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Draining water heater - tips? #4702114
03/21/18 03:38 PM
03/21/18 03:38 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 802
El Oeste
HawkeyeScott Offline OP
HawkeyeScott  Offline OP
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 802
El Oeste
Had a new water heater installed last March. Ready to do the first drain on it. Any tips for doing so?

We have very hard water here. The house we bought had an old water heater when we first moved to this region a few years back. It was clanking so I never drained it. Now, with the new one, I will as a means of getting the minerals out.

Re: Draining water heater - tips? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #4702125
03/21/18 03:47 PM
03/21/18 03:47 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,165
SE Ohio
MuzzleFlash40 Offline
MuzzleFlash40  Offline
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,165
SE Ohio
I had to change the lower heating element in mine when we moved in, I hooked the garden hose to it and drained it out in the ditch. Took about 15 minutes.


18 Sonata SEL 2.4-10k
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Castrol GTX HM 5w30 & Fram



Re: Draining water heater - tips? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #4702126
03/21/18 03:48 PM
03/21/18 03:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,317
VA
Gebo Offline
Gebo  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,317
VA
Garden hose to the outside.


'98 LEX LS400 280K
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Amsoil in all engines, transmissions and differentials

Re: Draining water heater - tips? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #4702158
03/21/18 04:04 PM
03/21/18 04:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 332
NJ
JLawrence08648 Offline
JLawrence08648  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 332
NJ
I like to drain it and then leaving the flush valve open, turn the inlet valve on and course hoping to dislodge any particles on the bottom, then close the flush valve, open the inlet for a minute then turn it off and open the flush, then fill.

Re: Draining water heater - tips? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #4702161
03/21/18 04:05 PM
03/21/18 04:05 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,873
South Florida
bubbatime Offline
bubbatime  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,873
South Florida
When my 12 year old heater took a dump, I opened the spigot and nothing came out. I then blew some compressed air into the inlet, and it forced the sediment through the drain and starting draining.


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Re: Draining water heater - tips? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #4702167
03/21/18 04:10 PM
03/21/18 04:10 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 7,772
Toronto, Canada
KrisZ Offline
KrisZ  Offline
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 7,772
Toronto, Canada
I would also remove the cathode and put some pipe dope on it. Also inspect it to see him much it was eaten away during that year. This way it will be much easier to change and you will have a feeling how long it will last.


2015 Dodge Grand Caravan-27k miles.
2006 Mazda 3-163k miles
Re: Draining water heater - tips? [Re: KrisZ] #4702185
03/21/18 04:29 PM
03/21/18 04:29 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 5,272
MA
Wolf359 Offline
Wolf359  Offline
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 5,272
MA
Originally Posted By: KrisZ
I would also remove the cathode and put some pipe dope on it. Also inspect it to see him much it was eaten away during that year. This way it will be much easier to change and you will have a feeling how long it will last.


I think you were referring to the anode rod. They're usually good for at least 3-4 years as most water heaters have a 6 year warranty. But it's a good idea to loosen it as a few wouldn't budge even with an 18 inch breaker bar. Had to add a 4 foot pipe to it in order to get them loosened.

Re: Draining water heater - tips? [Re: Wolf359] #4702193
03/21/18 04:34 PM
03/21/18 04:34 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 7,772
Toronto, Canada
KrisZ Offline
KrisZ  Offline
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 7,772
Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: Wolf359
Originally Posted By: KrisZ
I would also remove the cathode and put some pipe dope on it. Also inspect it to see him much it was eaten away during that year. This way it will be much easier to change and you will have a feeling how long it will last.


I think you were referring to the anode rod. They're usually good for at least 3-4 years as most water heaters have a 6 year warranty. But it's a good idea to loosen it as a few wouldn't budge even with an 18 inch breaker bar. Had to add a 4 foot pipe to it in order to get them loosened.


Yes anode, brain [censored] on my part. Thanks for catching that.


2015 Dodge Grand Caravan-27k miles.
2006 Mazda 3-163k miles
Re: Draining water heater - tips? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #4702205
03/21/18 04:43 PM
03/21/18 04:43 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 366
Ceciltucky Maryland
Oldtom Offline
Oldtom  Offline
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 366
Ceciltucky Maryland
I replaced the cheap plastic drain valve on my water heater with a pipe nipple and brass ball valve. A ball valve is less likely to clog with sediment because it has a large diameter, straight through opening. I hook a garden hose to the valve, run the garden hose outside, and open the valve for a minute. Then I am done till next year.

Re: Draining water heater - tips? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #4702295
03/21/18 06:08 PM
03/21/18 06:08 PM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 679
Arizona
Kawiguy454 Offline
Kawiguy454  Offline
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 679
Arizona
You call it an anode? ...when I used to service boilers we called them cathodic protectors. Basically a zinc bar that sacrifices itself instead of the metal boiler being attacked. Check it and replace as needed it will help esp with the hard water.

Re: Draining water heater - tips? [Re: Kawiguy454] #4702315
03/21/18 06:25 PM
03/21/18 06:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 7,772
Toronto, Canada
KrisZ Offline
KrisZ  Offline
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 7,772
Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: Kawiguy454
You call it an anode? ...when I used to service boilers we called them cathodic protectors. Basically a zinc bar that sacrifices itself instead of the metal boiler being attacked. Check it and replace as needed it will help esp with the hard water.


At least residential water heater literature refers to that rod and anode rod. From the chemical reaction POV, it may as well be a cathode, IDK, I used to remember that stuff.
In any case it's irrelevant, as long as you remember to check it periodically and change it when it's almost gone.


2015 Dodge Grand Caravan-27k miles.
2006 Mazda 3-163k miles
Re: Draining water heater - tips? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #4702327
03/21/18 06:32 PM
03/21/18 06:32 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 10,877
Buffalo, NY
JTK Offline
JTK  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 10,877
Buffalo, NY
Scott, be careful in doing so. The plastic drain valves on residential water heaters are a cheap needle valve. They are pretty much intended as a one time only drain of the unit. The tiny orifice in them isn't big enough to pass much of anything and can jamb up with debris.

On my current 40g tall natural gas unit, the one time I used it, I couldn't get it to seat, then the body of the valve started leaking. When I tried to replace it, it broke apart, leaving the threaded part stuck in the tank. I had to saw at it with a hacksaw blade to get the stuck section out. I then replaced it with a brass hose bib looking deal, but like said above, I wish I had just used a short 3/4" pipe nipple and a 3/4" ball valve. This way you have a true ~3/4" opening that will REALLY get things moving and flush the tank.


2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)
Re: Draining water heater - tips? [Re: Kawiguy454] #4702368
03/21/18 07:16 PM
03/21/18 07:16 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 5,272
MA
Wolf359 Offline
Wolf359  Offline
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 5,272
MA
Originally Posted By: Kawiguy454
You call it an anode? ...when I used to service boilers we called them cathodic protectors. Basically a zinc bar that sacrifices itself instead of the metal boiler being attacked. Check it and replace as needed it will help esp with the hard water.


That's what they call them in the stores:

https://www.comfortgurus.com/water-heater-parts/7434-rhe-sp11526c-4-pk.html

Re: Draining water heater - tips? [Re: Gebo] #4702465
03/21/18 08:33 PM
03/21/18 08:33 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 358
Fly-over country
zuluplus30 Offline
zuluplus30  Offline
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 358
Fly-over country
Originally Posted By: Gebo
Garden hose to the outside.


This. Once a year. My 6 year warranty Bradford White unit is going on year #13.

Re: Draining water heater - tips? [Re: HawkeyeScott] #4702482
03/21/18 08:50 PM
03/21/18 08:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 534
San Antonio, TX
das_peikko Offline
das_peikko  Offline
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 534
San Antonio, TX
You're not supposed to drain it without turning the flame off first, correct? ???

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