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Hello I am pretty new to working on water heaters. My water heater is a Whirlpool and is pretty old. (2010) But I was trying to drain it so that I could clean out all the old sediment and rust that I am sure is in it. But I ran into a problem with the cold water inlet valve. It looks like the last plumber who worked on it must've put the valve on wrong because the furnace tube is right in the way as I need to turn it off in order to drain my tank from what I've read. So my question is what will be the easiest way to switch that valve out or fix it? I tried for a minute to loosen that nut so I could possibly move the valve to the bottom so I could maybe turn it off that way but then water started leaking. Thank you and sorry if this is a dumb question.
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A "Handy Husband"
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Remove the handle and close valve with vise grips.

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you I didn't think of trying that. I don't think my water heater has been drained in at least 8 years. Would it be safe to attempt to drain it or since its been that long should I just buy a new one? The reason I wanted to drain it is because its been having a lot of knocking/popping sounds lately
 

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11 yo Whirlpool? Replace it now so you won’t have to do it in an emergency situation. Draining it now won’t do much good anyway as the sediment will stay in the tank as the draining water channels through it. Rich from TOH has a good video on this. Unless you disconnect the plumbing so you can shake up and suspend the sediment, draining does very little, especially after so many years.
 

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Turn off the water heater heat before draining.

Start with a water power draining (called a flush) rather than a gravity draining. To do that, leave the cold water supply turned on, all faucets off and open the water heater drain valve.

If you take the handle off of that valve will the handle fit on the other way namely pointing down?

Another thing you could try, cut off all except one inch of the valve handle and put it back. Then you can use a large ordinary pliers to turn it on and off.

(To do a gravity draining, open a hot faucet upstairs after turning off the cold water. Every other draining every few months or so should be a flush.)

Since you went so many years without draining/flushing, do it every 2 weeks until you get little or no sediment out two consecutive times. Then y ou can switch to the usual every 6 months schedule.

Don't turn on the water heater heat until you open a hot faucet upstairs and see water gushing out for a whole minute without spurts of air.
 

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I think ABUC has it right.
The way your system is installed you can't service ( replace) the anode rod in the tank..... which in your unit is probably all used up and should be replaced periodically if you want the tank to last. When your sacrifice rod (anode) is depleted your tank rusts out. The new installation shoud be made so the unit can have the anode rod replaced ... perhaps as soon as every three years if your water dictates it.
Also when you put in a new unit replace the bottom drain valve with a 3/4 ball valve that's made for flushing the unit.( about $25.at Amazon or Ebay ). The stock gate valves just do not allow the sediment to flush out.
 

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Hello I am pretty new to working on water heaters. My water heater is a Whirlpool and is pretty old. (2010) But I was trying to drain it so that I could clean out all the old sediment and rust that I am sure is in it. But I ran into a problem with the cold water inlet valve. It looks like the last plumber who worked on it must've put the valve on wrong because the furnace tube is right in the way as I need to turn it off in order to drain my tank from what I've read. So my question is what will be the easiest way to switch that valve out or fix it? I tried for a minute to loosen that nut so I could possibly move the valve to the bottom so I could maybe turn it off that way but then water started leaking. Thank you and sorry if this is a dumb question.
I agree, If the flushing doesn't help, replace it. I'm sure the anode rod is gone by now.

The drain that comes with the wh is never big enough to get the sediment out anyway.
 

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In reference to the handle; I can't really tell by the pic, but it looks like you may have a couple inches to play with on the dryer exhaust.

Angle vent towards the outside wall or maybe there's enough room already, remove the valve handle and cut it with dremel or hack saw so it will fit between vent. The handle won't be as long, but it would still work so you wouldn't have to remove it when needed. Just a suggestion.
 

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In addition, if you do replace the wh, make sure to replace the xpansion tank as well and set it to your incoming water pressure.

Last week Lowes had 40 gal ng AO smith wh with 6 year warantee for 398 dollars. Wh's are easy to replace, yours has unions on the inlets, the hardest part will be getting the old one out and new one in. Use two people and a dolly when transporting them, newer ones are wider and heavier.
 

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Remarkable how many years it took me to realize how easy Water Heaters are to maintain ... so they will likely last 30 years. ( which is a hell of a lot longer than I'll last )
The manufacturers are happy for the normal Joe to install one and then let it crap out after the warranty has expired so they will go buy another. Putting the crappy plastic gate valves for drainage that will not pass much sediment is another example. They are like a little time bomb in that if they are not taken care of they will certainly fail.
And the realization that the only difference in the warranty lengths are #1 -- How much you pay and #2 = I've read that some units have two anode rods to make the tanks last a little longer. Otherwise the units are the same. It seems the same applies to the installers as well ....... jam them in with no regard for maintenance .... so in less than a decade they can put another new one in.
Recognizing the anode rod prevents the tank deterioration and keeping the sediment or scale out of the tank should be a priority.
 

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Remarkable how many years it took me to realize how easy Water Heaters are to maintain ... so they will likely last 30 years. ( which is a hell of a lot longer than I'll last )
The manufacturers are happy for the normal Joe to install one and then let it crap out after the warranty has expired so they will go buy another. Putting the crappy plastic gate valves for drainage that will not pass much sediment is another example. They are like a little time bomb in that if they are not taken care of they will certainly fail.
And the realization that the only difference in the warranty lengths are #1 -- How much you pay and #2 = I've read that some units have two anode rods to make the tanks last a little longer. Otherwise the units are the same. It seems the same applies to the installers as well ....... jam them in with no regard for maintenance .... so in less than a decade they can put another new one in.
Recognizing the anode rod prevents the tank deterioration and keeping the sediment or scale out of the tank should be a priority.
Preventive maintenance and water quality is the key to the longevity of a wh no doubt.

Replace that plastic drain with a full port brass ball valve (pictured above), change the anode rod every three years and flush annually, it will probably out live you.

But lets be realistic, how many home owners actually do preventive maintenance on their wh. Most just wait until it starts making noise or have no hot water one day, by then it's usually too late. Some as the poster picture shows, are installed in such a very tight spot that no maintenance can be done on them unless you drain it, take it apart and move it. Imo, not many homeowners would be willing to do this.
 

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Looks to me like removing 2 or 3 screws will drop the dryer rigid exhaust elbow, and then you will have plenty of room to turn your handle.
 

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My $.02 would be DO NOT USE PLYERS ON THE VALVE STEM!!
Rather bend the valve handle enough to slow turning it to the off position.
Auto correct did it again.
by bending the valve handle it may be more difficult to turn, but using vice grips to turn the stem you may damage it. The handle limits the rotation to only the 1/4 turn needed to be on or off.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
11 yo Whirlpool? Replace it now so you won’t have to do it in an emergency situation. Draining it now won’t do much good anyway as the sediment will stay in the tank as the draining water channels through it. Rich from TOH has a good video on this. Unless you disconnect the plumbing so you can shake up and suspend the sediment, draining does very little, especially after so many years.
Thank you for your help. I am thinking I'll attempt to replace the water myself after reading everyone's comments.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you all for your responses. I really have failed on not draining my water heater. I have tried once before but didn't know the right steps to do it. But I think I will attempt to see if I can get some junk out if the bottom for now and see if that works. Hopefully I can just take some screws out of the furnace air duct to make enough room to turn the valve. But I am planning on replacing my water heater soon now after reading everyone's comments. At least I will know for the future what I need to do. Thanks again guys
 

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Discussion Starter #17
In addition, if you do replace the wh, make sure to replace the xpansion tank as well and set it to your incoming water pressure.

Last week Lowes had 40 gal ng AO smith wh with 6 year warantee for 398 dollars. Wh's are easy to replace, yours has unions on the inlets, the hardest part will be getting the old one out and new one in. Use two people and a dolly when transporting them, newer ones are wider and heavier.
Is my expansion tank installed correctly on my current water heater? I just want to make sure I put a new one on correctly. And me not knowing exactly how to assemble one, I would probably just try to set it up exactly how my old one is (minus the cold water valve being a pain.)
 

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Conside using flexible connection between the pipe and the water heater. Makes replacing sooooo much easier; now and in the future.
 

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Is my expansion tank installed correctly on my current water heater? I just want to make sure I put a new one on correctly. And me not knowing exactly how to assemble one, I would probably just try to set it up exactly how my old one is (minus the cold water valve being a pain.)
It can be installed that way. You have a very tight space there, probably it's the only way to do it.

They recommend vertically because of the stress on the pipe if it fails and fills with water. They become very heavy when filled with water and can possibly snap a pipe.

You can add some cloth or metal strapping to support it better from the joist, etc., when you replace it.
 

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The AO Smith models from Lowe’s are rebranded Whirlpools. You have to pay more to get a real AO Smith from a plumbing supply.

In addition, if you do replace the wh, make sure to replace the xpansion tank as well and set it to your incoming water pressure.

Last week Lowes had 40 gal ng AO smith wh with 6 year warantee for 398 dollars. Wh's are easy to replace, yours has unions on the inlets, the hardest part will be getting the old one out and new one in. Use two people and a dolly when transporting them, newer ones are wider and heavier.
 
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