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
You have sediment clogging the valve.
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.
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
..through the use of electrical or duct tape, achieve the configuration in the
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.
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.
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