Can't relieve vacuum to drain water heater


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Old 02-20-08, 07:28 PM
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Can't relieve vacuum to drain water heater

I have a leaky drain valve that I need to replace, but I can't get my gas water heater to drain. I've followed several variants of the standard instructions for releasing vacuum pressure. Overall, when I open the valve, water flows freely until I shut off the cold water intake. This is regardless of how many hot water faucets I have open at the time. I have also tried opening the pressure relief valve in hopes that the seal will be broken, to no avail. I've attempted seemingly every combination of the order of opening the drain valve, turning on the hot faucets, closing the cold intake, etc. I've also allowed the water to drain for a couple of minutes with the cold intake open (flushing procedure), hoping beyond hope that the "momentum" of water flow will continue after turning off the cold water source -- again, no luck. Any suggestions?
 
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Old 02-20-08, 07:39 PM
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Buy one of those threaded caps sold in garden departments. Screw it on and no leak.

Also, you can push some wire in there it may help. How old is the water heater?
 
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Old 02-20-08, 07:49 PM
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I actually did get a screw-on cap as a temporary fix, but thought I would go ahead and replace the valve anyway. Plus, I'm sure the heater's never been drained so that was the secondary motivation. Heater's about 8-9 years old I would guess.
 
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Old 02-20-08, 08:02 PM
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Definately clogged. Wire, solder, anything that will go up there may help. Try to flush it so it will heat better. But being that old, I would not try to replace the drain. Cap it. I bet the drain is plastic? Those can warp and break, then you are in trouble. Good Luck!
 
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Old 02-20-08, 08:14 PM
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Yeah, I may just go ahead and leave it capped and forget about it. When you mention that it's clogged, where would the clog be? I'm just wondering why the water flows freely out the drain valve as long as the cold water is flushing it out. Thanks for the info.
 
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Old 02-21-08, 04:36 PM
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There is sediment at the bottom, and the water helps it come out. Typical.
 
 

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