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  • Help draining water heater

    I am trying to drain my hot water heater. I don't get much hot water when I turn on the faucets. - I open the drain valve, but no water comes out. I turned on all hot water faucets and shut off power. I have tried opening the pressure valve, but it doesn't help. If I keep turning the incoming cold water valve on and off only a little water and sediment comes out.
    Can someone please help me to figure out how to clean out my water heater.

  • #2
    Re: Help draining water heater

    shut the cold valve off, and get some buckets ready. Unscrew the drain valve at the bottom and tap a peice of 1/2" copper into the the hole. When you get some flow, i'd stick the drain valve back on to finished draining it through a hose, but once it's drained you'll need to spend some time scraping the tank bottom clean.

    I'd like to point out though, that if there is that much sediment on the bottom of the tank where you can sort of get to it, their is probably quite a bit on the rest of the tank, the elements, that kind of thing.
    No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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    • #3
      Re: Help draining water heater

      seal off the heater by shutting off the cold water. do not open any faucets in the home, unsrcew the drain valve. water will not come out very fast because it will not be able breathe, but have a bucket ready. after you unscrew the drain valve screw a nipple with a ball valve and hose adaptor on it. cut the water back on and all the sediment will get blown through the full port ball valve.

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      • #4
        Re: Help draining water heater

        i noticed you said you "tried" to open the temerature & pressure relief valve. in other words "you couldn't" open the T&P valve?

        it that's tha case it sounds like you need a professional plumber to replace the T&P and give your HWH/HWT and good cleaning and maybe the once over while he's there.

        hope that helps you out. keep us posted.

        Vince

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        • #5
          Re: Help draining water heater

          You will Likely need to remove the Outlet and clean out deposits there...

          Dave

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          • #6
            Re: Help draining water heater

            a plugged up drain valve is very common as it's the lowest spot on the heater and is a catch all for sediment.

            but you also mention that you get very little water out to the other fixtures.

            sounds like it could be a damaged/ stuck heat trap if the heater is equipped with them.

            basically it's a plastic marble that is located in the col and hot nipples at the inlet and outlet of the heater. they act as a check valve and help retain the heat. it's not uncommon for them to get wedged in the nipple and partially seal the piping.

            not all heaters will have this heat trap. also make sure that your cold water shut off at the heater is actually fully open. sometimes they are broken in the closed position.

            be careful while working with a pressurized heater as the water will still be very hot. so make sure to shut the power and let it cool off for a day if you're not sure.

            probably a good idea to call a pro if all this sounds over your skill level.

            depending on the age and location of the heater, a new heater might be worth it?

            it could be a simple fix for an experienced plumber, or it could be a wise investment to replace it before it totally fails.

            rick.
            phoebe it is

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            • #7
              Re: Help draining water heater

              Have you tried hooking up a sump pump to a hose on the drain valve? Maybe this might bring enough of a vacuum to clear the sediment. Ive used this method to pump water out of a basement from the heater, but I'm not sure how plugged the drain valve was before hand.

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              • #8
                Re: Help draining water heater

                Originally posted by Willbur View Post
                seal off the heater by shutting off the cold water. do not open any faucets in the home, unsrcew the drain valve. water will not come out very fast because it will not be able breathe, but have a bucket ready. after you unscrew the drain valve screw a nipple with a ball valve and hose adaptor on it. cut the water back on and all the sediment will get blown through the full port ball valve.
                That's how I do it. We also carry small air compressors on the truck. Screw it in the relief valve to blow it down when there isn't a floor drain close. Sometimes I'll take the air comp. , screw it on the drain and blow backwards. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't.

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