Draining a water heater

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by AlGreen, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. AlGreen

    AlGreen Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2016
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I've owned my house for two years and haven't drained the water heater, so I figure it's time. The heater is in the basement, and I don't have any floor drains. Can/should I empty it into one of the main line access points?

    2017-10-11 08.08.54.jpg

    Or would it make more sense to pick up a pump and drain it outside?
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    If you can get a cap off, you can use that. Often you want to replace that cap with a plastic cap. Otherwise use brass. If the existing cap is brass and comes off in good condition, you could reuse it.

    I am not sure what you have there. Two of them could be for a whole-house trap. Those are not usually used today. If you have problems in the future that involves digging that up, you would probably get rid of a whole house trap (if that is what you have). I am not a plumber.
     
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  4. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Pumping it out would be easier.
    The caps look like they weren't touched in a long time.

    How old is your water heater? The day it was manufactured is coded into the model number, and each WH mfg has it coded differently.
     
  5. AlGreen

    AlGreen Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2016
    Location:
    New Jersey
    It was manufactured June 2010.

    Is there a relatively inexpensive pump you'd recommend?
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Drill pumps are cheap, but not very durable. Still, you don't need it to last. The one I sent you a link to comes with a 30 day guarantee included, I think.
     
  7. AlGreen

    AlGreen Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2016
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Ok, good information. Thanks.
     
  8. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Why do you want to drain your WH? Do you get rusty water? restricted water flow? Place a water pressure gauge on the drain bibb, then check the water pressure at the washing machine cold side and compare. Let us know the result.

    If the pressure is the same and you have no rust, don't drain the WH, because it's 7 yo and probably was never drained before. In this case, just let it ride and replace the WH when time comes (most likely soon).
     
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I drained and flushed my 11 or 12 year old gas waterheater. I got an impressive amount out. Draining the first part into a bucket may illustrate part of the motivation -- getting that stuff out of there. Another factor with a gas WH is that it may increase the heating efficiency.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  10. AlGreen

    AlGreen Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2016
    Location:
    New Jersey
    dj2: I was thinking of draining it because I hadn't done it and was hearing some noises from inside, like pops. I'll try the pressure test you mentioned.
     
  11. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You could put a hose on it to the outside, and open the drain on the tank, flushing it under pressure.
    You would want a bucket to catch the water that drains back from the hose when it's removed.
     
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