Water heater leak

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jsouthco, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. jsouthco

    jsouthco New Member

    I have a leak in my waterheater. It is dripping from the shaft on the release valve at the base.

    Can I just remove this valve and replace? What steps do I need to take to do this?
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    The drain at the bottom?

    Replacements are sold at the hardware stores.
    If the tank is not old, maybe that is the fix,

    or it could be coming out the bottom, but leaking elsewhere.
  3. jsouthco

    jsouthco New Member

    It is the drain at the bottom. It appears to be leaking from where it attaches to the tank. What I am worried about is that it is an older (20 + years) model and the drain is plastic (cpvc). I am worried it will snap off when I try to remove. Do they just screw out?

    I am assuming I will want to shut the heater off, drain and then replace....

    Anything else I need to know?
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Yakima WA
    Yes, turn off the power and water supply. Open a hot water faucet then open the valve to drain the tank. The valve then just screws out of the tank. Of course, in the real world those valves may not want to come out, but hopefully it will. I'm sure you know that 20+ years is far beyond normal life expectancy for water heats, but as long as it is still working for you, it's sure worth the price of a new valve.
  5. It screws in, and the leak may be from corroded drain valve threads on a water heater that old.
    You could replace the drain valve, but if it were me, I would replace that old water heater for a new energy-efficient model.
    Good Luck!
  6. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Yes they just screw in and out BUT based on it's age it will most likely snap off leaving the threaded part in the tank. You can still replace it bt prying the plastic out, in peices if necessary, and then replace it with a brass one. You may want to drain it down first so your not dealing with hot water while doing it.

    You may want to consider replacing the heater based on its age. It won't last a whole lot longer and the new one should have a much better recovery rate.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2006
  7. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    If you get the leak stopped, replace the heater anyway, so you don't come home to a mess and it might not be very convenient time to go out and get a new one.
  8. jsouthco

    jsouthco New Member

    What (on average ) should I expect to pay for a new heater and install? (it is a gas heater)
  9. $300-$500 for the heater and $300-$700 depending on any code violations for the install. Plus haul away. :D
  10. vaplumber

    vaplumber Guest

    Lol! Just replaced a heater that was installed in 1963!!! Replace that valve with a brass one, clean the tank out really well, and dont worry about it! Keep a close eye on the unit if there is no drain pan under it which there probably is not, and replace the heater at the first sign of dampness. I am convinced that the new units will not last as long as your older unit.
  11. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    New Hampshire
    That heater may have lasted as long as it did because it is a plastic valve. Steel is more anodic that brass in the galvanic series and tends to cause corrosion of the steel. A drain valve is probably a good place for a CPVC valve.
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