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REBATE INFORMATION
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS ENERGY STAR®?
HOW TO READ GSW SERIAL NUMBERS
CHOOSING THE RIGHT WATER HEATER
GAS VS. ELECTRIC

 

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

DISCLAIMER:
Servicing requires trade knowledge in the areas of plumbing, electricity, venting, air supply and
gas supply. If you lack these skills or have difficulty understanding these instructions, you should
not proceed. Enlist the help of a qualified service technician. Examples of qualified service
technicians include those trained in the plumbing and heating industry, local gas utility personnel
or an authorized service person.

ELECTRIC WATER HEATERS

1. What type of element do I require for my water heater?
2. What is the difference between electric elements?
3. What are the effects of "scale" or "lime" formation on electric elements?
4. What is element density?
5. How do I install an element?
6. What is the sequence of operation for a dual element electric water heater?
7. How can I adjust the temperature on my electric water heater?
8. Why can't I seem to get enough hot water from my electric water heater?
9. What are the steps to troubleshoot my electric water heater?

GAS-FIRED WATER HEATERS

10. Why am I intermittently or unexpectedly running out of hot water?
11. Why is my gas water heater condensating?
12. Should I use a water heater insulation blanket?
13. I have more than one water heater. What is the best way to pipe them?

WATER CONDITIONS

14. What does it mean if my water is rusty?
15. What does it mean if my water smells bad?
16. What does it mean if my water looks "milky" or "cloudy"?
17. Why is my new water heater making noises such as "crackling", "gurgling" or "popping"?
18. Why does my hot water appear rusty/brown/black/yellow in colour?
19. What is thermal expansion?
20. Is having a water softener harmful to my water heater?

MAINTENANCE

21. How do I complete cathodic protection and inspection for anode rods?
22. How do I complete a chlorination procedure?
23. What should the periodic maintenance be for my FVIR water heater?
24. How often should I drain and flush my water heater? What are the steps?

GENERAL INFORMATION

25. I found a puddle of water around my water heater. What happened?
26. Why do I hear the pipes bang, thump or vibrate when I turn off the water at my sink faucet
or when I run my dishwasher/washing machine?

27. What are temperature and pressure relief valves?
28. What are heat trap fittings?
29. How are water heaters made? (video)
30. How do I install a drain valve?
31. What is the correct installation manual for my water heater?
32. How do I determine the proper sized water heater for my application?
33. What is the age of my water heater?
34. How do I register my water heater?
35. I have been on vacation and now I have air in my hot water lines. Why?
36. Why are the red and/or blue plastic nipple covers melted on my Atmospheric vented water heater?

1. What type of element do I require for my water heater?

Answer:

The element in your water heater could be one of four types; strap-on, plug-in, bolt-on (square
flange) and screw-in (see next question for details). The water heater element should be visually
inspected to ensure you are purchasing the correct element.

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2. What is the difference between electric elements?

Answer:

There are four types of heating elements used in water heaters. The types are: strap-on,
plug-in, bolt-on (square flange), and screw-in.

The strap-on elements are heating bands that wrap around the water heater. These elements
have been replaced by more efficient immersion type elements and have not been used in the
manufacturing of residential water heaters since the 1970's and the elements are no longer
being produced.

The plug-in elements are immersion type elements and have a round flange that is held in place

by a steel plate that bolts on to the water heater. A small rubber gasket (usually orange in color)
is used to seal the connection between the element and tank opening. These elements have not
been used in manufacturing of water heaters since the mid 1980's; however a limited selection
of plug-in elements are available for replacement parts.

The bolt-on (square flange) elements are immersion type elements and have thick steel flange
that bolts to the water heater. A thick black rubber gasket and a flat gasket are used to seal the
connection between the element and the tank opening. The bolt-on element is still used on some
models of water heaters and are widely available.

The screw-in elements are immersion type elements and have a hex head flange (1 1/2"). The
element screws into the water heater - plumbers tape or pipe dope should be applied to the
element threads - and has a thin gasket that is used to seal the connection between the element
and the tank opening.

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3. What are the effects of "scale" or "lime" formation on electric elements?

Answer:

All water supplies contain varying quantities of impurities. Calcium and limestone are the most
prominent, but as the water tables are lowered the problem is most frequently referred to as
"lime scale". When water is heated, these minerals "fall out" of the water and are deposited on
the interior surfaces of the tank as "scale". The formation of scale increases with the temperature
of the stored water. Scale forms on all surfaces including the element itself. The scale builds up
an insulating layer which impedes the efficient transfer of heat which may allow the element to
glow red hot in specific localities along its surface.

When this occurs, the scale that has built up on the element surface will flake off and when the
water comes back in contact with the hot element surface, the water will flash into steam. This
alternate heating and cooling of the element shortens its life span. This process also creates a
layer of debris at the bottom of the tank which can build to considerable depths, even to the point
where the lower element is covered, effecting the proper operation of the tank. The use of a low
density element where a high mineral content in the water supply is present, will slow the build
up of minerals in the tank and extend the life of the element.

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4. What is element density?

Answer:

Element density is the ratio between the wattage of an element and the surface area of that
element. The element density is usually 40D, 80D, 120D or 160D and this number reflects the
wattage per square inch. For example: an element that is 3,000 watts and has a density of 80D
would have a surface area of 38 square inches (3000W/80D). The lower the density, the larger
the element and the lower the operating temperature of the element. The lower the operating
temperature of the element (per sq. in.), the longer the life of the element.

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5. How do I install an element?

Answer:

IMPORTANT:

To avoid risk of electric shock, make sure the power is turned "off" and remains off until all repairs
have been completed.

WARNING:

A water heater is capable of producing hot water at a temperature sufficient enough to cause
scalding injury. Take proper precautions when draining a water heater to prevent scalding injury.

Read all instructions carefully before repairing a water heater.
  1. Turn "OFF" water supply and power supply.
  2. Drain tank to a level below the element opening.
  3. Remove outer casing service door and fold back insulation.
  4. Disconnect wires from element and remove element bolts.
  5. Remove element and old gasket from the tank.
  6. Clean tank flange surfaces of any dirt or debris.
  7. Insert new gasket, element and thermostat bracket.
  8. For square flange (4-bolt):

    • Tighten element bolts diagonally a little at a time. Do not over tighten or damage
      will occur.

    • Insert thermostat behind the element bracket. Make sure thermostat is tight against
      tank. If necessary, bend the clips to provide more tension. Insert thermostat behind
      the element bracket. Make sure thermostat is tight against tank. If necessary, bend
      the clips to provide more tension.

  9. Fill tank completely with water. Open a hot water faucet to let the accumulated air escape.
  10. Reconnect the wires to the element terminals. Consult the wiring diagram for proper
    connections.
  11. Check for leaks. Repair if necessary.
  12. Replace insulation over thermostat and element. Replace service door.
  13. Turn on power supply.

All instructions are also located on each package containing your new GSW replacement part.

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6. What is the sequence of operation for a dual element electric water heater?

Answer
:

The basic operation of a two thermostat system (upper and lower) on an electric water heater of
240 volt supply is as follows:

Only one element will come on at any one time. This is known as a flip/flop system. On a 240 volt
water heater, there will always be 120 volts to both elements. The thermostat will direct the
second leg of the 120-volts to the element to complete the 240 volts required to energize the
element.

Initial start up:

When the tank is full of cold water, the upper thermostat will take priority and heat up the top
portion of the water to the setting of the thermostat. Once that temperature has been reached,
the thermostat will then flip power down to the lower thermostat. The lower thermostat switch
will close and heat up the bottom portion of the tank until the water is heated to the setting of that
thermostat. At this point the tank will be full of hot water.



Normal Operation:

When hot water is being used, cold water enters the bottom of the heater (either through the
bottom inlet nipple or the dip tube), the bottom thermostat closes and the element will begin to
heat the cold water. When a significant amount of hot water has been used, the upper thermostat
will take priority and heat up the top portion of the heater. Once heated, it will flip/switch power
down to the lower thermostat and heat the lower portion.

High Limit Control:

All electric water heaters are supplied with a high limit control switch. This switch is a safety
device designed to shut the unit off if it over heats and the water reaches an unsafe temperature.
Power to the thermostats and elements is completely cut off when it trips. The high limit control
can be reset by firmly pushing on the red button above the upper thermostat. An audible click can
be heard when it resets. If the high limit control trips frequently it is an indication of additional
problems. Contact a qualified technician for service.

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7. How can I adjust the temperature on my electric water heater?

Answer:



The water heater temperature is shipped with both thermostats factory preset at 120ºF unless
specified differently by federal or provincial regulations.

The water heater is equipped with an adjustable thermostat to control water temperature. Hot
water at temperatures desired for automatic dishwasher and laundry use can cause scalds
resulting in serious personal injury and/or death. The temperature at which injury can occur
varies with the person’s age and time of exposure. The slower response time of disabled persons
increases the hazards to them. Never allow small children to use a hot water tap, or to draw their
own bath water. Never leave a child or disabled person unattended in a bathtub or shower.

The following shows the approximate time-to-burn relationship for normal adult skin.

  • 150ºF - Approx. 1.5 seconds
  • 140ºF - Less than 5 seconds
  • 130ºF - Approx. 30 seconds
  • 125ºF - Approx. 2 minutes
  • 120ºF - More than 5 minutes

  • The thermostats on your water heater have a linear relationship between degrees of angular
    rotation and the corresponding change in temperature. Thus, rotating the temperature adjustment
    indicator 30 angular degrees will result in a 10ºF change in the water temperature.

    Follow these steps when adjusting the temperature:
    1. TURN OFF THE ELECTRICAL SUPPLY. Do not attempt to adjust thermostat(s) with the
      power turned on.
    2. Remove the thermostat access panels and foam covers from the thermostats. Do not
      remove the plastic personal protectors covering the thermostats.
    3. Using a flat tip screwdriver, rotate the adjusting knob to the desired temperature setting.
    4. Replace the foam covers and access panels, and turn on the heater's electrical supply.

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    8. Why can’t I get enough hot water from my electric water heater?

    Answer:

    Complaints are becoming more frequent in the water heater industry concerning the lack of hot
    water available from a water heater. This increase was triggered when changes required by our
    regulatory agencies were implemented. For example, heaters are now factory preset at a lower
    temperature and inlet tubes have been shortened. While lower temperatures settings reduces the
    burn rate and shorter dip tubes guard against stacking, both affect the amount of hot water a
    water heater can supply. The following test will help determine if a water heater is supplying the
    intended amount of hot water and will help pinpoint any problems that exist. Check the following:

  • You may need an electrician to check to see if you have the required voltage at your water heater
        for the elements to heat properly .
  • Check to ensure you do not have any leaking hot water taps. A slight drip over time, in a sense
        bleeds of hot water off the top of the water heater and will lower the temperature of your water.
  • Is the water to your tub/shower come through a single handle faucet? Sometimes the valve seals
        inside can swell and reduce the amount of water coming out. Check this with another double
        handled faucet, and see if the temperature is the same or higher. ( use a thermometer when
        checking temperatures)
  • Do you leave your water lines on to your laundry washing machine? Sometimes you can get a
        back feed through the machine (even if it is turned off). Try turning both the hot and cold valves
        off to your washing machine and test again.
  • Do you have hard water in your area? Lime and sediment can collect on the elements and
        reduce the heat transfer to the water. Generally, this happens with older water heaters.
  • Try this test: 

        Please read all the steps of the test prior to beginning. If you feel uncomfortable
        performing any of these steps, contact a service person to conduct this test for you.

        1.  At the faucet nearest to the water heater, time (in seconds) how long it takes to fill a 1 gallon
             bucket (flow rate).

        Gallon per minute (gpm) = 60 seconds / seconds to fill a 1 gallon bucket If the bucket fills in:

            • 10 sec = 6 gpm
            • 12 sec = 5 gpm
            • 15 sec = 4 gpm
            • 20 sec = 3 gpm
            • 24 sec = 2.5 gpm

        2.  Turn both upper and lower thermostat dials on the water heater to 130° F.
        3.  Run about 15 gallons of hot water from the nearest faucet. Shut water off.
        4.  The water heater should complete heating 15 gallons in approximately 45 minutes.
        5.  At a nearby faucet using a candy thermometer, measure the hot water temperature.
        6.  The temperature should fall between 120ºF to 140 ºF. If the temperature was not within
             range, check the thermostats.
        7.  Continue running the hot water until 60% of the tank capacity is depleted:

        CAPACITY DEPLETE:

            • 30 gallons 18 gallons
            • 40 gallons 24 gallons
            • 50 gallons 30 gallons
            • 66 gallons 39 gallons
            • 80 gallons 48 gallons
            • 120 gallons 72 gallons

        8.  At the same faucet using a candy thermometer, measure the water temperature.
        9.  The temperature should be about 30ºF below the temperature in step 6. If more than 30ºF
             was lost, check the lower element for continuity and the dip tube.
        10. Inspect and/or Replace a Dip tube. If you are experiencing situations where running out of
              hot water unexpectedly you may need to replace your dip tube.

        THE DIP TUBE IS CONNECTED TO THE COLD WATER INLET OF YOUR WATER HEATER.

        1.   Turn off the power if electric. If gas, unplug and turn off the incoming gas supply to the
              water heater.
        2.   Turn off the cold inlet water supply to the heater.
        3.   Open a hot water faucet located nearby. Leave it open. (Turn off water supply to house if
              single handle faucets could be opened during this procedure.)
        4.   Open the drain and drain off approximately 5 gallons of water from the heater.
        5.   Disconnect the cold water supply line from your water heater.
        6.   Put a thick layer of rags around the threads of the cold water inlet nipple to avoid damaging
              the threads when you unscrew the nipple.
        7.   Using a plumber's wrench (Pipe wrench), unscrew the cold water inlet nipple-dip tube
              combination. (A helper may be required to steady the heater.)
        8.   Inspect for damage, such as a split, crack or fracture; replace the dip tube if necessary. If
              dip tube is completely missing, check the hot water outlet to eliminate the possibility of mix-
              up at installation.
        9.   Wrap threads of the new dip tube with "White Teflon Tape" or use "Teflon Pipe Dope". And
              install the (new) dip tube into tank and tighten.
        10. Reconnect the cold water supply line to the heater.
        11. Turn water supply back on and ensure the tank is completely filled with water. Open a
              faucet to release air from the plumbing system.
        12. If electric turn the power back on; or if gas, turn on the gas supply to the unit and follow
              the lighting instructions on the side of the water heater.
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    9. What are the steps to troubleshoot my electric water heater?

    Answer:


    1. Turn the power to the water heater OFF at the main electrical panel.
    2. Remove the two access panels from the front of the water heater.
    3. Turn the power to the water heater back ON.(You will be testing a live circuit, CAUTION)
    4. With a Multimeter, turn the setting to AC voltage, 240v or higher.
    5. Test between #1 & #3 of the high limit, you should have a reading of 240v (if reading is "0"
        problem is with the electrical panel "Call an Electrician").
    6. Test between #2 & #4 of the high limit, you should have a reading of 240v, If reading is "0" try
        pushing the red re-set button on the hi-limit you should now have 240v (if not, change
        thermostat/limit)
    7. If the upper portion of the water heater is cold, (Test if T&P valve is cold) you should have 240v
        between #2 of the upper thermostat and #4 of the hi-limit.
    8. Considering all tests between 5 & 7 are good you should have 240v across the two screws "A"
        & "B" of the upper element when tank is cold.
    9. If the tank is hot, test the power across #3 of the upper thermostat and #4 of the hi-limit you
        should have 240v (If not, change the thermostat). Upper portion of the heater should be hot. The
        lower portion of the tank is the part of the tank that gets the most work; this element will be the
        first element to come on when there is a demand for hot water.
            • You will always have 240v between #1 and #4 on the hi-limit.
            • 240v between screws "A" and "B" on the upper element when the tank is COLD.
            • 240v between screws "C" and "D" on the lower element when the upper portion of the tank
              is HOT.
            • When the tank is SATISFIED you will have 240v between screw #3 of the upper thermostat
              and #4 of the hi-limit but not power across the elements.
            • With a short draw of hot water the lower thermostat will close and send the power to the
               opposite side of the element to heat up.
            • IF ALL VOLTAGES TESTS OK, turn off the power to the water heater at the main electrical
              panel, remove wire from one side of each element, set the Multimeter to "Ohms" and test
              the ohms reading of the elements.

              1200w @ 120v = 12.0 ohms
              1500w @ 120v = 9.6 ohms
              1500w @ 240v = 38.4 ohms
              3000w @ 240v = 19.2 ohms
              3800w @ 240v = 15.2 ohms
              4500w @ 240v = 12.8 ohms
              5500w @ 240v = 10.5 ohms

              If the "ohms" reading is too low or too high change the element.

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    10. Why am I intermittently or unexpectedly running out of hot water?

    Answer:


    Check the following:

    • Does the temperature of the water match the dial setting of your thermostat? If Yes, check to
      ensure you do not have any leaking hot water taps. A slight drip over time, in a sense bleeds of
      hot water off the top of the water heater and will lower the temperature of your water.
    • Is the water to your tub/shower come through a single handle faucet? Sometimes the valve seals
      inside can swell and reduce the amount of water coming out. Check this with another double
      handled faucet, and see if the temperature is the same or higher. (use a thermometer when
      checking temperatures)
    • Do you leave your water lines on to your laundry washing machine? Sometimes you can get a back
      feed through the machine (even if it is off). Try turning both the hot and cold valves off to your
      washing machine and test again.
    • Do you have hard water in your area? Lime and sediment can collect at the bottom of the heater
      and reduce the heat transfer to the water since the heat has to heat the sediment before it heats
      the water. Flushing water through the drain valve, will give you an indication of how much
      sediment is in the heater. Be cautious, the water may be VERY HOT, and run the water until it runs
      clear. If sediment gets in the seat of the valve, the water may not turn off completely and drip once
      you are done.
    • Try this test:

        Please read all the steps of the test prior to beginning. If you feel uncomfortable
        performing any of these steps, contact a service person to conduct this test for you.

        1.  At the faucet nearest to the water heater, time (in seconds) how long it takes to fill a 1 gallon
             bucket (flow rate).

        Gallon per minute (gpm) = 60 seconds / seconds to fill a 1 gallon bucket If the bucket fills in:

            • 10 sec = 6 gpm
            • 12 sec = 5 gpm
            • 15 sec = 4 gpm
            • 20 sec = 3 gpm
            • 24 sec = 2.5 gpm

        2.  Turn both upper and lower thermostat dials on the water heater to 130° F.
        3.  Run about 15 gallons of hot water from the nearest faucet. Shut water off.
        4.  The water heater should complete heating 15 gallons in approximately 45 minutes.
        5.  At a nearby faucet using a candy thermometer, measure the hot water temperature.
        6.  The temperature should fall between 120ºF to 140 ºF. If the temperature was not within
             range, check the thermostats.
        7.  Continue running the hot water until 60% of the tank capacity is depleted:

        CAPACITY DEPLETE:

            • 30 gallons 18 gallons
            • 40 gallons 24 gallons
            • 50 gallons 30 gallons
            • 66 gallons 39 gallons
            • 80 gallons 48 gallons
            • 120 gallons 72 gallons

        8.   At the same faucet using a candy thermometer, measure the water temperature.
        9.  The temperature should be about 30ºF below the temperature in step 6. If more than 30ºF
             was lost, check the lower element for continuity and the dip tube.
        10. Inspect and/or Replace a Dip tube. If you are experiencing situations where running out of
              hot water unexpectedly you may need to replace your dip tube.

        THE DIP TUBE IS CONNECTED TO THE COLD WATER INLET OF YOUR WATER HEATER.

        1.  Turn off the power if electric. If gas, unplug and turn off the incoming gas supply to the
             water heater.
        2.  Turn off the cold inlet water supply to the heater.
        3.  Open a hot water faucet located nearby. Leave it open. (Turn off water supply to house if
             single handle faucets could be opened during this procedure.)
        4.   Open the drain and drain off approximately 5 gallons of water from the heater.
        5.   Disconnect the cold water supply line from your water heater.
        6.   Put a thick layer of rags around the threads of the cold water inlet nipple to avoid damaging
              the threads when you unscrew the nipple.
        7.   Using a plumber's wrench (Pipe wrench), unscrew the cold water inlet nipple-dip tube
              combination. (A helper may be required to steady the heater.)
        8.   Inspect for damage, such as a split, crack or fracture; replace the dip tube if necessary. If
              dip tube is completely missing, check the hot water outlet to eliminate the possibility of mix-
              up at installation.
        9.   Wrap threads of the new dip tube with "White Teflon Tape" or use "Teflon Pipe Dope". And
             install the (new) dip tube into tank and tighten.
        10. Reconnect the cold water supply line to the heater.
        11. Turn water supply back on and ensure the tank is completely filled with water. Open a
              faucet to release air from the plumbing system.
        12. If electric turn the power back on; or if gas, turn on the gas supply to the unit and follow
              the lighting instructions on the side of the water heater.

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    11. Why is my gas water heater condensating?

    Answer:


    Condensate is the result of air borne water vapor being chilled below the dew point. The dew point
    is the temperature at which water vapor turns into liquid. Low incoming water temperatures cool
    the piping and the heat transfer surfaces of the water heater. When the main burner comes on, the
    hot flue gases turn into condensate upon contact with these surfaces. The typical home water
    heater will produce about one-half gallon of water vapor during every hour of operation.
    Condensate is often mistaken for leaking.

    Newer heaters will condensate more than older heaters because modern water heaters are much
    more efficient than their predecessors. The newer heaters utilize as much of the energy out of the
    main burner flame as possible. This lowers the flue gas and tank storage temperature and closer
    to the dew point temperature.

    To distinguish between a condensating water heater and a leaking water heater:

    1. Wipe up any water under the heater.
    2. Turn the knob on the thermostat to the pilot position.
    3. Wait 8 hours, check for water accumulation under the heater.
    4. Condensation should stop when the entire tank of water is heated above approximately
        115 degrees
        • If no water is found under the heater, the water heater was condensating.

        • If water is found under the heater, check further for a loose fitting. If all fittings are tight and
          the tank is leaking, replace the water heater. Leaking heaters cannot be "repaired".

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    12. Should I use a water heater insulation blanket?

    Answer:


    Insulation blankets available to the general public for external use on gas water heaters are not
    necessary with GSW/John Wood products. The purpose of an insulation blanket is to reduce the
    standby heat loss encountered with storage tank heaters. Your GSW/John Wood water heater
    meets or exceeds the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act standards with respect to
    insulation and standby loss requirements, making an insulation blanket unnecessary. Please note
    that the following change has been incorporated since the time that your instruction manual was
    printed. Contrary to the warranty exclusion listed on the back of the instruction manual that came
    with your water heater, the use of an insulation blanket will not void your warranty.

    WARNING!
    If you choose to apply an insulation blanket to your water heater, you should follow the
    instructions (see your water heater's instruction manual for identification of components mentioned
    below). Failure to follow these instructions can restrict the air flow required for proper combustion,
    resulting in fire, asphyxiation, serious personal injury or death.

    1. Do not apply insulation to the top of the water heater, as this will interfere with safe operation of
        the draft hood.
    2. Do not cover the outer door, thermostat or temperature & pressure relief valve.
    3. Do not allow insulation to come within 2" of the floor to prevent blockage of combustion air flow
        to the burner.
    4. Do not cover the instruction manual. Keep it on the side of the water heater or nearby for
        future reference.
    5. Do obtain new warning and instruction labels from GSW Water Heating for placement on the
        blanket directly over the existing labels.
    6. Do inspect the insulation blanket frequently to make certain it does not sag, thereby obstructing
        combustion air flow.

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    13. I have more than one water heater - is there a better way to pipe them?

    Answer:


    Piping in series can cause the first heater to fail sooner than the second. The reason this happens is
    you are using the full capacity of the first heater and only upon an increased demand, is the second
    heater cycled on. This causes the first heater to be used more than the second, and used to its
    fullest capacity. This can cause the first heater to condensate and corrode.

    The better choice is to pipe in parallel. Piping in parallel allows you to use both heaters equally. It
    allows the system to act as one heater rather than independent. By drawing hot water out of both
    heaters equally, you are able to equalize the life of your heaters.



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    14. What does it mean if my water is rusty?

    Answer:


    This problem will rarely occur as a result of a water heater or storage tank. Rusty coloured water is
    caused by the water coming in contact with bare metal. In order for this to happen, a lining failure
    would have to be so significant that it would allow the water to come in contact with enough bare
    metal to discolour the contents of even a small tank. Fortunately, with today's high quality
    glass-lined tanks, this is a very rare occurrence. Instead, the common cause of rusty coloured water
    is a bacteria (Crenothrix, Leptothfix and Gailionella) that reduces the iron found in water. This
    bacteria is found in soil, water wells, water treatment plants and water distribution piping systems
    where soluble iron exceeds 0.2 ppm. The bacteria feeds off this soluble iron and if not treated and
    allowed to flourish, will result in stained laundry, tablewear and plumbing fixtures. If this bacteria
    exists in your heater or tank, you may require new anode rod(s), as they will fail prematurely in
    these conditions.

    Solution:


    Chlorinate your water heater or hot water storage tank. A chlorine feeder may be the only
    permanent solution to iron or sulfur bacteria infestation.

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    15. What does it mean if my water smells bad?

    Answer:


    The most common cause of smelly water is a bacteria that is already present in water, but grows
    rapidly when kept in a warm water environment such as water heaters or hot water storage tanks.
    This bacteria (called Divibrio Sulfuricans) reduces sulfates that are also contained in the water to a
    point where they are converted into sulfides. Sulfides, when mixed with hydrogen produce an
    unpleasant rotten egg odor called HYDROGEN SULFIDE GAS.

    Contributing factors to this odour are high concentrations of sulfates (these feed the bacteria), active
    hydrogen and water with little or no oxygen. Hydrogen although is sometimes already present in the
    water, is increased by the anode rod(s) found in your water heater. Permanently removing the
    anode rod(s) is not a suggested remedy as this will void your tank warranty. Examples of when you
    you might find water low on oxygen would be water heating systems served by well water such as
    vacation or weekend cottages, or any water heater with long standby periods as well as municipal
    water systems with large reserves and low flow conditions. Solution: Chlorinate your water heater
    or hot water storage tank. A chlorine feeder may be the only permanent solution to iron or sulfur
    bacteria infestation. Change anode rod from magnesium to aluminum.

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    16. What does it mean if my water looks "milky" or "cloudy"?

    Answer:


    When water is drawn from the hot tap, it appears to be milky. After allowing the water to stand for
    several minutes, the water will clear.

    Gases such as oxygen, chlorine, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and others are soluble in water.
    As the pressure increases, the amount of gas that water can hold in a solution decreases. "Milky"
    water caused by dissolved gasses can be much reduced with aerated faucets. However, sometimes
    milky water cannot be cured entirely.

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    17. Why is my new water heater making noises such as "crackling", "gurgling" or "popping"?

    Answer:


    In a few isolated parts of Canada and the United States where the water supply has a relatively high
    pH (8+), water conditions will react with the aluminum anode to form excessive amounts of aluminum
    hydroxide on the anode rod and in the bottom of the tank. Aluminum hydroxide looks like “jelly beads”
    or a green, blue or gray gel like substance in the heater drain or at faucet aerators.

    This problem can be solved by following these steps:

    If tank is new with no lime build-up of any degree:
    1. Turn off the heater.
    2. Remove the anode.
    3. Flush the tank thoroughly with water.
    4. Replace the aluminum anode (identifiable by smooth surface on plug) with magnesium anode
      (identifiable by weld bead on plug).
    If the tank is new with lime build-up to any degree:
    1. Turn off the heater.
    2. Drain the heater.
    3. Remove the anode.
    4. Add UN-LIME to the tank.

    5. - 20-40 gallon models (use 3 gallons of UN-LIME)
      - 41-65 gallon models (use 5 gallons of UN-LIME)
      - 66-100 gallon models (use 7 gallons of UN-LIME)
      (On electric models, be certain the lower element is immersed in solution.)

    6. Heat the UN-LIME to a temperature between 140ºF to 160 ºF.

      - GAS - Heat for 7 to 10 minutes.
      - ELECTRIC - Power off and remove the yellow wire from terminal 2 on the upper thermostat.
      Move the red wire from terminal 4 of the upper thermostat to terminal 2 of the upper
      thermostat. This allows operation of the lower element only. Restore power to the heater. Be
      certain that only the lower element is operating. Heat for 7 to 10 minutes.

    7. Shut off the water heater.
    8. Allow the heated UN-LIME to stand for up to 12 minutes.
    9. Drain and flush the tank. Caution: UN-LIME will still be hot.
    10. Replace the original aluminum anode with a magnesium anode.
    11. Fill the system with water.
    12. On electric models, return the wiring to its original configuration.
    13. Turn heater fuel “ON”.
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    18. Why does my hot water appear rusty/brown/black/yellow?

    Answer:


    Complaints of discolored water are commonly blamed on water heaters and storage tanks, but in
    fact, it is a rare occurrence for today’s high quality glass lined tanks to have a lining failure significant
    enough to allow water to contact enough bare metal to discolor the contents of even a small tank.
    The most common cause of “rusty” water is a non-toxic iron reducing bacteria, scientifically termed
    Crenothrix, Leptothrix, and Gallionella. Iron bacteria is commonly found in soil, water wells, water
    treatment plants and water distribution piping systems where soluble iron exceeds 0.2 ppm, higher
    levels make conditions even more favorable. Soluble iron in the water provides food for the bacteria.
    Rusty discolored water is the end result of the bacteria feeding process. Water heaters and storage
    tanks usually require new anode rods as presence of iron bacteria contributes to premature anode
    failure.



    The requirements for the bacteria to thrive are:

    • Elevated levels of iron and manganese in the water
    • Water with little or no dissolved oxygen
    • Temperatures below 138 degrees F

    Items that can increase the potential for this bacteria are:

    • Water softeners
    • Well water
    • Long periods of no water movement

    The simplest treatment available is shock-chlorination of the system. This is a surface treatment,
    and often requires repeated trials in heavily infected systems. The chlorination of a system requires
    that you follow each step explicitly to avoid an un-treated portion of the piping system from
    reinfecting another part.

    Since rusty water is caused by a bacteria presence and is not caused by the water heater, any
    treatment would not be considered warranty related.


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    19. What is thermal expansion?

    Answer:


    When water is heated it expands. For example, the volume of water in a 50 US gallon hot water
    heater will increase by almost one gallon when heated from 40ºF (4.4°C) to 140ºF (60°C). Heating
    water results in a decrease in density and thereby an increase in volume (see below). Since water
    is not compressible, the extra volume produced by expansion must go somewhere.



    Residential plumbing systems with pressure reducing valves, backflow preventers or other one-way
    valves create closed systems that do not allow the water to flow back into the municipal water supply.
    Therefore, system pressure increases.

    Thermal expansion of water, combined with the incoming water pressure, in a closed plumbing
    system may cause unusually high pressure and pressure surges in the system. Excessively high water
    pressure can result in the chronic or continuous dripping of a temperature and pressure (T&P) relief
    valve, dripping faucets and leaking toilet tank ball cock fill valves.

    Excess water pressure can also cause damage to the inner tank of the water heater such as distortion
    of the flue and water connections. A collapsed flue can lead to the products of combustion spilling into
    living spaces creating an extremely dangerous situation. Damaged water connections may leak and a
    distorted inner tank may rupture and cause flooding (see below).

    Thermal expansion can be managed by installing either a thermal expansion tank or a water relief
    valve with a setting that is lower than the water heater Temperature & Pressure (T&P) relief valve*
    setting. An expansion tank allows the increase in water volume to enter the tank until the system is
    opened or the water cools down whereas a relief valve allows the water to exit the system in to a
    suitable drain or discharge location.

    Note: *A temperature and pressure relief valve is not considered a thermal expansion device. It is
    not designed to remediate thermal expansion. (See the answer to question 27 - Temperature &
    Pressure Relief Valves).

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    20. Is having a water softener harmful to my water heater?

    Answer:


    The use of water softeners in hard water areas and even moderately soft water areas is becoming a
    common occurrence. This practice has a potentially detrimental effect on the performance of the
    anode in the water heater which can cause a reduction in the life of the water heater.

    Softened water can affect the performance of your water heater as follows:


  • The sodium from the water softener reduces the hardness of the water, but it does not reduce the
        conductivity of the water. Excessive conductivity in the water will accelerate anode rod
        decomposition resulting in more rapid anode consumption.
  • If the resin bed of the softener is not properly rinsed after regenerating the resin, residual salt will
        get into the heater. This will increase the conductivity of the water and result in more rapid anode
        consumption.
  • Water softeners accelerate anode consumption because they eliminate the formation of scale in the
        water heater tank. Light scale formation in a water heater is desirable since it forms a barrier film
        on the exposed steel surfaces in the tank, such as pipe connections and weld areas. Corrosion cell
        tests at the Corporate Technology Center have shown steel corrosion rate drop of 33% with the
        formation of a thin (<1/16”) film of scale after only three weeks in moderate conductivity water (17
        grains hardness). By allowing a thin layer of scale to form on the tank, the steel would be protected,
        therefore, increasing the life of the anode.

  • Back to top

    21. How do I complete cathodic protection and inspection for anode rods?

    Answer:


    Glass lined water heaters are supplied with sacrificial magnesium anode rods that protect the interior
    of the tank through cathodic action. As the rod works, it slowly dissolves over time and must be
    replaced when it is totally consumed. The nature of the water being heated effects the length of time
    an anode rod will last. Water conditioning, such as over softening, can accelerate the rate at which
    the anode rod is consumed. To prolong the life of a water heater, it is recommended that the anode
    rod be inspected every year and replaced when depleted. When new, the anode rod is approximately
    3/4" in diameter. It should be replaced once it is 3/8" or when any of the mild steel inner core is
    exposed.

    ANODE ROD INSPECTION INSTRUCTIONS:

    1. Locate the anode rod on top of the water heater. It is accessible through the hole closest to the
      center of the tank. There will be insulation covering it and there may be a plastic cap over the
      access hole. The anode rod has a 1 1/16th inch hex head.
    2. Turn off the power if electric. If gas, turn valve from “on” to “pilot” on the water heater.
    3. Turn off the cold / inlet water supply to the heater.
    4. Drain off approximately 5 gallons of water from the unit.
    5. Using a 1 1/16th socket wrench, remove the anode rod. (It could be well tightened from the
      factory.)
    6. Inspect anode rod for consistent pitting. If pitting is consistent and thicker than 3/8” in
      diameter, reinstall rod. If rod is less than 3/8” in diameter, or bare inner core is exposed, other
      than at each end, replace anode rod. Anode rods are available at most hardware/plumbing
      stores. They can be cut to size with a hack saw. GSW uses ¾ inch NPT threads.
    7. Wrap threads of the anode with plumber’s tape or use pipe dope approved for use with potable
      water, and install the (new) anode into tank and tighten.
    8. IMPORTANT: Turn water supply back on and ensure the tank is completely filled-up with water
      by opening all the hot water faucets in the house to release the air in plumbing system. Allow
      the water to run for three minutes before closing the faucets.
    9. Turn the power back on, or turn the dial on the gas valve from “pilot” back to “on” depending
      upon your unit.
    If you do not fully understand the above instructions or are not comfortable servicing your water heater,
    contact a qualified service technician or GSW Technical Services at 1-888-GSW-TECH (1-888-479-8324).


    Back to top

    22. How do I complete a chlorination procedure?

    Answer:


    1. Turn off the electrical switch or shut off main gas supply.
    2. Close the cold water inlet valve to the heater.
    3. Open a hot water faucet within the system to relieve tank pressure.
    4. Drain 2-5 gallons of water to allow the addition of bleach to the tank. Use a hose connected to
      the drain valve if an open drain is not adjacent to the heater. CAUTION: Water may be HOT.
    5. Remove anode rod or disconnect the hot water outlet pipe from the heater.
    6. Using a funnel in the anode rod or hot water opening, add one gallon of household chlorine
      bleach (e.g. Clorox, Javex ) for every 25 gallons of tank capacity. Re-pipe the heater.
    7. Reinstall anode rod(s) after inspecting and replacing as needed
    8. Open the cold water inlet valve at the heater and fill the tank with water. Then draw the water
      to every hot water fixture, until the smell of chlorine is detected. Operate dish and clothes
      washers until a noticeable amount of the chlorine is detected as well. All hot water lines must
      receive treatment.
    9. Close inlet valve.
    10. Leave the bleach mixture in the system for a minimum of two hours.
    11. After two hours, drain the bleach mixture from the tank through the heater drain valve.
      *TIP: Reserve the bleach water for your laundry and save water!
    12. Close the heater drain valve. Open cold water inlet valve and completely fill the tank with fresh
      water. To ensure that the water heater is full of water and that all the air has been purged
      from the system, run all the hot water faucets in the house continuously for three (3) minutes.
      If you can still smell chlorine at the faucets run them until there is no longer any odour.
      Do not supply power to this water heater until you have verified that the unit is
      completely filled with water.
    13. Check for water leaks at all fittings used; repair as necessary.
    14. Turn on the manual electrical switch or gas valve from step 1 above.
      Ensure tank is full of water to prevent dry-firing.
    15. Check for normal water heater operation.
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    23. What should the periodic maintenance be for my FVIR water heater?

    Answer:


    Periodic Cleaning of the Wrap-around Filter is Required

    1. If inspection of the filter shows a build-up of dirt or debris on the filter, it should be cleaned.
    2. The filter can be vacuumed to remove the build-up.
    3. A visual inspection of the flame-arrester is also recommended. Refer to the paragraph below
      describing the cleaning of the flame arrester.
    Note: Visually inspect the flame arrester by placing a mirror underneath the water heater. A flashlight
    can be used to illuminate the slots in the flame arrester if necessary. Routine cleaning of the flame
    arrester is recommended if inspection shows accumulation of debris on the flame arrester. Refer to the
    paragraph below describing the cleaning of the flame arrester.

    Periodically a visual inspection should
    be made of the venting and air supply system, piping systems, main burner, pilot burner and flame
    arrester.

    Check the water heater for the following:

    • Obstructions, damage or deterioration in the venting system. Make sure the ventilation and
      combustion air supplies are not obstructed.
    • Build-up of soot and carbon on the main burner and pilot burner. Check for a soft blue flame.
    • Leaking or damaged water and gas piping.
    • Presence of flammable or corrosive materials in the installation area.
    • Presence of combustible materials near the water heater.
    • Presence of debris on the outside of the flame arrester. See note below.
    Important: Verify proper operation after servicing this water heater. If you are unsure of this
    inspection procedure or the proper operation of the water heater and its special safety features, enlist
    the services of a qualified service technician.

    External Cleaning of the Flame-arrester

    Important: It is
    recommended that the flame arrester be visually inspected periodically for accumulation of dust, lint
    and other debris, especially if the heater is installed in areas having a high dust and/or lint content.


    Any such accumulation should be CLEANED as follows:


    1. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove all loose debris in the flame arrester.
    2. If necessary, a soft bristle brush can be used to dislodge any remaining debris.
    3. Repeat step 1 as necessary to completion.



    4. Back to top

      24. How often should I drain and flush my water heater? What are the steps?

      Answer:


      It is recommended that the tank be drained and flushed every 6 months to remove sediment which
      may buildup during operation. The water heater should be drained if being shut down for extended
      periods of time.



      WARNING: A water heater is capable of producing hot water at a temperature sufficient enough to
      cause scalding injury. Take proper precautions when draining a water heater to prevent scalding in jury.



      GAS-FIRED WATER HEATER:

      To drain the tank, perform the following steps:

      1. Turn off the gas to the water heater with the manual gas shut-off valve.
      2. Close the cold water inlet valve.
      3. Open a nearby hot water faucet.
      4. Connect a hose to the drain valve and terminate it to an adequate drain.
        Note: The drain hose should be rated for at least 94°C (200°F). If the drain hose does not
        have this rating, open the cold water inlet valve and nearby hot faucet until the water is no
        longer hot. Open the water heater drain valve and allow all the water to drain from the tank.
        Flush the tank with water as needed to remove sediment.
      5. Close the drain valve, refill the tank, and restart the heater as directed under “Operating
        Instructions”. If the water heater is going to be shut down for an extended period, the drain
        valve should be left open.
      Important: Condensation may occur when refilling tank and should not be confused with a tank leak.

      ELECTRIC WATER HEATER:

      NOTE: Make sure power is turned off in the case of electric heaters. Electric elements will burn out if
                they are operated in a "dry" tank.

      1. Turn off water supply.
      2. If floor drain is not near water heater, connect a garden hose to drain valve and direct to floor
        drain.
      3. To speed the flow of water, open a hot water tap to let air into tank at a single handled faucet
        nearby.
      4. Allow water to run, until water is clear and no discolouration in water.
      5. Turn drain valve off once water is clear.
      6. Turn water supply back on. Fill tank with water.
      7. Make sure tank is completely filled with water. Turn nearby faucet off.
      8. Check for leaks.
      9. Restore power.
      Back to top

      25. I found a puddle of water around my water heater. What happened?

      Answer:


      Water accumulating on the floor or in the drain pan is generally caused by one of the following
      conditions:

      • Condensation
      • Drain valve leaking
      • Temperature and pressure relief valve leaking
      • Leak from piping on and near the inlet and outlet
      • Leak at gas valve threaded connection (gas models only)
      • Leak from gaskets for electric elements (electric models only)
      • Leak in heater tank

      Here’s how any of the above can be solved:

      CONDENSATION - Condensation should only be noticeable
      after a long draw of hot water. Once the temperature of the tank is above 110F, condensation
      should stop.

      DRAIN VALVE LEAKING - Check to see if the heater drain valve is closed tightly. If the
      leakage cannot be stopped by the handwheel, replace the drain valve.

      TEMPERATURE & PRESSURE
      RELIEF VALVE LEAKING - If the leakage is from temperature and pressure relief valve or its discharge
      pipe, it may represent relief valve activation. The relief valve relieves water slowly when actuating on
      pressure. A closed system can cause pressure to increase in the system. This condition is called
      thermal expansion. The incoming water pressure should also be checked and compared with the
      valve’s rating. If the supply water pressure is higher than the valve’s rating, a pressure reducing valve
      will be needed.

      LEAK FROM PIPING ON AND NEAR THE INLET AND OUTLET - In warm or humid
      locations, condensation can accumulate and run down flue tubes, cold water supply pipe, and heater
      connections. Check connections and fitting for possible leaks.

      LEAK AT GAS VALVE THREADED
      CONNECTION (GAS MODELS ONLY)- Remove valve and reapply pipe joint compound.

      LEAK FROM
      GASKETS FOR ELECTRIC ELEMENTS (ELECTRIC MODELS ONLY) - These gaskets can be replaced. The
      element threads may need to be resealed.



      Back to top

      26. Why do I hear the pipes bang, thump or vibrate when I turn off the water at my
      sink faucet or when I run my dishwasher/washing machine?

      Answer:


      This is referred to as “water hammer”. Water hammer occurs in a piping system when water flowing
      through a pipeline is stopped abruptly. When water hammer occurs, a high intensity pressure wave
      travels back through the piping system until it reaches a point of some relief. The shock wave will then
      surge back and forth between the point of relief and the point of stoppage until the destructive energy
      is dissipated in the piping system. The violent action accounts for “banging”, “thumping”, and/or
      intense vibration in the pipe line. Although noise is generally associated with the occurrence of water
      hammer, it can occur without audible sound or noise. Quick closure always causes some degree of
      shock with or without noise. The common cause of water hammer is single lever faucets
      (sinks/lavatories) or automatic solenoid valves (dishwashers, washing machines, etc.). The speed of
      the valve closure time is directly related to the intensity of the surge pressure.

      Water hammer can
      effect the performance of your water heater in several ways, such as causing an:

      • Expanded Tank Shell - This can be demonstrated by measuring the circumference at various
        locations along the shell. Pressures in excess of the maximum design working pressure can
        cause permanent deformation of the shell.
      • Collapsed Flue Tube - This will choke off the ability to vent the products of combustion causing
        the flame and/or combustion to spill out from the combustion chamber. Often this will occur
        where thinning of the flue tube walls has occurred due to contamination of the combustion air
        or because of excessive condensation.
      • Inverted or Deformed Tank Heads - Often this accompanies collapsed flues, but one or both
        heads can be deformed.

      The only effective means of control is to install water hammer arrestors. These devices have
      diaphragms which separate an air chamber from the water in the piping system. As the shock wave
      reaches this device, the air chamber absorbs the shock. Arrestors should be located as close as
      possible to the source of the shock wave.



      Back to top

      27. What are temperature and pressure relief valves?

      Answer:


      All storage type water heaters must be equipped with a properly functioning Temperature and
      Pressure (T&P) relief valve. These valves must be certified as meeting the requirements of the
      Standard for Relief Valves for Hot Water Supply Systems, ANSI Z21.22/CSA 4.4.

      The T&P relief valve is a safety device that serves two functions:

      1. It is designed to open and relieve water should the pressure in the water heater exceed the
        rated working pressure of the unit, 150 psi (1034 kPa). It will also open in the event that the
        temperature in the tank exceeds 210°F (99°C).
      2. If the T&P valve opens due to excess pressure, there will be either dripping or a small
        continuous flow of water that relieves the pressure. If, on the other hand, it opens due to a
        high temperature condition, the valve will open completely and allow the whole tank to empty
        until cool water resets the thermal probe on the T&P. Both excessive pressure and high
        temperatures in water heaters are extremely hazardous.
      Under normal water heater operating conditions, the T&P valve should not open. T&P valve discharge
      indicates an abnormal condition in the system; the valve is performing its designated function. The
      cause of the abnormal condition must be investigated and remedied.

      Elevated water pressure can be caused by thermal expansion* and/or high incoming water pressure.
      These conditions can be managed by installing a thermal expansion tank and/or a pressure reducing
      valve in the system.

      High water temperature can be remedied by replacing the thermostat, aquastat or combination gas
      control-aquastat dependent on the model.

      In addition, the T&P valve may discharge because calcium (lime) or sediment has accumulated in the
      valve preventing it from seating properly. In this case, the T&P valve must be replaced.

      The T&P valve pressure setting and C.S.A. rating (see figure below) must not be greater than the
      working pressure of the water heater and must be higher than input of the water heater respectively.

      Graphic of T&P Pressure Valve

      Manually operate the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve at least once a year to make sure it is
      working properly. To prevent water damage, the valve must be properly connected to a discharge line
      that terminates at an adequate drain. While standing clear of the outlet (discharged water may be hot),
      slowly lift and release the test lever handle (see figure below) on the T&P valve to allow the valve to
      operate freely and return to its closed position. If the valve fails to completely reset and continues to
      release water, immediately turn the fuel and the cold water supply off. Call a qualified service technician.

      Temp and Pressure Valve

      Note: A temperature and pressure relief valve is not considered a thermal expansion device. It is not
               designed to remediate thermal expansion.

      Back to top

      28. What are heat trap fittings?

      Answer:


      As part of the redesign of our water heaters to meet the 2004 Natural Resources Canada energy
      efficiency standard, GSW has added heat traps to the cold water inlet and the hot water outlet on
      most of our products. These thermoplastic devices are designed to reduce stand-by heat loss from
      water heaters. GSW heat traps have a tadpole design.

      The tadpole in the cold water inlet heat trap (blue) is lighter than water. As cold water is drawn into
      the tank, it is pushed down, it then floats up to reseat when water flow stops. It is furnished as a dip
      tube assembly.

      A heavier-than-water tadpole in the heat trap for the hot water outlet (pink) is pushed up when hot
      water is drawn from the tank, and then sinks to reseat in the absence of water flow.

      Each heat trap fitting features safety relief ports to prevent accidental closure of the waterway. In
      addition, these plastic lined galvanized steel nipples create a dielectric waterway that prevents
      galvanic action between dissimilar metals.


      Back to top

      29. How are water heaters made?

      Answer:


      CLICK HERE to see the step-by-step process of a water heater being made.

      Back to top

      30. How do I install a drain valve?

      Answer:


      IMPORTANT:

      To avoid risk of electric shock, make sure the power is turned "off" and remains off until all repairs
      have been completed.

      WARNING:

      A water heater is capable of producing hot water at a temperature sufficient enough to cause scalding
      injury. Take proper precautions when draining a water heater to prevent scalding injury. Read all
      instructions carefully before repairing a water heater.

      Note:

      The installation of a drain valve generally requires the draining of the tank. Make sure power is turned
      off in the case of electric heaters, or the gas control is turned to "PILOT" in the case of gas heaters.
      Electric elements will burn out if they are operated in a "dry" tank, and damage will occur if the gas
      burner comes on with a gas heater which is not filled with water.

      1. Turn "off" water supply and power supply.
      2. Drain tank. To speed the flow of water, open a hot water tap to let air into tank.
      3. Remove existing valve.
      4. Clean the tank threads of any dirt or foreign matter that might affect the proper thread sealing
        of the new valve.
      5. Install new drain valve using a high quality thread sealant (either plumbers tape or approved
        pipe dope).
      6. Fill tank with water and check for leaks. Make sure tank is completely filled with water.
      7. Restore power.

      All instructions are also located on each package containing your new GSW replacement part.

      Back to top

      31. What is the correct installation manual for my water heater?

      Answer:


      To determine the appropriate installation manual, please refer to your specific water heater by selecting browse products or contact our customer service representatives.

      Back to top

      32. How do I determine the proper sized water heater for my application?

      Answer:


      Water heaters can often fail prematurely due to improper sizing. The storage capacities as well as the
      recovery rate are both important factors when sizing a water heating system. Improper sizing can also
      lead to complaints of not enough hot water. It is important to consider not only the volume of water
      required, but the temperature that is required. When a large volume of water is needed within a small
      amount of time, this water is generally supplied from storage. This volume is referred to as the dump
      load. When choosing the appropriate storage tank size, the actual and usable storage will need to be
      addressed. If water is required at a certain gallon per minute rate, this water will generally be
      supplied by the recovery of heater. Keep in mind that any dump loads also need to be included in this
      recovery.

      Some signs of an undersized water heater are:
      • Heavy condensation
      • Rust chips on the burners and flue tubes
      • Not enough hot water
      • Premature tank failure(s)
      When a water heater is properly sized, some condensation will occur. However, excessive
      condensation is not normal and will corrode the heater. The flue tubes, baffles, and burners are
      susceptible to hydrocarbons in condensate and carbonic acid. Continual exposure will weaken the flue
      tubes. Condensation can also spoil combustion and produce a carbon monoxide hazard, with attendant
      risk of serious personal injury or death.

      For assistance in properly sizing a water heater, consult with
      your local John Wood/GSW distributor or contact GSW Water Heating at 1-888-479-9283.



      Back to top

      33. What is the age of my water heater?

      Answer:


      CLICK HERE for a description of the serial numbers to determine the age of your water heater.

      Back to top

      34. How do I register my water heater?

      Answer
      :

      GSW Water Heating does not register tank warranties. We do encourage homeowners to keep the
      invoice or sales receipt of the purchase and installation in a safe place. Each water heater has a serial
      number which is kept in a data bank. When calling GSW Water Heating to inquire about your water
      heater, you will be asked to provide the serial number that is found on the water heater.


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      35. I have been on vacation and now I have air in my hot water lines. Why?

      Answer:

      CAUTION:
      Hydrogen gas can be produced in a hot water system served by this storage tank that has
      not been used for a long period of time (generally two (2) weeks or more). Hydrogen gas is extremely
      flammable and can ignite when exposed to a spark or flame. To reduce the risk of injury under these
      conditions, it is recommended that the hot water faucet be opened for several minutes at the kitchen
      sink before using any electrical appliance connected to the hot water system. Use caution in opening
      faucets. If hydrogen is present, there will probably be an unusual sound such as air escaping through
      the pipe as the water begins to flow. There should be no smoking or open flame near the faucet at the
      time it is open.


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      36. Why are the red and/or blue plastic nipple covers melted on my Atmospheric vented water heater?

      Answer:

      CLICK HERE for more information.


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