Draining water heater

x-no-archive: yes I need to drain my water heater. It's in the garage ,which is convenient cause it opens right to the driveway. I know you have to attach the hose to the faucet and turn that one on to drain the water and residue out. My question is.. do I have to turn off the water heater ? (It's natural gas) .. or the water coming into the water heater? OR can I just attach the hose, turn on the faucet and let 'er rip ? and it fills itself right back up after I'm finished ? Could it possibly be that simple ? <G> thanx
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Turn off the incoming water, turn the on gas knob to pilot, attach the hose to the bib run it out to your driveway, open the hose bib, then open a hot water tap that will break the siphon. To refill close the hose bib, open the cold water in, leave the tap open until there is a good solid flow of water. Then and only then turn the gas knob to run (on). Done!
Rich

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snipped-for-privacy@void.com wrote:

Go to GOOGLE: http://groups.google.com /
Do an "Advanced" search on this newsgroup for "draining water heater". Around 900 hits!!
If your purpose is to "flush out" the heater, rather than "drain" it, leave the incoming water *ON* so it will flush with full line pressure. And you can leave the gas on as well.
If the heater is old and hasn't been flushed periodically, don't disappointed if not much comes out; much of it has already solidified to rock.
A new heater should be flushed every month or so, just a bucket full will do it. Doing it frequently keeps the concentration of dissolved minerals low so that they don't precipitate out.
Jim
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Speedy Jim wrote:

I hear you, but I don't understand it.
Why, if those minerals are disolved, don't they get swept along by the intermittant water flow through the heater, or move to areas of lower concentration when the water in the heater is standing still?
Jeff
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Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

The water with high concentration has a higher spec grav and "sinks" to the bottom where it continues to build. To be sure, some is swept away by the dischg from the dip tube, but that is generally a bit higher up.
There are some heaters which have a "self-cleaning" feature wherein the cold water entering is deliberately swept around the tank bottom to keep the solution in motion (out of the heater).
Jim ('58 EE)
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It turns to a heavy gravel , compacted sand, I recently had a unit replaced in an area without hard water we saw and removed 12" of the crap, The easiest way to lower you efficiency is not clean your tank regularly
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m Ransley wrote:

I've oft heard that is correct advice for gas heaters, where the heat has to come through the bottom of the tank, but pretty much irrelevant for electric heaters because even the lower heating elements are so far up from the tank bottom.
The 12" of stuff you found was probably quite the exeptional case, and not typical of most homes in the USA, at least not the ones on city water supplies.
Jeff
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Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

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City water is not softened water, lower elements on electric water heaters I've repaired are often buried in sediment. If you replace enough water heaters you'll find the biggest problem can be draining tanks that are clogged with buildup. Some city water has less of a problem dependent on water source and filtration. But finding a tank with up to a foot of sediment on city water is not what I'd term "exceptional" but is not typical because of the problems that such a buildup will cause.
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I made a tool to clean water haeters from 3/4" CPVC. It is just cut linearly in half and used like a shovel through the bottom element hole. When they are really plugged you may have to remove the boiler valve to get the water out. In SW Fla you can get a couple inches of scale a year in a water heater and this stuff will not come out the valve by draining. The good side is you can keep your water heater outside so draining it is not a big deal. Water doesn't freeze here and it is really better to keep the heat load off the A/C.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Greg) wrote in

I used a shop vac to suck the deposits out. Worked like a charm. I had to attach a flexible tubing to the end of the shop vac in order to insert it into the drain hole. The heater used to make rumbling noises, but it does not anymore.
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snipped-for-privacy@void.com wrote:

coming into the hot water heater and then turn on the faucets inside the house with the hot water that way you have no air locks holding the water in the tank.....
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