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Thread: Water tank drain clogged

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member hunch1784's Avatar
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    Default Water tank drain clogged

    Yesterday I tried to drain my hot electric water tank to replaice one of the elements. I shut off the water and drained all the pipes in the house. Then I attached a hose to the fitting at the bottom of the tank but when I opened it no water could come out, I think there is some sedement or rust or something blocking the valve. How can I clean this out so I can drain my tank and replace the bad heating element?

  2. #2
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking flush it out

    turn the water back on and flush out the line
    with full pressure going out the hose...

    turn the handle on and off a few times to dislodje the sediment...

    this will sometimes work....

    if that dont do it , then you have to get more creative with
    a long coathanger and unscrewing the capp off the handle and
    rheeming out the faucet...

  3. #3
    Plumber jay_wat's Avatar
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    can also try using a compressor, capping the hot outlet nipple on the tank,and connecting the compressor on the cold side,,just turn the compressor on shortly, if there is some sediment,that can get blown out,,if its alot of sediment,try using the compressor on the outlet drain valve,,blowing right at the source.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Did you leave a hot water faucet open when you tried to drain the tank? If not, do that first. You have to let either air or water in before the tank will drain.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member curlysir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    Did you leave a hot water faucet open when you tried to drain the tank? If not, do that first. You have to let either air or water in before the tank will drain.
    The last time I drained my hot water heater I had to loosen the connector on the outlet to get it to drain more then a dribble. As soon as I loosened the connector it started draining correctly. I also think the new heat conserving flappers or floating balls added to the problem.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you open the T&P valve, you'll let air in. If the valve is old, it may not reseal, but you're supposed to check it at least once a year anyways...if it's bad, it's time to replace it.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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