Hot water heater drain

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by solutions, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. solutions

    solutions New Member

    Messages:
    22
    I went to go drain my hot water heater... Craftmaster,30 gal. , double element. Turned off the breaker to HWH,turned off the water supply,opened up the hot water side on a faucet,hooked a short hose to drain valve on HWH and opened valve. Spurts of water came out of the hose at first ,then nothing ,so i figured perhaps it might be plugged up with sediment at the valve. Tryed more than a bunch of times to try and blast through if it was sediment built up turning the water supply on and off leaving the water on for a few seconds to a few minutes...Each time with the water on and off water came out of the hose clear and in a full stream,then i'd go to turn the water off and within a few seconds stop. I tryed opening the pressure relief valve to while water on or off no difference . Is there some safety type valve that needs to be open as well i am missing? Or is this a one time HWH use it then get rid of it....lol
    Much appreciated to all!
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    It does sound like clogging issues. But you do have to have a tap open on a hot water faucet, or tip open the relief valve, to release the vacuum .
  3. DallasDIY

    DallasDIY New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Have you tried it yet with multiple hot water faucets open at the same time? If you have a two-story house, have you opened something upstairs and down? As a last try to release any vacuum, maybe open all the sink and tub faucets you have to see if that makes a difference.
  4. solutions

    solutions New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Thanks for the reply Dallas and jimbo.

    I did try with the pressure relief valve tipped and all hot water taps open in the bathroom and kitchen what is left yet to open is the tub/shower hot side.. will try that next... The thing i do not really understand if clogging is an issue or the like is why does water flow very well out of the HWH valve when i turn the water supply on.... when i turn off the water supply water flow ceases. Plus the water is clear with no hints of cloudy sediment stuff...
  5. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Try leaving all HW faucets closed, drain open, CW on. If that doesn't blow the crud out through the drain, remove the drain valve.
  6. Garydaplummer

    Garydaplummer Union plumber/pipefitter-self employed

    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Another trick

    Something I try before removing the drain valve is to connect a washing machine hose to the drain valve then connect a garden hose from that to an outside faucet or washing machine cold water connection if nearby. Open up the drain valve then the outside faucet and reverse the flow into the water heater through the drain valve for a few seconds. 3/4 of the time this dislodges the sediment blocking the drain valve and once you remove the hose from the outside faucet it will drain. It's worked numerous times for me.
  7. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Hopefully the drain you are attempting to go to is lower than the water heater and you run the water to fill the hose and start it siphoning. Gravity says water will not run uphill unless it is pumped!
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008
  8. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I've used compressed air to do the same thing. Stir up the sludge, let it drain until it stops again, stir it up again, etc. Water might be better -- I'd make a fixture with a couple of valves on it so I could rapidly alternate between backwash and drain.
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