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Author Topic: Side arm poor performance findings  (Read 524 times)

Range91

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Side arm poor performance findings
« on: January 29, 2018, 09:35:03 AM »

Side arm has been installed for 2 years and worked ok for first year then this year had to turn water heater on as a helper. I started to look into it farther and side arm was hardly working at all. Decided to investigate and here's what I found
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mlappin

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Re: Side arm poor performance findings
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2018, 11:32:07 AM »

I’d say you have some extremely hard water, least it looks like lime or calcium buildup.
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hrc200x

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Re: Side arm poor performance findings
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2018, 12:22:38 PM »

When my side arm quits working I usually drain the water heater and flush it good, which ends up being every 6 months, and it starts working again. Wonder if draining yours twice a year would have helped? Am a little worried about my new well and what thats going to do to the pipes, but a post of that is just below yours. Is that first pipe copper?
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Range91

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Re: Side arm poor performance findings
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2018, 02:34:12 PM »

So I do have hard water which I didn't realize until this just how bad it was. The majority of the build up was In the upper section about 3 inches down that upper elbow. My thought is that the thermal syphon was drawing the build up from the bottom of my tank and built up there. The bottom section had no build up what so ever. My water heater had 3 inches on the bottom that took me a lot of vacuuming to get out flushing did nothing. This is an electric water heater house of 5
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shepherd boy

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Re: Side arm poor performance findings
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2018, 03:52:33 PM »

Lime sticks to anything that's hot, the top of your sidearm is the hottest spot. Water softener should fix it.
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E Yoder

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Re: Side arm poor performance findings
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2018, 04:17:56 PM »

You'll probably need to circulate something that dissolve lime buildup like Lime Away or The Works. Just backflushing with water won't take off something that is crusted on like that, I would think.
Have you been blowing elements?
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Range91

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Re: Side arm poor performance findings
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2018, 05:26:20 PM »

I pulled it all apart replaced 3/4 copper pipe which was a little difficult and some elbows. It's all back together now and seems to be working better than it ever has. I was in my house for a year before I hooked it up wondering if this has been a problem since day one. I have never blown an element and from how all the crap on the bottom of my tank looked it was scale that had been falling off of them as it was building up then cracking off.
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E Yoder

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Re: Side arm poor performance findings
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2018, 07:34:10 PM »

If you had ball valves to isolate it and boiler drains you could circulate cleaner through it occasionally to prevent it from plugging again. But it's pretty tight fit that in at the drain.
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wreckit87

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Re: Side arm poor performance findings
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2018, 07:36:34 PM »

Not that it's any of my business but ah..... Is that tee in the picture black iron? The one on the bottom of the WH tank that the drain is screwed into..... Sure doesn't look brass, or even galvanized for that matter
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Range91

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Re: Side arm poor performance findings
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2018, 07:57:29 PM »

Brass all day
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wreckit87

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Re: Side arm poor performance findings
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2018, 06:29:56 AM »

Nevermind.... Lol sorry, I see a lot of weird stuff out there in the daily grind
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Range91

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Re: Side arm poor performance findings
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2018, 06:40:43 AM »

All good wreckit just wanted to get some info out there on problems that can happen with these side arms most people don't seem to have a lot of issues with them. I'll be getting a softener soon does anyone have any suggestions on brand? Up flow vs down flow? Seems like the upflow is way to go less water during regen and a lot less salt.
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mlappin

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Re: Side arm poor performance findings
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2018, 11:34:50 AM »

All good wreckit just wanted to get some info out there on problems that can happen with these side arms most people don't seem to have a lot of issues with them. I'll be getting a softener soon does anyone have any suggestions on brand? Up flow vs down flow? Seems like the upflow is way to go less water during regen and a lot less salt.

I installed a Water Boss a few years ago, has worked really well, doesn’t use much salt and has a regeneration time of less than half what it took the old one. Self Iinstalled, think I got it on sale for less than $400. Our water is around 37 grains of hardness, the Water Boss takes it to less than one.
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Range91

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Re: Side arm poor performance findings
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2018, 06:34:28 PM »

Thanks for the reply I'll look into them.
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