draining a water heater - does it help?

I'm curious if draining the water heater every year or two does any good? I was thinking of draining it, letting it refill, then draining it again. I recall hearing that this helps clear some of the sediment.
but if it doesn't do any good, then I'd rather not do it.
Any thoughts?
thanks, Paul
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Around my part of the country draining a water heater usually doesn't do much of anything except waste time and leave a leaking drain valve because the lime and calcium is stuck to the bottom and sides and hardly any comes out with the water, just enough to keep the drain valve from closing.
Krystonia5 wrote:

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you dont need to drain it. just open the bottom valve and let it run for 3-4 minutes. if the bottom valve leaks when you try and shut it off, shut off the water going into the water heater, open the bottom valve for about 20 seconds to let the 'pressure' out, re-close the bottom valve, and turn the water back on to the tank. if it still leaks, repeat. ive never had to do it more than twice. usually the first time does it.
does it help? maybe. cant hurt, and most owners manuals suggest the procedure.
randy

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Fellow employee drained some water monthly and when neighbors started losing their heaters he razzed them as his still worked, for about 5 weeks then it went.
On 27 Jul 2004 04:05:50 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Krystonia5) wrote:

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depends on your water. If you decide to do it the trick I use is this connect the hose to the valve, and open the valve on the bottom. Shut off all of the water valves feeding it. Then open the temp/pressure valve so air gets into the tank. Now open a sink hot water valve some where in the house. Just crack it.
Once the water is drained remove the hose and then remove the valve then reconnect the hose turn on the water and start again. Run until the water is clear and no particles, 5-6 minutes,,, wag The valve on the bottom will only allow smaller particles through. Taking it off you will see what I mean. I do mine every year.
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while your at it see if anode needs replacement
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The sediment I find in my water heater is relatively heavy and sinks around the edges of the bottom of the (gas) heater. I think draining the heater would just waste water. What I have done is to replace the cheap plastic drain valve with a 3/4" ball valve. This required a short stem from heater to valve, and a hose fitting was mounted on the outlet side. If I open this valve somewhat quickly when the heater is on, it causes a bit of an "explosion" in the water at the bottom of the heater, which breaks loose and stirs up the sediment, and I can see the loosened sediment in the bottom of the bucket. I *know* I am getting sediment out of the heater. This is the way I "drain the sediment from my gas water heater." When installing the ball valve, I also tried to reach in and clean and scrape sediment out from the bottom of the heater. After several years now, my gas water heater does not rumble any more (due to sediment on its bottom surface). My plan is to remove the brass ball valve when the heater does need to be replaced, and use it on the new one from the start. --Phil
Krystonia5 wrote:

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On 27 Jul 2004 04:05:50 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Krystonia5) wrote:

Nothing good will happen when you drain the heater. Most of the sediment will remain on the bottom of the tank and you will likely damage the drain cock. Maybe it would help if you could turn it upside down and shake it, or open it up and power spray it - but you can't.
Now if you live in the country and have a shallow well, it might help because your well is probably pumping a substantial amount of sand and mud.
Pj
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On 27 Jul 2004 04:05:50 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Krystonia5) wrote:

draining it is no good. You need to just flush it. Open the drain with the water pressure on. IT helps if the drain valve is big. My water heater had a cheapie-no-good plastic valve on it that always leaked. I replaced it with brass 3/4" valve. Now the sediment comes out alright. With the plastic it never did.
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it depends if you have a gas heater or electric on an electric the elements are up in the water so sediment is not as much an issue for a gas one it has to try and heat the water thru the crud!
do need to flush also good idea to use a whole house water filter I am amazed at how red mine gets from rust in the city water
Wayne
(Krystonia5) wrote:

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actually on electric heaters, with hard water, the elements themself will become caked over and what really need to be done is for you to remove the elements and clean them.
randy
(Krystonia5) wrote:

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You'd think by now they'd be teflon coated?
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thats a good idea. some may be... ive got gas now and wouldnt go back. next one is gonna be tankless.
randy
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