Slow water tank drain

I have a 40 gallon GE gas water heater tank (purchased at Home Depot 2 years ago) that has a plastic drain on it. The problem is that it drains very slow--takes 5 hours or more to fully drain. I removed the valve to examine it and it has a tapered nylon (?) plug with two rubber rings on it and a small hole through it where the water would drain. The inside end does not have traditional threads. Is there a replacement for this valve? How is the home owner supposed to flush this tank on a regular basis? I'm in east TN where the water has a lot of calcium in it.
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Do you open a HW faucet when you drain it. is it full of scale.
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On Sat, 18 Mar 2006 15:16:37 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

Yes. I opened the upstairs faucet. The value was still very slow.
But here's an update. I drained the entire tank and completely removed the drain stem and replaced that with one that has a more conventional shut-off valve. I used pipe dope before installing the new stem. So, here's a tip: Save your old stem and socket from your old water tank--it may be useful on your new tank. Also, I connected my old washer rubber hose to the faucet to make it easier to drain into a 5-gallon bucket twice a year.
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i woul;dnt reuse a old valve, better to replace the plastic valve with a ball valve,
if sediment builds up you can open the valve and push a wire thru the open valve
keep a blank cover with rubber gasket in case the valve leaks
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