Draining a water heater

Hello, all. In all my 30 or so years of home ownership, I've never been able to drain a water heater by following the prescribed procedure: Attach a hose to the drain, turn off water supply to the heater, open the nearest hot water faucet, then open the drain valve. I've never been able to get any water out this way. The only way I can drain anything is to close the nearest faucet, and turn on the tank's water supply. This forces water out the drain, thus at least draining some of the sediment from the tank.
So what am I doing wrong that the "normal" method does not work for me?
Thanks, Jack
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After you turn off the water supply, attach an air compressor to the hot water. (if you can't do that, turn off the water to the house and attach the compressor to an outside faucet) Works great.
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wrote:

I stopped messing with draining my water heater. A few times I did; they seem to fail shortly later. I've read once that you only really need to drain a few gallons of water out. Like I say I stopped fooling with them. -- Oren
..through the use of electrical or duct tape, achieve the configuration in the photo..
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Try this:
Shut off the cold supply Open a faucet in a tub or sink Connect a drain hose and route to a sump pit or similar Open the drain valve. Turn on the cold for 5 secs and water should start flowing from the drain and from the faucet Turn off the cold and the water should then drain from the tank.
That's good for draining it, if that's your main objective. I've found that I get more sediment out if I keep the faucets closed and just open the drain, then pulse the cold water on and off for a few seconds at a time.
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remove a couple of gallons from the drain.
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I have had the same problem, except for one hot water heater.
I have done all the things, open valves, do this, do that, but it doesn't seem to work. By the time the heater's ready to give up the ghost, it's probably full of crud, too. I've twisted off more than one valve trying to get it to drain, then moving a full water heater is a bitch. One had a catch pan with a drain, so I made a nice .38 caliber hole near the bottom, and it drained fine.
The one I don't have any problems with was installed in 1987 in my cabin. It is drained every year, and is still going strong. I may get rid of it this year, utilize the space, and go to on demand system. I'm going to miss it, though. Someone painted a very good mountain mural on it complete with waterfall and jumping trout.
Steve
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the tankless type arent as good for most people. is your cabins heater gas or electric?
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Thanks for the responses, all. I guess it's nice to know I'm not the only one experiencing this problem!
Jack
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