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Old 11-19-2013, 10:30 AM   #1
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Water heater siphoning?


Hello:
I recently drained my pipes to prepare for the winter. I closed the main, opened my sink faucets in the house then opened the hot/cold drain valves down in the build up to drain the pipes. The system drained for a few minutes then stopped. I then closed the sink faucets in house and returned to the build up to find the hot water drain valve flowing again and the cold not so. Did I somehow enable a siphon situation of the water heater? If so, any suggestions? I cannot figure out what is actually occurring pressure wise if this is the case.
Thank you for any assistance.

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Old 11-19-2013, 04:17 PM   #2
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Water heater siphoning?


Not quite sure what it is your trying to do. Others will be along shortly with more advice.

Water heater and furnace should have their own shut off and drains.

Are you draining all your pipes for the winter and going to another location?

Is your main shut off a gate valve or ball valve? Please Post pic of it if not sure. If gate valve, it may not be shutting or opening all the way. Lot of problems with old gate valves. Just a thought.


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Old 11-19-2013, 05:40 PM   #3
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Water heater siphoning?


Thanks jmon! I am winterizing my pipes when I leave for the week. Each of the hot and cold lines have a faucet at the lowest point to drain the pipes when the main is turned off and I open a few faucets in the house to indri dice air. The pipes drain, both hot and cold. What happened was when I shut off the indoor faucets in the bathroom and kitchen it seemed to cause the hot water to begin dumping out again like the pipes were full. The only place contributing is the water heater. What is odd is when the indoor sink valves were open the hot and cold pipes drained out then stopped. When I closed them the hot started draining again (cold did not).
I am wondering if a back pressure situation prevented the pipe from the water heater from siphoning when the indoor faucets were open.
Curious situation.
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:08 PM   #4
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Water heater siphoning?


IMO, If your only leaving for a week, just leave the heat on low, and set the water heater to vacation untill you get back. Why do all this just for a week?

If you did not turn off and drain your HWH, then it's possible you created some kind of siphon effect. IDK. Maybe others can give you some better advice. Sorry I couldn't be of more help to you.

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Old 11-19-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
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Water heater siphoning?


If youre trying to winterize it for a long period of time Id use an air compressor to blow the lines out ,any water trapped in lines can freeze and cause issues.
Id also dump rv anti freeze down fixture traps.
If youre just leaving for a week Id just shut the main off at the meter and leave the heat set on 50 to keep it above freezing,If you dont trust your furnace thats a differant issue.
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:56 PM   #6
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Water heater siphoning?


We utilize the cabin on the weekends so it is standard protocol to drain the pipes up there even for a week. is a small place with just a fireplace and a single wall heater down stairs.
The issue concerning me is why the water heater seems to siphon. The tank must be venting through the cold inlet line to allow the siphoning to happen on the hot side and out the drain faucet. ??
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:01 PM   #7
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Water heater siphoning?


Yes its drawing air in from the cold side.
Just remember if its not blown out completely any water left in the system can freeze,same with water in fixture traps.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:10 PM   #8
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Thank you for helping me think through what is going on.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:19 PM   #9
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Water heater siphoning?


Your welcome. Didn't realize it was a camp you were talking about. Thanks for explaining.

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