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Old 09-22-2011, 08:45 AM   #1
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flushing water heater with intake at bottom


We've bought an old house with a 7 year old electric water heater that I want to flush out. But the cold-water intake is located at the ***bottom of the unit**** and it comes off the same fitting as the hose bib drain valve. That strikes me as pretty odd, but maybe not. What it means is that if I hook up a hose to drain the unit and then open the hose bib what comes out is cold water right from the intake pipe. I have gotten some pretty good sized hunks of sediment out of the unit by turning the valves open and closed a number of times, but I feel like I am not really flushing it out--most of the water is just blowing by the unit and heading straight out the drain valve. Is there another way to go about this when the set up is like this.

For instance, what if I: (1) shut off the cold water intake at the bottom (2) unscrewed the cap at the top of the unit (next to the hot water going out) which I assume is another cold water intake since I've only ever seen cold and hot located both at the top; (3) hook a hose up to this top cold water intake and another hose to the hose bib drain valve at the bottom; (4) run water through the hose to the top of the unit

Does that seem like it would work?

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Old 09-22-2011, 09:38 AM   #2
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flushing water heater with intake at bottom


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Originally Posted by dweeter View Post
We've bought an old house with a 7 year old electric water heater that I want to flush out. But the cold-water intake is located at the ***bottom of the unit**** and it comes off the same fitting as the hose bib drain valve. That strikes me as pretty odd, but maybe not. What it means is that if I hook up a hose to drain the unit and then open the hose bib what comes out is cold water right from the intake pipe. I have gotten some pretty good sized hunks of sediment out of the unit by turning the valves open and closed a number of times, but I feel like I am not really flushing it out--most of the water is just blowing by the unit and heading straight out the drain valve. Is there another way to go about this when the set up is like this.

For instance, what if I: (1) shut off the cold water intake at the bottom (2) unscrewed the cap at the top of the unit (next to the hot water going out) which I assume is another cold water intake since I've only ever seen cold and hot located both at the top; (3) hook a hose up to this top cold water intake and another hose to the hose bib drain valve at the bottom; (4) run water through the hose to the top of the unit

Does that seem like it would work?
Yes. That's a little more work than what you'd conventionally have to do, but you don't really have an easy situation there. Nothing wrong with that. Shut off the power before you start taking stuff apart. Grab a couple new flex supplies just in case the ones you have won't go back on without leaking.

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Old 09-22-2011, 11:03 AM   #3
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flushing water heater with intake at bottom


That worked great. Thanks. Holy crud!!
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Old 09-22-2011, 05:23 PM   #4
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flushing water heater with intake at bottom


You may get acceptable result opening hot water faucets upstairs, turning off the cold supply, and then opening the drain valve.

Closing the drain valve, leaving the hot faucets upstairs open, and turning on the cold supply can stir up the water enough to loosen up more sediment.

The heat should be off during this operation (gas heaters can be set to "pilot"). Be sure that water is gushing from the hot faucet again before turning the heat back on.
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