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Old 10-20-2008, 08:27 PM   #16
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water heater confusion - need help pls


If the meter didn't budge when testing the lower element for resistance, then you have a bad element. Just as we originally thought.

You will have to drain the tank, remove the element, and replace it. You will also need a 1" socket wrench to turn those elements out and in the threaded hole in the water tank.

Replacement elements can be purchased at most home centers. They might have a cheap water-heater element wrench that can be used with a screwdriver. I have a nice 3/4 drive socket for such occasions.

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Old 10-20-2008, 09:01 PM   #17
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water heater confusion - need help pls


I just got back from lowes, I got the replacement element, a 100ft garden hose to drain the heater out to the backyard and a wrench to remove the element.

I'm going to start draining it by turning off the cold water, open a faucet upstairs and then attaching the hose to the bottom and opening the nut.

I'll be back shortly.
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:31 PM   #18
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ok I have a question....

My drain doesn't have a knob to turn off and on but it has this nut which people told me is the on/off.

Here is a picture of the drain valve:

http://photos.walmart.com/shareethum...=SYE/otsi=SALB

Anyway, when I unscrew that nut the part that the hose is screwed onto turns with it....is this normal? I'm worried I'm unscrewing the whole thing and if I go too far the whole thing will come off and out comes the water onto the floor.
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:48 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by spikesnet View Post
ok I have a question....

My drain doesn't have a knob to turn off and on but it has this nut which people told me is the on/off.

Here is a picture of the drain valve:

http://photos.walmart.com/shareethum...=SYE/otsi=SALB

Anyway, when I unscrew that nut the part that the hose is screwed onto turns with it....is this normal? I'm worried I'm unscrewing the whole thing and if I go too far the whole thing will come off and out comes the water onto the floor.

I turned the large roundish nut with my hand counter clock wise for a while and nothing seemed to happened. Then I felt water on my fingers coming out from where I was unscrewing this nut so I quickly screwed it back in.

Note that the garden hose screwed onto the drain turned as I turned the nut.
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:55 PM   #20
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water heater confusion - need help pls


I'm going to put everything back together and wait till tomorrow when you guys are back on and can let me know about this drain valve, rather then make a messy mistake.
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:50 AM   #21
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I'm going to put everything back together and wait till tomorrow when you guys are back on and can let me know about this drain valve, rather then make a messy mistake.
HI,

I unfortunately do not have a good answer for you about the valves. Other than to say, they are cheap and I don't understand why they are used when you can buy a really nice brass ball valve for $6.

You mentioned draining to the back yard, keep in mind that you are draining just using gravity, so it will not flow up hill. :-)

I agree the element is bad.

I am not sure what to say about the plastic valve issue, other than to say I think your correct that it is possible that it is could be unscrewing the valve. Although, my guess is that it is just a cheap valve and it is going to leak some when you open it. .. but please don't blame me if it pops out and dumps the water! My gas tank has a normal looking bib valve and it still leaks some water when you drain it with a hose on it, but it is not a ton of water, but some does leak out onto the floor.

If it were me, I would do my best to setup some type of alternate drainage / clean up plan in case that thing pops out. (make sure the water has cooled down first). I would have what ever I could ready to hold the water if necessary, and have tarps down on the floor. Have a kiddie pool cut away that you can wedge under the valve if necessary, 5 gallon pails, etc. Just in case... Having all of your bath towels ready can help alot also. A big bath towel can help contain a gallon + of water...

I am not sure a plumber would really have any other way to deal with this other than to say that they likely have an E&O insurance policy that would cover the water damage they did to your home if this valve dumps all the water at once.

Good luck, hopefully someone else will have some other ideas.

Jamie
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:09 AM   #22
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Thanks Jamie, you've been a big help.

I called the tech support number for GE that I found on the side of the tank and they said that the whole vavle should turn and that I wont be able to remove the whole valve from the heater without using force.

She thinks the reason nothing came out the hose was either:

1. hose going up hill
2. not enough faucets turned on to vent
3. I didn't engage the pressure relief valve.

She said I should go try again with those things in mind.

So this time I'm removing the 100' hose to the backyard and replacing it with a 3' to the sump pump well right next to the heater. I'm going to turn off the power to the heater and then run the hot water (with the cold supply to the heater still on) everywhere in the house till it runs cold. That way I dont have to wait for it to cool off.

Then I'm going to turn off the cold supply to the heater and try opening that drain again but this time with all faucets open and the pressure relief valve open.

Hopefully it will drain into the sump pump well.
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:27 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spikesnet View Post
Thanks Jamie, you've been a big help.

I called the tech support number for GE that I found on the side of the tank and they said that the whole vavle should turn and that I wont be able to remove the whole valve from the heater without using force.

She thinks the reason nothing came out the hose was either:

1. hose going up hill
2. not enough faucets turned on to vent
3. I didn't engage the pressure relief valve.

She said I should go try again with those things in mind.

So this time I'm removing the 100' hose to the backyard and replacing it with a 3' to the sump pump well right next to the heater. I'm going to turn off the power to the heater and then run the hot water (with the cold supply to the heater still on) everywhere in the house till it runs cold. That way I dont have to wait for it to cool off.

Then I'm going to turn off the cold supply to the heater and try opening that drain again but this time with all faucets open and the pressure relief valve open.

Hopefully it will drain into the sump pump well.
Sounds like a good plan, should be easy for you sump pump to pump out 40 gallons or so. Most sump pumps will pump 1000+ gallons a hour.

Did you find a socket large enough to remove the element with?

Jamie
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:46 AM   #24
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water heater confusion - need help pls


Lowes didn't have the socket so I got a cresent wrench instead
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:38 AM   #25
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It's draining!! It's draining slowly but at least its draining...
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:20 AM   #26
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It's draining!! It's draining slowly but at least its draining...
Weird, I don't know, but if I was doing this project,,, I would see if I could replace that plastic piece of junk valve with a real BIB valve. Once the tank is empty, you could see if you can safely unscrew that valve assembly. Then I am sure you can find fittings to get a bib valve (garden hose setup) to screw into there.

Look at your element once it is pulled out. ( I hope you can get the crescent wrench in there). See if it is really crudded up with minerals. You might needs a new anozing rod if it is really full of minerals and junk. It just seems weird it is draining slowly, so either the valve is just bad and not letting out much water or there is something blocking it / slowing it down - like mineral build up...

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Old 10-21-2008, 11:23 AM   #27
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water heater confusion - need help pls


I ended up finding a tool over by the waterheaters at lowes for removing the element. Its like a long thin socket....I'm still waiting for it to drain but so far so good.
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:46 PM   #28
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I uploaded pictures of the element I took out of the bottom:

http://photos.walmart.com/shareethum...=SYE/otsi=SALB

Everything is back together (I hope) and the heater is filling up with water right now.
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:04 PM   #29
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It finished filling up then I bled all of the bathrooms of the air in the line and checked to make sure the drain valve and new element were not leaking at all. I just restored the eletric to the heater.

I guess I'm on break. I'm hoping after seeing the pictures of the element your going to say I'm all finished with this project
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:08 PM   #30
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I uploaded pictures of the element I took out of the bottom:

http://photos.walmart.com/shareethum...=SYE/otsi=SALB

Everything is back together (I hope) and the heater is filling up with water right now.
Good job! The old element doesn't look that bad to me. I bet that old valve is just a crappy valve and that was likely what caused it to drain slowly.

Give it a couple hours, and if your water is up to the proper temp, then you should be able to assume that your all done.

I bet you saved at least $200 that a plumber would have charged to come out and change that element.

Jamie

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