Replacing drain valve on Hot Water Tank

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Gary Nelson, Jun 4, 2021.

  1. Gary Nelson

    Gary Nelson New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2021
    Location:
    Atlanta, Michigan
    I tried removing a leaky valve on my hot water tank and couldn't break it free.
    I was worried about putting too much pressure on this plastic valve. (attaching picture)
    Any tricks or tips on how to remove it?

    Hot Water Heater Valve.jpg
     
  2. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Are you trying to un-thread it by hand or are you using a wrench on the square section of the valve body directly in front of the plastic escutcheon ring?
     
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  4. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    You could get by with replacing the washer in this drain valve.
    To do that, turn off the cold supply valve, open a hot water faucet faucet, drain the water heater, remove the stem from the drain valve.
    Replace the worn out washer, and re-install the stem.
    Shut off the hot faucet connector, turn the water heater shut valve on and test for leaks.
     
  5. Gary Nelson

    Gary Nelson New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2021
    Location:
    Atlanta, Michigan
    I was using a crescent wrench on the square section.
     
  6. Gary Nelson

    Gary Nelson New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2021
    Location:
    Atlanta, Michigan
    I may have tried removing the stem. I'll check it again. This is up at my cottage and we will not be back up there for another month. Just to be certain these are not reverse threads? I may try a bigger pipe wrench on it next time to see if I can remove it. Will it be ok to replace it with a brass valve? I hate the plastic one, the stem is worn. I have to drain the tank every fall when we winterize the cottage.
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Yes to both. I am not apro.

    I replaced my plastic drain valve with several parts: nipple, full flow drain valve, GHT adapter. I wanted the possibility to insert a tube/wand, such as Camco 40103 (25.5 inches long),for better flushing of debris. There is now available a brass full flow drain valve, which I would have used instead.

    [​IMG]

    Rheem AP12231C-1 Overall Length (in.): 6-1/8

    [​IMG]

    Rheem SP12231B Overall Length (in.): 3-3/4

    https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?threads/hot-water-isnt-hot.84945/page-2#post-611711 shows what my removed plastic drain valve looked like.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    The only thing you'll maybe notice on an all-metal drain valve is that it might end up hotter when you go to try to open it up! A ball valve may be easier since they tend to have a plastic covering on the handle, and, would have higher flow to help flush things out.
     
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The drain for a water heater has standard 3/4" threads, and come out counter clockwise. Most of the time they will unthread. There was a time or two that part of it broke off though. What to do if it breaks? I've used a small hack saw blade and cut some slots to weaken it being careful to not go so far as the threads in the tank. A flat blade screwdriver helps to then wedge some of it out. You can try something like and easy out on the inside.

    Replacement can be made with a brass nipped and ball valve, and then you would need something for your hose thread on the end.

    This one came out okay.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Gary Nelson

    Gary Nelson New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2021
    Location:
    Atlanta, Michigan
    Thanks for the info.
     
  11. Gary Nelson

    Gary Nelson New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2021
    Location:
    Atlanta, Michigan
    Thank you Terry! I will give it a try next time we are at the cottage.
     
  12. Skeezix

    Skeezix New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2020
    Location:
    Colorado
    I too was worried about the drain valve on my new AO Smith 40-gallon heater. Wouldn't loosen! So after fretting about it for a year after I installed the heater I finally applied all the pressure that I could to the valve and it did come out.

    Be sure to replace that cheap, plastic, piddly-flow valve (that clogs after a couple years) with a full-flow, 1/4-turn drain valve like the one in the following image.
    Full Flow, Quarter-Turn Drain Valve.jpg
     
  13. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2020
    Location:
    92346
    sometimes I just put a cap on. quick and easy
     
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