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Thread: Replacing Drain Value with Ball Value

  1. #1
    DIY Member dw85745's Avatar
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    Default Replacing Drain Value with Ball Value

    The last new H20 heater I installed, I tried to remove the drain value (Rheem) and replace it will a Ball value for better cleaning.
    However, I could not get the drain value out without fear of breaking the value (used an open end wrench that fit the drain value slots).
    I have pipe wrenches up to 3 feet, so I could of got a heck of a lot of torque on the value instead of using the slots
    but was concerned over breaking off the value or injuring the glass liner in doing so.

    Question:
    1) Anyone every mess with putting in a ball value?
    2) Is there a benefit (e.g. longer tank life) in doing so?
    3) Any idea of the torque used to install the drain value?

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    When I install a recirc line to a water heater, I pull the drain and replace with a new nipple and ball valve.
    It's not a big deal to do that.

  3. #3
    DIY Member dw85745's Avatar
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    I've also replaced them for Solar applications, But this one was TIGHT!
    Was just wondering whether others had experienced issues with the newer Rheems as I'm sure the drain value is probably installed by a Robot.

    =================
    With Solar (basically recirculating) I've seen take life extended quite a bit.
    Last edited by dw85745; 01-09-2014 at 12:53 PM.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    When they are new, the drain valves will unscrew. It just takes a bit more torque usually. When they get older, if the valve is plastic, it usually snaps off at the threads making removal a bit more of a challenge. Replacing the valve with a brass nipple and ball valve is a relatively simple task, in fact, there is a special ball valve for the tank drain which has an intergral hose thread outlet and a cap on a chain to close it off.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  5. #5
    DIY Member dw85745's Avatar
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    hj: Thanks for reply. While I agree task simple, in this case, as indicated, was concerned over possibly breaking liner and having to eat tank. Value was metal BTW.
    Thanks for mentioning the "tank drain ball value". Will check if local supplier carries them.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Hairyhosebib's Avatar
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    HMMMM, value? You mean valve. That is the first thing I do when I install a new water heater. Make certain the new ball valve is a full port valve. Here is a neat little trick. Do the action of actually tightening the original valve to break it loose. Once it breaks loose and moves then go ahead and unscrew it. This is a great trick on old steel threaded pipe that has been painted or some liquid sealant has been used. I live in Glendale. Need a hand?

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