Water Heater Valve and Other Questions

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Bryan

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To preface this, I just purchased my first home. This is my first post and I really hope you guys can help with my problem. I'm pretty new to general home repairs, but tend to be pretty good with general DIY so long as I do some research first.

My new home has a gas water heater. There seems to be a good amount of sediment buildup in the bottom, so I need to flush it. I have run into two separate problems with what I thought was going to be easy maintenance.

1) There is no shutoff on the water line flowing directly into the water heater. The only shutoff I have been able to find in the house besides in the bathroom is at the street. I planned to turn the gas to vacation and open the valve and let it drain for a while. I know this wouldn't be a perfect method, but thought it would help until I'm able to install a valve.

2) I can't figure out the drain valve. Theres no handle to turn. There seems to be a pipe nipple coming out of the bottom of the tank, then a plastic piece with male garden hose threads. I'm afraid that turning the plastic fitting itself will just allow water to flow between it and the nipple. I tried to barely crack it open, but was unable to by hand. I don't want to break anything by using tools.

Any tips on what to do? Attaching a couple of pictures for reference.
20200217_203452.jpg
20200217_203438.jpg
 
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Bryan

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P.S. I found a .pdf of the manual and it wasn't any help. The diagram shows that it should have a gate valve at the bottom, but it doesn't.
 

Reach4

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1. You can leave the water pressure on, and open the valve to release a few gallons. Connect a hose first to direct the water.

2. To open that valve, turn the knob CCW. Maybe a turn or two.

Those can be replaced with better drain valves.

To get suggestions of how to add a shut off for the incoming WH water, show us a picture of the top of the tank and the first maybe 36 inches of pipe into the cold. Cold is normally on the right.
 

Bryan

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1. You can leave the water pressure on, and open the valve to release a few gallons. Connect a hose first to direct the water.

2. To open that valve, turn the knob CCW. Maybe a turn or two.

Those can be replaced with better drain valves.

To get suggestions of how to add a shut off for the incoming WH water, show us a picture of the top of the tank and the first maybe 36 inches of pipe into the cold. Cold is normally on the right.

Thanks for the help. Here is a photo of the supply line, which is on the right as you said.
 

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hj

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IF you want to replace the drain valve, turn it CCW until it spins freely, then PULL on it while turning it CW. Have a new 3/4" valve handy and screw it onto the pipe after the plastic valve comes off. Use pipe dope or tape on the threads.
 

Dj2

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Don't be surprised when no water comes out - the drain cock could be completely clogged.
By looking at the photos:
1. The Temperature & pressure relief valve drain line is PVC, and PVC pipe can't be used for this purpose in my city, so check your local code.
2. This WH is most likely very old, making any repair a waste of money. I'd replace the WH in a second if it were my FIRST HOME!
 
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