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Thread: Water heater drain leak

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  1. #1

    Default Water heater drain leak

    My 10 year old, Rudd 50 gallon gas hot water heater plastic drain value ihas staretd to drip, very slowly. A friend says the plastic washer is probably going bad. I found a metal garden hose value and screwed into the end of the plastic pipe. This seems to have stopped the drip/leak. Is this OK/enough or should I drain the tank and get a new plastic or metal value? I took a digital photo and attached it to this message: idontcare.com/hotwater.jpg
    Last edited by terry; 10-07-2004 at 08:40 AM.

  2. #2


    I do not own your brand heater! So this is not a suggestion to do anything specific.

    I thought about the scenario you are talking about, if I flushed my 10 year old hot water heater for the 1st time. So I called the factory and they said, yeh it might start dripping if I opened that faucet on the bottom for the 1st time. Some plumbing store told me you can do what you did. But I wonder what happens with the water that sort of stagnates there. I imagine if it can slowly drip in, then a slight amount may mix backwards. I wonder if that introduces mold and or bacteria into the water system?

    So I asked the factory guy how to replace that if I did decide to drain it and then it would not seal back up. I think he said that I would have to grab the square plastic that houses the faucet handleraised piece and twist it out. But he said sometimes it cracks and does not come out cleanly. Then I have to break the plastic stuff apart somehow so that it will free up the thread so the new faucet assembly could be mounted. He did not say specifically how I could break up the plastic if it did not twist out perfectly. I wonder about what type of sealing agent is best at that juncture? Plumbers seal stuff with teflon tape? WHo knows?

    I never did drain flush my hot water heater. I took the factory guys suggestion and just kept using it without ever flushing it. Did not want to risk a leak.
    Last edited by good_improvement; 10-07-2004 at 09:31 AM.

  3. #3


    Thank you for the information on the leak. As for the link, it seems it needs to be http://idontcare.com/hotwater.jpg (without the www)

  4. #4
    Architect Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Salt Lake City, Utah


    They do make brass boiler drain valves that are rated for the pressure and tempature of your tank. Since your heater is 10 years old you should really look at replacing it. The new heaters are more efficient and your tank may be on its way to developing more leaks...
    Spaceman Spiff aka Mike

  5. #5
    Plumber Deb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Default Deb

    I too am of the opinion that you should consider replacing the heater. I routinely replace the plastic drain valves with metal. They do make a brass water heater drain valve made expressly for this purpose. I have not had a plastic one break off, but they can. Waterheaters should be drained and flushed annually.
    The Pipewench


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