So I go to drain my hot water tank at its one year anniversary and nothing
comes out of the drain valve - well a little drip here and there maybe. I
did all the right things I believe, turned off the cold water, opened up a
hot water tap, hooked a garden hose to the drain valve (cheap plastic valve
that I wouldn't trust for anything).
So I assume its clogged with rust, I have galvanized pipes for my cold water
supply and I know they are at or near the point of failure and all the rust
that comes with that (I have the blue PEX chilling in the office until I
have a chance to start removing the galvanized). So I'm wondering does rust
form a solid mass eventually or can it be loosened up enough to let the
drain do its thing?
I must have a vacuum lock or something similar going on. When I turned on
the cold water tap a trickle of cold water came out of the drain valve,
indicating that at least at some level there is sufficient room for water to
come out. When I disconnected the garden hose there was a distinct sucking
sound indicating vacuum. The manual for this heater says nothing about
doing anything weird or strange. It does request I operate the pressure
release valve for its own maintenance - but not in conjunction with the
When I disconnected the hose and opened the valve on its own - the water
heater made a gurgling noise then a little water dripped out then stopped.
I wonder if that pressure release valve needs to be kicked? Can't test it
because I don't have a way to hook something to it. The moron who installed
it put the right-angle fitting straight down, which means I'll never be able
to screw an elbow or faucet to the valve because the clearance between the
tank body and the valve is too tight. I have to replace the valve to do
it - which means I have to drain the tank, but to do that I wonder if I have
to release the pressure valve. It's sounding kinda circular here.
I found at Lowe's some brass fittings with a garden hose thread on the
end. I know that some were male pipe thread because I wanted those
for a custom drain valve (I've got several failed tank drain valves
that I'm going to replace with a dielectric nipple feeding a threaded
ball valve feeding the garden hose connector whenever I can find some
time when both the girlie and I are home and not working on anything
more pressing) maybe they have some with a sweat connection that you
could just sweat on the end of the T/P outlet pipe? Or just slip on
some heater hose with a worm drive clamp?
I just took the air compressor and blew air back into the tank when mine
did that. It took some flushing, but I eventually got quite a bit of
sediment out of the tank. About 5 years later I had to replace the
tank, so yours may be on its last legs.
For email, replace firstnamelastinitial
with my first name and last initial.
your rusty water lines are depositing rust in your hot water tank. its
past time to replace all the steel lines. USE PEX, its cheap and easy,
flexible really easy.
one day a galavanized line will break and flood your home, the time to
act is now.
Leave it alone.
Your next maintenance schedule is to replace the unit when it fails
or becomes so inefficient that you can't get thru a hot shower.
That may be next week or 5 years from now, so just relax and forget
the annual chore of draining the sediment.
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