Water Heater Drainage

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Well someone just did, I think (I read it 6 hours ago), in this very thread.

People also told bad stories about trying to replace the valve. I'm 67. I forget what their problems were!

This all matters if there is a relationship between draining the tank and not having a leak. That webpage someone posted talked about hot spots caused by sediment, and holes caused by hotspots, but that applies only to gas wh's. Electric wh's have the heating element in the midst of the water, no flames at all (on a good day), and even the problem with sediment covering the heating element was just...... I don't remember but it wasn't a leak I don't think.
The solution for a big leak when you're away is a pan with a drain that goes somewhere.
Ironically, if you had no pan, and it leaked a little at first, you'd have a better chance of seeing it, especially if it ran out under the door. But by having a pan with a drain, I think it's much less likely someone will notice that first small leak.
They also make water detectors, that buzz when the water reaches the two contact points. I had one in the laundry sink for a while withthe buzzer under the kitchen sink. Got to be two much trouble to change batteries.
When I had an initial small leak, it was right after the condensation from my AC had driblled all over the laudry room basement floor. Usually that amount of water dried in a day or two. It didnt' this time but I didnt' put 2 and 2 together until several days later, I got a flood, though just in the unfinished room. After that I put in a pan and ran a plastic pipe to the sump, so the sump pump will pump away any water from an initial slow leak, and maybe from the bigger leak that comes later. Though I really have no idea how fast that leak is. Does it really jump up from slow to fast without going through a little faster and a little faster yet. Of course I might not notice that either. Maybe my 2" pipe will be enough, even at maximum leaking.

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On Thu, 6 Feb 2014 20:30:08 -0600, Oren wrote

I wasn't referring to you about the snide remark. It was the poster who said something about my IQ. Sorry I should have clarified that. If draining is not necessary unless the unit fails then I won't bother with it. The hot water supply has been a little wonky lately though, kinda small sporadic interruptions in the flow but nothing serious.
Thanks for the advice about a ball valve. I will certainly use it when the time comes.
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On Thu, 6 Feb 2014 16:33:23 -0600, Oren wrote

The hose bib is only about 2-1/2" from the bottom of the tank :(
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On Wed, 5 Feb 2014 19:37:42 -0600, James wrote

Here are pics
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ladedah/sets/72157640609873985/
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On Thu, 6 Feb 2014 20:44:35 -0600, Oren wrote

Oh I see. Didn't quite understand what the bib part was. Thought it was the entire spout assembly.
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On Friday, February 7, 2014 11:03:04 AM UTC-5, James wrote:

The bibb is what you'd call the "spout assembly". Many of them today are plastic, it looks like yours is bronze, which is better.
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How high is the drain pan?
How high is the spigot?
How much bigger than the diameter of the WH is the diameter of the pan, where the spigot is? EVen if the hose goes down at first and then UP to go over the pan lip, as long as the end of the hose is lower than the water level in the WH, the WH will drain.
But why do you want to drain it? What problem do you hope to solve?
Everyone here says that's a way to get sediment in your spigot so it won't close anymore.

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On Friday, February 7, 2014 10:38:46 AM UTC-5, micky wrote:

All those questions have been addressed, he even posted pics.
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