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Thread: Hydrogen Gas

  1. #1
    Jim Dull's Avatar
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    Default Hydrogen Gas

    Will hydrogen gas still build up in a water heater in a vacant house if the water heater has the gas and water shut off?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Hydrogen Gas

    Hydrogen Sulfide gas is the byproduct of anaerobic bacteria eating at the anode rod while it is immersed in water. So if you turn the water off and drain the tank it will not build up. But as long as you have water in the tank it can still build up.

    You could removed the anode rod and this would most likely solve the problem as well.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hydrogen Gas

    This is why you're supposed to run some hot water from the faucet for a bit before turning on the dishwasher in a vacant, yes? Dishwashers have been known to explode from the hydrogen?


  4. #4
    Jim Dull's Avatar
    Jim Dull Guest

    Default Re: Hydrogen Gas

    Thanks Scott. I did run the hot water faucets at my last inspection even though the water had been off until the inspection, the tank had been drained, the gas turned off and they even unplugged the ignitor. I appreciate the answer about what causes the buildup because all of the articles I read only said that it would build up and did not address the actual circumstances. I will continue to assume that there is a buildup in any vacant house I inspect.


  5. #5
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  6. #6
    MaMa Mount's Avatar
    MaMa Mount Guest

    Default Re: Hydrogen Gas

    Never knew such a thing as this was possible. Thanks for the info.
    First thing I always done when starting the inspection was turning on the dishwasher and then moving on throughout the house. That won't be happening from now on.

    MaMa


  7. #7
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Default Re: Hydrogen Gas

    Yeah, same here. Never heard of it.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  8. #8
    Patrick McCaffery's Avatar
    Patrick McCaffery Guest

    Default Re: Hydrogen Gas

    Scott,
    My brother-in-law has a water heater that builds up with rust. He flushes it out and then it is OK for a while. Is that the annode tube deteriorating and is it OK? Should the annode tube be removed?

    Thanks


  9. #9
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    Tampa, Fl
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    Default Re: Hydrogen Gas

    Rust is more likely from the tank. There is usually a glass liner in the tank, but it sometimes cracks and then water gets to the steel tank and it can rust. The rust might be from old galv. pipes also.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hydrogen Gas

    You could replace the aluminum annode rod with magnesium rod or vice versa.

    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Hydrogen Gas

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McCaffery View Post
    Scott,
    My brother-in-law has a water heater that builds up with rust. He flushes it out and then it is OK for a while. Is that the annode tube deteriorating and is it OK? Should the annode tube be removed?

    Thanks
    Sounds like a bad tank or he has galvanized pipes somewhere along the line and they are causing the rust.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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