Leaking Water Heater Drain Valve

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by NEOHMatt, Jun 19, 2020.

  1. NEOHMatt

    NEOHMatt New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2018
    Location:
    PNW
    So about 3 weeks ago I found my water heater drain valve is leaking. Not out the actual hose connection part, but around the valve stem. A very slow drip (small bowl will take a week or two to fill up). I’m considering trying to replace the valve assembly since it’s currently a plastic assembly. However the tank is 25 years old (yes I know I’m living in borrowed time) so I am trying to decide if the job is just going to be such that I’ll end up beating myself up for the better part of a day trying to do it and it still won’t work or if I should just pay for a new tank, or if it’s not going to be too bad to swap out the valve.

    Part of the reason for delaying the replacement of the whole tank is that we were thinking about replacing our boiler and doing and indirect water storage tank instead of an independent water heater, but we haven’t committed to that yet.

    I figured I’d come here to get the advice of the experts! Thanks!!!
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I replaced my WH drain valve for a non-leak reason. That plastic drain can be unscrewed into two parts. The thread on the left of the picture is 3/4 NPT. ON the right is a garden hose thread. If I remember correctly, if you unscrew the big diameter enough, you could pull that out. Of course you would expect water to come out while that valve is separated.
    [​IMG]


    I replaced my plastic drain valve with several parts: nipple, full flow drain valve, GHT adapter. There is now available a brass full
    flow drain valve, which I would have used instead.
    Drain Valves:
    Rheem AP12231C-1 Overall Length (in.): 6-1/8
    Rheem SP12231B Overall Length (in.): 3-3/4
    Rheem AP12231B-1 Overall Length (in.): 3-3/4
     
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  4. NEOHMatt

    NEOHMatt New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2018
    Location:
    PNW
    My valve looks a little different than that one but maybe I’m missing something.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Occupation:
    plumbing - fire suppression - boiler inspector
    Location:
    New York
    Normally I remove the plastic valve and install a brass nipple and ball valve and place a plug in the ball valve discharge to prevent children or someoe accidently moving the handle
     
  6. NEOHMatt

    NEOHMatt New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2018
    Location:
    PNW
    Right. That’s what I was thinking as well, but I’m afraid if I can’t get the job done quickly then we don’t have hot water until I can get the tank replaced. :-/
     
  7. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2020
    Location:
    92346
     
  8. NEOHMatt

    NEOHMatt New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2018
    Location:
    PNW
    So you’re suggesting don’t try to replace the drain valve? Unfortunately money is a real consideration right now. A boiler/indirect replacement is a big investment and we’re not sure if we can swing that right now unless we absolutely had to. So the $20 valve is appealing to buy us time if we do want to eventually go indirect. So many decisions. :-/
     
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