Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A New Step in Sanitizing the Hot Water Tank

This year when we sanitized the the fresh tanks with bleach and water after de-winterizing I started to think about the article that I had just written about how the hot water tank works. I realized that since water in the hot water tank gets replaced with fresh water when water comes out through a hot water faucet, the bleach and water mix would take six gallons of fresh water coming though that tank until all of the bleach was out - not including an additional flush. I started thinking about how to easily speed up this process.

The obvious was to pull the anode rod and let the water and bleach pour out of the drain hole, but this still would not easily flush the hot water tank more than once to really get any residue of bleach or odor out. I came up with this idea instead. I would exchange the water in the hot water tank several times with the water coming out of the tank outside - and not needlessly filling the grey tank in the process. Here is how that is done.

1) The hot water tank should NOT be in bypass while sanitizing and it should remain NOT bypassed for this process.

2) Water pump OFF.

3) Attach a fresh hose to the city water inlet and a spigot outside. Turn on the water.

4) Turn on the outside shower hot water handle and open fully - step back!  Only the hot water handle on the outside shower should be open. No other faucet or shower handle should be on.  As the water comes rushing out of the shower (hose optional) you should smell bleach in the water.

5) Allow to run for at least 15 minutes.

6) After a steady flow of water for 15 minutes you should no longer smell bleach in the water coming out. (To test, take a small paper cup and put it under the streaming water coming out. Step away from where the water has been flowing and smell the water in the paper cup. You should not smell bleach.)

7) If you still smell bleach allow the water to continue to flow longer until there is no longer any smell of bleach in the water. (Use a new paper cup if you test again.)

8. Shut off the hot water outside shower handle.

9. You have now exchanged all of the water inside the 6 gallon hot water tank several times with fresh water, flushing that tank as many times.

10. Done!

You will still have the rest of your plumbing, etc. to flush - and at this point it is a good idea to put the hot water tank into BYPASS - just so that you do not put any bleach from the fresh tanks or pipes back into it.

When you are all finished flushing the fresh water tanks and all of the plumbing with fresh water and have removed all of the bleach - no bleach smell - you should put the hot water tank into use by putting the ByPass valves into NOT BYPASS position. You are now good to go!

This article will be linked in our Step By Step De-Winterizing and Sanitizing the Tanks article so that anyone following that article will be taken to this one for this new and easier step regarding the hot water tank.

1 comment:

  1. Robert,

    This is one of those head-slap "Why didn't I think of that?" articles. Kudoos.