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Old 03-12-2009, 06:53 PM   #1
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Can't get water from Hotwater tank drain.


I I want to flush my hotwater heater but when I turn on the drain hose bib
nothing comes out. I opened the input side of the tank and still nothing.
It is a plastic drain bib. What Can I try.?
Thanks

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Old 03-12-2009, 07:23 PM   #2
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Can't get water from Hotwater tank drain.


Sometimes there gets to be so much gunk in there it clogs the bib. You could try putting a wire and wiggling it around.

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Old 03-12-2009, 08:00 PM   #3
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Can't get water from Hotwater tank drain.


The worst case scenario, would be to have to remove the bib from the tank. Only thing is that once the gunk is poked through, water will come gushing out, and run all over.
There is a trick that will minimize the water gushing! Turn off the valve feeding the tank, and make sure no taps are turned on anywhere in the house. This will hold the water by capilliary action.
Buy a new bib, and prepare to install it, by wrapping teflon tape around the threads. Have a bucket on hand to catch as much water as possible!
Unscrew the old bib, being prepared for water to come out when its removed. If water comes out, quickly install the new bib. Then run it into the bucket for awhile.
If no water comes out, poke a long screw-driver in the hole and see if will make the water flow!
If water flows, install the new bib quickly!
If this doesn't work perhaps a long piece of wire can loosen up the gunk!
If this is unsuccessful, you may need to buy a new tank.
A bucket of water should be drained off a water tank semi-annually, to keep it clear of gunk collecting in the tank!

Last edited by Wildie; 03-12-2009 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:18 PM   #4
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Can't get water from Hotwater tank drain.


I would not remove the bibb (drain valve) from the hot water tank completely. This is too dangerous a maneuver for the average person. Very hot water could gush out and you may be unable to get a new bibb in position to stop the flow, and you will have forty or so gallons (5 or so cubic feet) of water all over the place.

Also do not force anything up the hole. You could deform the inside of the bibb and the blockage could give way and you would be unable to turn it off.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 03-12-2009 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:59 PM   #5
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Can't get water from Hotwater tank drain.


Hook up your hose and leave the valve ON above the heater. Turn on your drain valve and use the house pressure to blow it out.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:03 PM   #6
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Can't get water from Hotwater tank drain.


If you do decide to replace the bib, make sure you shut off the water heater and run the water until it is cool. This will eliminate any chance of burns. Allen is correct about deforming the bib, however you can run a wire up there with care and not have to worry. You would most likely would want to replace the bib anyway as they are only a few dollars.

You can also replace the bib without draining the tank as Wilde stated, when doing this besides making sure the new bib is prepped ahead of time, make sure it is open so the water will flow through the bib so there is less pressure on it when trying to start the threads. (We did this quit often when I worked for a local municipality when replacing gas meters on the outside of the house). That I would definitely not recommend unless you have experience in this matter.

Is this water heater located in a basement? If so, is it located were you can drain the water without worrying to much if it is going to ruin anything?

It may just be time to replace it and start the preventative maintenance on the new one.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:06 PM   #7
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Can't get water from Hotwater tank drain.


If the hose you are using to drain the tank is long enough, run the open end to a faucet and backflush into the tank. This should clear the valve.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:13 PM   #8
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Can't get water from Hotwater tank drain.


Quote:
Originally Posted by majakdragon View Post
If the hose you are using to drain the tank is long enough, run the open end to a faucet and backflush into the tank. This should clear the valve.

I like that idea, when back flushing make sure you have a hot water line open to allow flow.

Reading the original post I though he tried to use water pressure to blast out the gunk. I like the back flush idea. He will have to either make a fitting or use a washing machine hose to make the connection.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:35 PM   #9
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Can't get water from Hotwater tank drain.


Thanks for all your responses. I am going to try the backflush method and
if that fails I will buy and install a new water heater, It is my fault as I have never opened the drain valve since it was installed in 1999. I pay for my being lazy every once in a while. LOL
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:42 AM   #10
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Can't get water from Hotwater tank drain.


You are not alone, I do not believe most people flush their water heater. I have to admit I do not do it as often as I should. The one at the lake gets a good flush once a year as I drain it before winter.

Good luck.

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