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kennybopaloo

12:41AM | 09/27/04
Member Since: 03/19/04
30 lifetime posts
Bvplumbing
When I open the drain for my water heater, no water comes out. The wife says the heater is about 6 years old. Im afraid it will blow up.

Kennybopaloo

LonnythePlumber

05:13AM | 09/27/04
Water heaters are safe unless you plug the relief valve opening. We often have deposits build up at the drain which prevents the water from coming out. Turn your gas valve to pilot and run hot water until it turns cool. I do not do this but it can keep you from being burned.

With the water to the heater turned on, open the drain and stick a clothes hangar up into the heater to loosen deposits. You may have to do this several times. Another approach is to attach a hose and remove the handle and stem and loosen deposits from the top hole.

If you have a plastic drain you may not be able to get it closed. You can install an elongated brass valve or have a hose cap available to cap the valve outlet.

kennybopaloo

08:18AM | 09/27/04
Member Since: 03/19/04
30 lifetime posts


Thanks for the help Lonnie, however the water heater is electric. What should I do in this case...

Thanks Kennybopaloo

LonnythePlumber

08:45AM | 09/27/04
It is important to turn off the electricity to an electric water heater whenever the elements are not completely immersed in water. For an electric heater turn off the breaker and make sure there is no electricity to the heater. Also make sure your water shut off valve to the heater works, in case you break the drain valve. This can happen if it's a plastic drain like most.

If your water shut off valve is a ball (lever) valve then it is probably good. If you have a wheel handle and it is a gate valve then you may be able to get the water shut off but not turned back on.

Don't you just love plumbing?
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