the expansion and contraction of the water as the unit heats. On the top of the unit should be three "pipes". 1) cold water in, 2) hot water out, and 3) pressure relief valve, which will have some sort of gizmo you can flip to manually reset it. Where does that pipe lead? And if there isn't one, that's definitely not good.
 


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