So I just tried to drain my water heater...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by chet again, May 21, 2019.

  1. chet again

    chet again Tele-Meister

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    I followed the instructions:
    Turned the power off by turning off the breakers.
    Opened the hot water faucets to use up all the hot water in the heater.
    Shut the cold water valve off to stop water from going into the water heater.
    I have a hose running to a drain in my basement floor connected to the drain valve. I opened the valve.

    Nothing.

    Yes, I even opened the pressure relief valve. Water came out of it until the water level was too low.

    I think the sediment is blocking the drain valve. On a YouTube vid a guy comments that the opening on the plastic drain valves is too small and get clogged up.

    Trying to figure out what my next step will be. How do I drain a water heater full of water to replace the drain valve if the sediment is built up so much in the bottom of the heater?

    Any opinions are welcome.

    Life as a home owner is not simple...
     
  2. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I called a plumber about my water heater and asking whether it needed to be serviced. It was new when we bought our house 10 years ago. He said that it's too late-- that sediment buildup
    is too much at this point and to just leave it alone and then replace it when it starts leaking. He said that trying to do proper maintenance at this point is actually more likely to cause it
    to break. He said that normally if you are going to do this maintenance you need to do it roughly once a year.
    We have very hard water here with lots of mineral buildup....
     
  3. Torren61

    Torren61 Tele-Afflicted

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    Can you unscrew the faucet from he water heater?
     
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  4. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    If you don't flush the sediment valve once a year it'll break and you're stuck with it, it will start to leak and eventually you have to replace the unit.

    Happened to me, I didn't know any better, but the water heater was like 8-9 years old so it was no big deal at that point.
     
  5. chet again

    chet again Tele-Meister

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    Ruh-Roh…
     
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  6. watercaster

    watercaster Tele-Meister

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    I'd try a bent coat hanger or a drill bit chucked into a drill and try poking it clear.
     
  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yup, this should be an annual event to extend the life of your water heater. I would get some stiff bailing wire or cost hangar wire as suggested above to poke up through the valve into the tank ... after you have let the hot water in the tank cool down. It is just flakey rust and sometimes you can break through it. Once you do, close the valve, reconnect and then open the valve to drain.

    Good luck.
     
  8. chet again

    chet again Tele-Meister

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    The heater was installed in 2013.

    I'd like to try to drain the water out somehow and put a new drain valve and anode rod in it. I think one of the heater elements may be bad also.
     
  9. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I was told by a master plumber that the circa 1987 tank we got 27 years out of with no maintenance was the last of a breed.

    And that the very good quality American made tank we put in then would be lucky to last 15...with annual maintenance.
     
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  10. chet again

    chet again Tele-Meister

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    You'd think that a plumber would say that. He'll sooner it fails then the sooner he'll make money...
     
  11. chet again

    chet again Tele-Meister

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    How much did it cost to replace it? (might as well ask)
     
  12. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    The plumber that I asked wasn't looking for my business. He was being honest. I half joke that if my son decides he doesn't want
    to do the college thing that if he becomes an electrician or plumber he can make a great living and go surfing whenever he feels like it.
    Plumbers and electricians in my neck of the woods are completely busy and turn away work regularly because they have more than they
    can handle.
     
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  13. chet again

    chet again Tele-Meister

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    My cousin was a plumber. A lot of times it's a pretty dirty, nasty job but it's an honest living.
     
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  14. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    If I were a plumber I think I would have my employees deal with the drains and I would focus on the water supply side.
    In most businesses the sh** flows downhill, right?
     
  15. Wildcard_35

    Wildcard_35 Tele-Meister

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    You can do this if you don't mind the area around the water heater being soaked with water. I have a water heater under my house in the crawl space, so when I removed the faucet spigot, lots of water shot out, but it was okay because it was just getting the ground under my house (and me) wet. Anyway, all the sediment came out and I got a couple more years out of my water heater. Just be careful to let the water in the water heater cool for a few hours, because you do NOT want a blast of hot water shooting out at you.
     
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  16. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I would have unthreaded the pop off valve and used a 3/8 inch thin wall hose to siphon the tank dry...then change my drain valve...

    Edit...and I would definitely spend the money for a new pop off valve as well...
     
  17. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    That could end up as a catastrophic mess.
    Imagine fifty gallons of sludge pouring on to the floor with no shut off.
     
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  18. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    I would opt for a new heater.
    .95 Effeciency rating.
    Nix the extended warranty mess. Just Good Money out of your pocket up-Front.

    $600 or so.
    Always a good idea to chance the supply lines while you are at it.

    I fear the real cost will be Harding the old heater out of your basement.
    Especially if it has to travel up wooden stairs.
    All that wet sediment has a lot of weight.
     
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  19. chet again

    chet again Tele-Meister

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    A friend advised me to look into a pump that you can use a power drill with to siphon out the water through one of the heater element openings with a hose. I'm going to ask about this tonight.
     
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  20. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    It was a few years ago but I want to say about $2k. We had to do some electrical work and add a hardwired CO2 detector as well though.

    I live in Taxachusetts though, everything is expensive here.
     
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