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Draining/Cleaning water heater

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  • Draining/Cleaning water heater

    I would like to clean and drain my water heater. I would like to drain it out through the spigot at the bottom of the tank, connected to a garden hose to run outdoors. Issue is that the water heater itself is sitting in a drain catch pan that has a lip on it that makes it difficult to connect a garden hose to. Even though the pan is connected to a drain pipe, the pipe is up about 1.5 inches in the pan so water would accumulate to that point and I'm afraid that it would seep under the tank and start to cause corrosion, hence the reason for using the hose instead. Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated. Also once the draining has been figured out I would like to open up the tank to get access to the heating element and vacuum out sediment with a shop vac, does this should like overkill with already draining the tank, or a good way to prolong its life? Attached is a picture of the heater and pan.

  • #2
    Try using a more flexible hose such as a rubber washing machine hose. Honestly with an electric heater, flushing is not as critical as the elements are suspended above the bottom of the tank. With a gas heater, the flame has to heat through all the minerals sitting on the bottom of the tank.

    my customers observations tell me that 95% of the heaters never get flushed , or drained. And 95% are gas heaters.

    tankless heaters are much more critical to flush and descale.

    phoebe it is


    • #3
      Like Rick said!
      I would pick a different battle,,,,


      • #4
        Think Anode Rod!!!


        • #5
          Thanks I appreciate the feedback! I will inspect the anode rod and that should be a good indicator of the amount of sediment I'm hoping...


          • #6
            Depends on the water. I've had many electric water heaters fill up with sediment to the point where the bottom element was covered. Just bend the pan out a little with pliers and attach the hose. Make sure you turn off the power first. If it's old and if it was mine I would replace the elements at the same time since the tank will be drained.


            • #7
              I was able to very snugly get the female end of the garden hose to attach to the spigot(while bending the pan away), however it's in such a tight spot that the hose is crimped just past the valve and when I open the valve the water is not getting passed the crimped hose. Could I attach a rubber hose and clamp the end of it at the spigot, or would that leak / be too much pressure?


              • PLUMBER RICK
                PLUMBER RICK commented
                Editing a comment
                7/8'' dishwasher/ heater hose with a #16 hose clamp will also work if you work it onto the hose threads. they also make a 45 degree brass hose shut off/ ball valve with swivel that might also fit and work.


            • #8
              What Rick said. "Try using a more flexible hose such as a rubber washing machine hose."

              Go buy a new set. After you drain the tank, install the new ones on your washing machine.
              Last edited by ArizonaPlumber; 09-16-2014, 06:22 PM. Reason: Brain farted second paragraph.