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Thread: Draining hot water heater???

  1. #1

    Default Draining hot water heater???

    I have a approx. 15 yr old crane hot water heater with the inlet coming in underneath
    the unit and it has a tee fitting on it
    connecting to a "drain" valve and to the
    cold water. There isn't any other drain
    Built into the heater itself. So I figured
    If I turn off the electric and cold water
    and open a faucet and the drain it would
    drain but I guess there is a one way valve
    so I can't drain my heater and I have
    Alot of sediment and rust so it is probably
    filled with sediment. Any ideas??????

    Also I have a basic sediment canister filter
    That I have to change every 2-3 weeks
    after rinsing the filter of sediment every
    few days. The taste and smell of the
    water is perfect any less maintance and
    or cost effective ideas?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    Think soda straw with your finger over the top...with the main water valve shut off, open a faucet valve and see what happens. My unprofessional opinion.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3


    Yea I tried that. Have you ever seen a water heater without a built in drain? Cuz this one has been plumbed in so I'm guessing its just a hose hookup for in the closet. I dunno something new to me but I'd like to drain that thing cuz this water is filled with sediment and I just put in that filter so I'm sure the heater is probably pretty nasty.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default heater

    If that heater is only that old, I am amazed. I have not seen any like that since the 60's. Turn off the water to the heater and connect a hose and then open the drain valve. It will not do any good to leave the water on because it will not be flowing in such a way as to force the initial material out of the heater and through the hose. Open the safety valve on the top or side of the tank, unless yours was one of those that were "as safe as a light bulb and did not need a safety valve".

  5. #5
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
    Blog Entries

    Talking leave sleeping dogs lie.

    dont touch that heater if you know whats good for oyu.

    I get little old ladies every so ofter thinking that they are supposed to drain their heater who havent touched the thing since the 70s. All you do is mess things up, usually youi wont be able to shut off that old valve after you open it up.

    it fills full of sediment and wont seal off again. At least get a hose end cap and a washer from the hardware store to use to seal off that fitting or it will drip everywhere.

    leave sleeping dogs lie.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Mike Swearingen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    On Albemarle Sound In Northeastern NC


    I'd be thinking about replacing a water heater that old. It's probably very inefficient, has a heavy sediment build-up, and you'll likely have problems trying to drain it, as Mark said.
    Good Luck!

  7. #7


    Yea well it does have a pressure valve
    but it doesn't have an actual valve its
    one that breaks open and then has to be
    replaced. And the drain valve is in good
    shape and since its plumbed in I can
    replace or rebuild it so that's not a problem.
    Last edited by blooba; 04-04-2005 at 11:37 AM.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member mrjetskey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005


    I change out my electric hot water-heater every 2nd or possibly 3rd element change 8 years max.they are so cheap and 300.00 spent every 8 years or so I list as preventive maint.


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