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Old 10-07-2010, 04:05 AM   #1
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How do I drain my water heater?


I need to remove my water heater, but I don't know where I would drain it to. It is in the laundry room next to the washer sitting at floor level and I don't have anywhere low enough to drain to.

Washer drain house is in the wall.

Could I use a garden hose attached to the bottom, then shove it down the washer drainage so that the tip is lower than the bottom of water heater, then open the drain, a faucet, then shut off water supply to water heater and hope that water will siphon out?

If I recall correctly, as long as there is water already flowing and point of drain is lower than the water level, having an inverse U higher than water level doesn't affect the siphon.

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Old 10-07-2010, 06:31 AM   #2
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How do I drain my water heater?


Do you have a shower or an outside door nearby? I always run a garden hose to one of these areas. Siphoning could be a long process.

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Old 10-07-2010, 06:52 AM   #3
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How do I drain my water heater?


I use a small pump to drain water heaters. It will push water uphill and does it faster. Big box stores have small pumps for not too much money.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:13 AM   #4
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How do I drain my water heater?


Open hot faucets upstairs. Take the drain hose and put it into the laundry tub or even into the washing machine. In the case of the latter you would have to start the spin cycle once or twice to empty out the washing machine before it overflows and be careful you don't get the hose and the agitator tangled.

You will drain the tank reasonably quickly down to the level of the hose as it loops over the side of the tub or machine. If you are lucky you will drain the tank down to the level of the end of the hose inside the tub or machine.

If the flow stops, take the hose out, lay the end on the floor, and when water comes out put your finger on the end and put the hose back into the tub/machine. After two unsuccessful tries of this, go on to the next paragraph.

Now there is only a small amount of water left in the tank that has to be emptied out a bucket at a time. Instead of turning the little valve under the tank so many times which can wear it out, leave the hose on and lift the end of the hose up and hang it on the pipes on top of the tank between bucketfuls.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:25 PM   #5
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How do I drain my water heater?


Simply hook up a air comp to the T&P tapping, close the coldsupply valve, hook up hose and place end at desired discharge location. Open the boiler drain and turn on compressor. It doesn't take much air. Works good if you have sediment too.
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:45 PM   #6
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How do I drain my water heater?


Washing machine, then a five gallon bucket it is. I'll get it light enough to move it, then I'm just going to let her pee away once I get it outside
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:08 PM   #7
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How do I drain my water heater?


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Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
Simply hook up a air comp to the T&P tapping, close the coldsupply valve, hook up hose and place end at desired discharge location. Open the boiler drain and turn on compressor. It doesn't take much air. Works good if you have sediment too.
I don't have a compressor. Can I hook up a can of R-22 refrigerant instead to push out the water?
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:22 AM   #8
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How do I drain my water heater?


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I don't have a compressor. Can I hook up a can of R-22 refrigerant instead to push out the water?
No!

Wasteful, and it won't last long enough. And get poison gas (yes, Freon is poisonous to breathe) all over the place.

If so much sediment had accumulated inside the tank that the bottom drain valve doesn't work at all, a few squirts of air up the drain valve from a tire hand pump may be enough to loosen things up.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 10-15-2010 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 10-15-2010, 09:27 AM   #9
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How do I drain my water heater?


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Originally Posted by HVAC_NW View Post
I don't have a compressor. Can I hook up a can of R-22 refrigerant instead to push out the water?
You're kidding, right?
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:00 PM   #10
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How do I drain my water heater?


Drainage went fine. The bottom thing was clogged, however I was able to punch out the heat trap on cold side and attach long hose leading outside with the end lower than the bottom of water heater. I initiated the water flow using an inert non-flammable gas that shall remain unnamed into the hot side. I got the siphon going and water siphoned out up the dip tube and after about an hour it drained fine.
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:15 PM   #11
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How do I drain my water heater?


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Originally Posted by HVAC_NW View Post
I don't have a compressor. Can I hook up a can of R-22 refrigerant instead to push out the water?
Thanks, this is the best chuckle I've had all week!

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