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Hot Water Heater Draining and Flushing Advisory

10/26/2017 10:08:46 PM

In light of the recent StarNews article, “GenX lawsuit says contaminant found in homes”, we at H2GO obtained the hot water heater test results mentioned in the lawsuit. The StarNews article highlights that hot water heaters across our customer service area have a buildup of GenX, however, the test results reveal accumulations of several other perfluorinated compounds.
Levels of Nafion by-products exceeded 140 PPT, while GenX exceeded 800 PPT. Compounds with four or less fluorinated carbon chains exceeded levels of 4,000 PPT; compounds with five to six fluorinated carbon chains exceeded levels of 1,300 PPT; and compounds with seven or greater fluorinated carbon chains exceeded 180 PPT. The total toxic mixture level in the hot water heater sediment was greater than 5,600 PPT. (Note: The NC DHHS has established a health advisory for GenX at 140 PPT)
With this information, we are urging customers to properly flush and drain their hot water heaters to protect their health and welfare.
1.Turn off the power or gas to the hot water heater.
2.Next, turn the cold-water supply valve off that allows water to flow into the heater.
3.Turn on the hot water faucet in a sink or bathtub to prevent a vacuum from forming.
4.Hook a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and run it outside.
5.Open the drain valve where the hose is attached.
6.Open the pressure relief valve on top of the tank by pulling up on it.
          Make sure you have a bucket beneath the drainage pipe on your pressure relief valve before opening as water will be rush out. Be careful. This water will likely be very hot.
7.Allow the water in the tank to drain out.
8.When the tank is empty, open the cold-water valve for a few minutes to flush out the last remaining sediment.
9.Close the drain valve and pressure relief valve, turn the hot water faucet in your sink or tub off and allow the tank to fill back up.
10.Turn on the hot water in a sink or bathtub to free the line from air (the water will be cold at this point, do not panic).
11.Relight the pilot to the heater if gas, and turn it on.
12.If electric, flip the breaker to restore power to the water heater.
  1. Wait about 20 minutes for the water to heat up and turn on hot water somewhere in your house to ensure hot water is coming out.
  2. If you are not comfortable with this procedure, please contact a licensed plumber.
It is recommended and encouraged that homeowners follow this process at least twice a year to keep hot water heaters clean of sediment buildup and contaminants. We encourage customers to visit our website at www.H2GOonline.com or contact H2GO Executive Director, Bob Walker, for further questions or concerns at (910) 371-9949 ext. 106 or bwalker@H2GOonline.com

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