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  • AO Smith water heater and gel residue

    This is gonna sound strange.
    The water heater in my mothers new home (5 years old) was not delivering ample hot water for more than a single shower. So I went to drain the residue from the heater by opening the water valve at the bottom.
    It was an AO Smith (can't find the model number!).
    What shot out the bottom was not the usual iron residue that I'd come to expect from our Northwest Indiana water. Instead what shot out was a light blue gel.
    There was a lot of it. About a pint. What is going on?
    Of course, after you've helped me understand what the mystery gel was, can you help me understand why the hot water delivery to the house is not up to par?
    Thanks for any insights!
    Jim Courtright

  • #2
    Re: AO Smith water heater and gel residue

    Does she have a water softener or filter of some type?

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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    • #3
      Re: AO Smith water heater and gel residue

      Interesting.

      Does your mom have copper water piping?

      After the pint of light blue gel came out of the water heater drain, did the output of the heater improve? (You implied it's not up to par yet, but did it improve at all to your knowledge?)
      Time flies like an arrow.

      Fruit flies like a banana.

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      • #4
        Re: AO Smith water heater and gel residue

        We get the same gel here in florida ...A pint is nothing

        Where are your thermostats set at .... Crank 'em up :-)

        Dave

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        • #5
          Re: AO Smith water heater and gel residue

          Thanks for all your input!
          Here's more data:
          We do have copper pipes here in Indiana. State law, I believe.
          We do not use a water softener. We have water from Lake Michigan around here and it is pretty soft to begin with.
          Don't know about any other kind of filter, but will check.
          We cranked the heat up all the way but it didn't seem to help.
          We have noticed this. Some days we might not use any hot water for 12 hours, then try to take a hot bath and the water will go lukewarm after about half the tub is filled. Seem like the heater is coasting and gets too cooled off before it reheats. Any way to adjust the cycle time?
          Thanks again for all your help!

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          • #6
            Re: AO Smith water heater and gel residue

            We need a little more info. Is it a gas or electric water heater? If it's electric it just may be a bad element or thermostat.

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            • #7
              Re: AO Smith water heater and gel residue

              It's the byproduct of a deteriorating anode rod. I agree, a pint is nothing usually get much more.

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              • #8
                Re: AO Smith water heater and gel residue

                after doing some research online, I feel some maintenance work shall be done regularly on every water heater such as flushing the tank once per year and replacing the anode every 4-6 years. the water heater installation and maintenance manual should give you all the details.

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                • #9
                  Re: AO Smith water heater and gel residue

                  Originally posted by mechth View Post
                  after doing some research online, I feel some maintenance work shall be done regularly on every water heater such as flushing the tank once per year and replacing the anode every 4-6 years. the water heater installation and maintenance manual should give you all the details.
                  If you're going to drain the heater ever, it needs to be a regular maintenance task. Bi-monthly at minimum. Doing it yearly will just cause more problems.


                  Crack is right about the anode rod being the source of the gel. There are other posts on the forum that discussed it.

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