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How-To store almost new Water Heater #5436417 05/23/20 06:12 AM
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henni Offline OP
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Due to some plumbing drama, ended up with two identical Bradford White electric water heaters.

Wanted to figure out best method to store as backup the older one of the two, it having been connected less than 3 years.

Flushed it from sediment couple times before disconnecting lines but it still has a little orange/yellow goo if tilted with a drain hose attached. Upon removal of the bottom drain valve and top high pressure valve, both are visually in clean shape.

Would it be good practice to remove the heating element, coat it with something and store in a dry place ?

Would it need to be rinsed a few more times to get all sediment out or would some mineral spirits (?) poured in from bottom hole where drain valve was attached, shaken around and emptied - do the trick ?

Anything else ?

Re: How-To store almost new Water Heater [Re: henni] #5436428 05/23/20 06:34 AM
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hatt Offline
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It should be fine if you get the tank dried out.

I'd try to sell it unless you have tons of storage. That's a big item to hold onto for ten+ years.


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Re: How-To store almost new Water Heater [Re: henni] #5436444 05/23/20 06:53 AM
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mineral spirits? It's water based sediment.....so I would think no.

Re: How-To store almost new Water Heater [Re: henni] #5436446 05/23/20 06:56 AM
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RhondaHonda Offline
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I’d make sure it’s drained and call it good. It’s a tank with a heating element or two. The sediment would be in there if you were using it still, no harm there. I’d probably sell it unless you have a lot of storage space.


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Re: How-To store almost new Water Heater [Re: henni] #5436495 05/23/20 07:41 AM
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Kestas Offline
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Dry it out. It should store well if bone dry. It'd probably be enough to keep all ports open.

Re: How-To store almost new Water Heater [Re: henni] #5436513 05/23/20 07:50 AM
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Lou_Boyle Offline
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Remove the heating elements and lay it over on its side to drain as much water as possible out the element holes. Water heaters have concave dish bottoms for strength so there will always be some water trapped in the groove around the bottom seam while it is upright. At that point you can opt to leave the elements out so it can naturally dry or force dry it with a shop vac in blow mode. If you let it slow dry be sure to stuff all the openings with some type of wire mesh to keep mice from exploring the inside. For the ultimate storage, after it has had time to dry out, install valves and a pressure gauge on the inlet and outlet and flush nitrogen or argon through it to flush out the oxygen. Store it with 5-10 psi of inert gas inside and it will be there until it rusts through from the outside.

Me personally, I'm moving it along, and closing the chapter on that book. But then again at my age I don't even risk buying green bananas.








Re: How-To store almost new Water Heater [Re: hatt] #5436563 05/23/20 08:36 AM
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edwardh1 Offline
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Originally Posted by hatt
It should be fine if you get the tank dried out.

I'd try to sell it unless you have tons of storage. That's a big item to hold onto for ten+ years.


yes- win win for buyer and seller.


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Re: How-To store almost new Water Heater [Re: henni] #5436630 05/23/20 10:05 AM
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themaxx Offline
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Just a note on flushing water heaters, most of the drain valves I've seen don't flow much. The are the boiler drain configuration but the hole in the middle may be 1/4" or so. Not much flow.

Remove the stock valve and install a pipe nipple and ball valve that match the threads on the tank, probably 3/4.

The flow you get out of this setup will flush everything loose out of the tank easily.

Re: How-To store almost new Water Heater [Re: henni] #5436661 05/23/20 10:51 AM
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tc1446 Offline
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twenty years ago when I built my house I had two elec water heaters installed; one on each end of the ranch style. I wanted rapid availability of hot water to the baths and laundry. Plumber connected them together so they can be operated that way, or independently. I found I didn't need both working so cut one off, drained it with hose and let it stand for about 18 years. Mostly out of curiosity, I turned it on and found it works perfectly.
Been using it since. It serves one bath and laundry rm; other one does a bath and kitchen. Did not see a diff in elec bill.


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Re: How-To store almost new Water Heater [Re: henni] #5436665 05/23/20 10:59 AM
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If you really want to keep it, Remove the lower element and get a shop vac in there and suck everything you can out. Brush off the element and replace it, do not coat it with anything. Contrary to intuition, plug off any openings up top with a rag. This will prevent bugs, mice and snakes from getting into it. I have seen snakes get into heaters and cause nasty stink problems.

Re: How-To store almost new Water Heater [Re: henni] #5436734 05/23/20 12:31 PM
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JTK Offline
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Yeah, I'd FB Marketplace it unless you know you'll need it relatively soon.

If you really want to keep it, maybe blow some compressed air through it to purge any remaining water then just keep it in clean, dry storage.


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