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Old 01-27-2011, 06:43 PM   #1
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Drain value dripping


Hello,

I think my drain valve is dripping. I am looking at my manual and I see it is called a drain valve. It is a very slow drip. I lowered the hot water temperature and I think it started sometime after that. Any help is appreciated, I'm hoping it is something simple. A friend said to try tightening it just a little. I did that but just a little. This morning I saw another drop.

Thanks!

Ms Immy

PS I did read "leaking drain valve in hot water heater," but I think that problem was a little different.


Last edited by MsImmy; 01-27-2011 at 10:28 PM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:41 PM   #2
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Drain value dripping


If you let a cold water faucet upstairs drip, does this drain valve drip stop?

YOu should have an expansion tank in the cold water line above the water heater. Water expands when heated and the pressure will increase if there is a check valve on teh way out to the water main and there is nowhere for the water to expand into.

You can also get a garden hose end cap (one comes with any lawn sprinker with daisy chaining capability, or you can also buy it separately)..

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Old 01-27-2011, 10:08 PM   #3
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Drain value dripping


Thank you AllanJ, tomorrow I will ask a male friend if he understands, I will look for an expansion tank. Should I turn on the cold water and let it run? Do you think this problem is caused because once a month I am away taking care of my 97 year old mother for 5 days, when I get back and take a shower I hear loud noise in the pipe or shower head, maybe air, not sure.

I misspelled valve in my previous post, sorry about that.

I just checked and I do see the expansion tank, but I don't know what that all means, do I have a problem, it is making me nervous.

Last edited by MsImmy; 01-27-2011 at 10:32 PM. Reason: Added additional comments
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:02 PM   #4
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Drain value dripping


Turn any faucet on for ten seconds and then turn it off. Now measure the water pressure using a gauge for that purpose. Thirty to forty pounds (per square inch) is normal for household water. Much more than that and you need something else, a pressure regulator at the main cold water pipe. When you already have an expansion tank and suspect high pressure from water expanding while heated, you may need to calibrate the expansion tank (have just the right amount of air in it).

Do not use lots of force on the water heater drain valve.
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:47 AM   #5
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Drain value dripping


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Originally Posted by MsImmy View Post
I think my drain valve is dripping. I am looking at my manual and I see it is called a drain valve.
MsImmy,

Is that valve connected to your water heater at the bottom or the top? If connected at the bottom, then it is a drain valve. If connected at the top, it is a pressure release valve.

I don't think a drain valve should ever leak as the pressure release valve should release overly high pressures in the heater first. If it is the drain valve that is leaking, then you need to have it repaired or replaced.

HRG
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:39 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Homerepairguy View Post
MsImmy,

Is that valve connected to your water heater at the bottom or the top? If connected at the bottom, then it is a drain valve. If connected at the top, it is a pressure release valve.

I don't think a drain valve should ever leak as the pressure release valve should release overly high pressures in the heater first. If it is the drain valve that is leaking, then you need to have it repaired or replaced.

HRG
Hi,

Thank you for responding. It at the bottom, so it is the drain valve. So, I guess there is nothing I can do. Is it easy to replace? How much should it cost to replace?

Thanks!

Last edited by MsImmy; 01-28-2011 at 07:39 AM. Reason: added additional
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:30 PM   #7
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Hi,

Thank you for responding. It at the bottom, so it is the drain valve. So, I guess there is nothing I can do. Is it easy to replace? How much should it cost to replace?

Thanks!
Where exactly is it leaking? Leaking at the connection to the heater? Or dripping out of the spout because of inadequate sealing when the valve is closed?

Also what kind of drain valve is it? Does it look like a hose bib out side of your house? If you can post a picture, that would be ideal.

HRG
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Old 01-28-2011, 05:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Homerepairguy View Post
Where exactly is it leaking? Leaking at the connection to the heater? Or dripping out of the spout because of inadequate sealing when the valve is closed?

Also what kind of drain valve is it? Does it look like a hose bib out side of your house? If you can post a picture, that would be ideal.

HRG
Hi,

It is dripping out of the spout. I have enclosed a photo.

Thanks!
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Drain value dripping-102_0114.jpg  
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:21 PM   #9
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Drain value dripping


That's an easy fix--AllanJ gave you the answer---Go to the hardware store and ask for a "hose cap"

It looks like a bottle cap--just screw it on.---A dripping drain valve just happens sometimes--

The cap will fix it.---Mike--
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:46 PM   #10
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Drain value dripping


Got a question. If the seal/seat in the drain cock is going bad now, what happens when the seal is completely shot and the cap is under pressure long after the "repair"?

Hate to go against the grain here, not being a pro plumber, but that seems like a temporary fix.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:12 PM   #11
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Hi,
It is dripping out of the spout. I have enclosed a photo.
Thanks for posting your photo. Looks like you have a gate valve type drain bib. Since it's leaking from the spout, the easiest fix would be like the others said. Buy a brass hose bib cap and be sure it has a rubber washer in it. Tighten it until the water stops leaking. The valve will still be leaking but the cap can stop the leak.

The second way is harder but very cheap, like less than a dollar. From your photo, your heater drain looks like a gate valve type hose bib something like this:



It seals the water from leaking with a small rubber washer about the size of a dime but about 3/32" thick. In the picture above, the washer is the black thing just above the bottom-most screw.

To replace that washer you would have to:

1. TURN OFF THE ELECTRICITY OR GAS to your heater. (VERY IMPORTANT OR YOU CAN BURN OUT THE HEATING ELEMENTS)
2. Shut off the cold water into your heater using the shutoff valve on the cold water pipe going into your heater at the top.
3. Drain the water from your heater (Attach a garden hose to the drain bib. Open the drain bib valve using a screwdriver. Allow air into the tank by flipping the lever of the pressure release valve on the top of the heater.)
4. After all of the water is drained, remove the valve stem assembly on the drain bib by unscrewing the large hexagon nut on the drain bib right below where the screwdriver goes to open/close the valve. You may also have to unscrew the valve shaft some more using the screwdriver as in step-3 to completely remove the valve stem assembly.)
5. Look at the bottom of the valve stem assembly and you will see a screw holding a small flat rubber washer.
6. Bring that assembly to the hardware store and buy a replacement rubber washer.
7. Reassemble the valve. When you do this, be sure that the valve stem is in the up position so it is not mashing down on the rubber washer during reassembly!
8. Close the drain bib valve.
9. Close the pressure release valve you opened in step-3.
10. Open a hot water faucet in your house. Preferably one that does not have an aerator like a laundry tray so if any sediment comes out of the heater, it can just flow out.
11. Open the cold water valve into your heater.
12. Fill the tank until the water runs nicely out of the hot water faucet in the house. Let the water run until a large glass is filled perfectly clear without any sediment.
13. Close the hot water faucet.
14. At this point your heater should be completely filled with water.
15. Verify that the drain bib is not leaking.
16. Turn the electricity or gas to the heater back on.
17. Done (Probably more work than you want to do.)

The third way is to replace the entire drain valve. If you do that, consider replacing it with a quarter turn ball valve type drain. Ball valve drains have a straight through path when fully open and allow draining/flushing out the heater much better than gate valves like you currently have. Ask the hardware store to set you up with something with a male hose bib so you can attach a garden hose when draining your heater later.

HRG
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
That's an easy fix--AllanJ gave you the answer---Go to the hardware store and ask for a "hose cap"

It looks like a bottle cap--just screw it on.---A dripping drain valve just happens sometimes--

The cap will fix it.---Mike--
Yes temporary or not it's the way to go.

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