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Water heater drain removal (plastic).

Post in 'The Green Room' started by WES999, May 10, 2009.

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  1. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    I just picked up a cheap used eclectic water heater form CL. I want to install a side arm heat exchanger on it.
    I tried to remove the plastic drain valve on the bottom of the tank but it won't budge. I am afraid it will snap off, and then it will be a real PITA to get out. Anyone have any ideas?

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  2. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    Well I got it out. I was all ready to snap it off and drill and tap what was left in the threads. I used a 18" pipe wrench and started turning, and what do you know it came loose. :)
  3. wingsfan

    wingsfan Feeling the Heat

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    good deal. glad to here you got it out. Sometimes you just have to go for it.Luckily it didn't break.
  4. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    That's the first thing I change on ANY water heater even brand new is the drain. I replace with a ball valve and a brass nipple so I can flush the tank 2-3 times per year.
  5. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    I did replace the drain with a new brass drain valve, a ball valve with a nipple sounds like it might be a bit better.
    Apparently this model did not come with an anode rod. I did install a drain pan with a hose to the sump, just in-case.
  6. mjbrown

    mjbrown Feeling the Heat

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    okay...now i am learning again. what is the anode rod, and why should it be replaced? i installed a new hwh in my home 2 yrs ago, and drain it spring and fall, never heard of replacing the anode rod, nor where it is, nor where to buy a new one.

    thanks, mike
  7. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    An anode rod is designed to corrode before the inside of the hot water heater does. Its made out of a material either magnesium or aluminum that will corrode before the iron will. If you change the anode before its worn out it can substantially increase the life of the tank possibly double or triple. The anode is normally attached to a screwed in plug on the top of the tank and pulls straight up out of the tank. It should look like a long tube almost the length of the tank. If you find obivous signs of corrosion on this tube or a short stub, replace it. If you have a big hot water heater, you may not be able to pull it out straight or slide a new one in. Dont worry bendible anodes are availlable. THe big box stores normally dont stock them, but any appliance dealer will be able to get one.

    Checking the anode is usually more important with private well systems. Most utilities add chemicals to reduce corrosion and that reduces the impact to anodes.

    Anodes are definitely a great investment that most homeowners ignore, I guess they would rather spend the money replacing a tank every so often.
  8. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    FYI Home Depot ( the one near me anyway) stocks them. Looks like a long aluminum rod attached to a pipe plug.
  9. mjbrown

    mjbrown Feeling the Heat

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    peak,
    thank you so much for this education...i knew nothing of this.my hwh is as i said only 2 yrs old,we have town water here which sux REALLY bad(i refuse to drink it),one day last fall the wife said we had no hot water.i thought "nice, top dollar($400 for a new hwh) and only one yrs use." pulled the elements and both were gone, just the plug that goes to the tank.guess i will be pulling this anode thing and checking/changing it. thank you so much for the explanation.

    mike
  10. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    I found this site:http://www.waterheaterrescue.com/
    Just about everything you would ever want to know about water heaters. Very informative, they even have a anode that will install in the hot water outlet that I can add to my heater as, it currently has no anode. They also recommend a ball valve for a drain which I an installing. They sell a curved dip tube to promote more complete flushing, I just used a heat gun and added a curve my existing dip tube.
  11. mjbrown

    mjbrown Feeling the Heat

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    wes,
    very infirmative, thank you.

    mike
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