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Thread: Leaking Drain Valve

  1. #1
    DIY Member SAS's Avatar
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    Default Leaking Drain Valve

    I recently flushed my hot water heater and now I have a very slow leak (a few drops per day) from the spigot. Can I just put a cap on it, or do I have to replace the valve?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A cap will likely work, but if it is a cheap plastic valve, probably a good idea to change it. A full-port ball valve will flush better, and should easily last the life of the tank (and probably the next one, too).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Member SAS's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. It's not a plastic valve, but it's not a brass one either. It's a flimsy aluminum valve. I was out last night at Walmart and picked up this metal ball valve intended for a garden hose for $3. So far so good. If it works, at least I won't waste 40 gallons of hot water.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you turn the supply valve off and don't open any faucets, you can often just unscrew the old valve without losing much water at all. Think finger over the end of a straw. If no air can get in, no water can come out (or at least much unless something's leaking). But, that will work, too.
    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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    DIY Member SAS's Avatar
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    Good point. If this doesn't work (although for now it seems OK), I'll try shutting off the supply valve and opening the drain valve. If it doesn't leak much, I could change it without having to drain the tank.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    You probably didn't flush the tank as well as you think you did, since a conventional drain valve won't let larger particles through (as you have found out by the leak).

    Just bite the bullet and change over to a full-port ball valve like Jim says.

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