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AO SMITH Power Vent Residue

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  • AO SMITH Power Vent Residue

    I have a 50 Gallon Model FPSH 50 that was replaced after 4 years due to a leak in the tank. It was replace less than 4 years ago and now there is some kind of residue leaking from the top and bottom of the tank It is a brown crust material. The tank jacket is also rusting. I do have a water softener and there is a circulating pump on the unit. Can anyone tell me why two tanks in less than 4 years are going bad. I live in a urban community with city water.

  • #2
    Re: AO SMITH Power Vent Residue

    Its hard to say based on the information. If I was your plumber I would probably get a water sample and have it analyzed. Maybe the city water is more corrosive than normal. I would also check your water pressure and make sure a thermal expansion tank was installed on the water heater.
    Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information


    • #3
      Re: AO SMITH Power Vent Residue

      Because the residential water heater business is so competitive that most of the lower end tanks are junk, the actuall internal tanks are only made by a couple of companies and then sold to everyone to make there own units.

      The rusting your seeing is caused by moisture collecting inside of the outer jacket. It could be caused by condensation from the burner assembly which is not properly venting out, or getting enough combustion air.

      If you have a new style water heater, the ones that sit flat on the ground. Check the vent located on the side at the bottom. Make sure it's not all clogged up with lint.

      Also make sure your vent to atmoshpere is not clogged, ie bird nests, rats, etc...

      Is your water heater in an enclosed closet or shed?If so make sure it's getting enough make up air.

      Do you have a dryer next to it that vents into the same area?

      Finally you just might have another leak developing in the tank.

      Although we don't normally get involved in residential plumbing, about six years ago we installed about dozen Rheem units in our commercial clients homes, as a "Bro Deal". Within 2 years every single one of them failed. Some of them were in attics, which makes it 2-3 man job. To make things worse, our plumbing supply house stopped carrying Rheem, because Home Depot started selling them. So the only commercial distributor that was handling Rheem was 70 miles away. Which ment we had to go get the old one, haul it to the new distributor for the replacement. At around number eight the distributor said don't bring them in, just bring the sticker, why, becuase his service yard turned into a grave yard of Rheem heaters, thousands of them. I got to know the GM of this distributor pretty well. He told me it was the worst business decision the company had every made, taking over the Rheem line when everyone else had dropped them.

      After that point we stopped installing residential tank water heaters. I had all my guys certified with Noritz and all we do know is Tankless.

      Having a water softener is a good thing, if your city water has hard water. Couple things you need to verify.

      1. Is your softener actually providing soft water. Just because it uses salt does not mean that your actually getting soft water. You need a hard water test kit to test this. I recommend this kit.

      2. What is the salt setting on the softener? You might be regenerating with two much salt which is giving you too much residual salt in your supply water. Residential softeners need to be set at around 7-9 lbs of salt per cubic foot.

      3. Is your softener regenerating at 2 am? If it regenerates during the day and you happen to be doing laundry or using water during that time your water heater is going to be supplied with hard water.

      4. Check your local water companies web sight for the most recent water tests. They are required by federal law to provide this to you once a year. There might be other elements in your water that is causing problems in the water heater. For example Silica, something a water softener cannot remove, or high Iron concentrations.

      5. Is your water softener large enough to support your home? Enough cubic feet of resin capacity for the gallons of water used? If your flowing water to fast through the softener you will bleed hard water.

      6. Does it regenerate with a time clock or with a meter? It could be your prematurally running out of soft water.