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CeliaP
Faster way to drain hot water heater?
CeliaP

We shut down our summer cottage each fall. Last thing that we do is drain the pipes and hot water heater. We go thru the same steps every year. Some years it's a bit quicker than others. But it does take a long time (1+ hrs) to drain the hot water heater using just gravity. Are there any methods to help speed this process up? I know that they sell water drain pumps but those are a bit costly.

bill
Re: Faster way to drain hot water heater?
bill

i also have a cottage in the northern Quebec woods. I bought a very good air compressor i brought several years ago. I connect it to the water line and blow all water out. it takes me about 1 1/2 hour to do this but i know that that all tanks water pumps ect are 100% empty of water and there fore safe from water freezing then because i am nut bar i poor plumbers anti freeze into every thing. the cost to replace a pump or filter or tank far exceeds this cost. I have been doing this for several years and have yet to replace anything.

dj1
Re: Faster way to drain hot water heater?
dj1

The water heater drain outlet is close to the bottom of the tank, and that's where you usually have sediments, rust and other junk that might clog the drain. However, 1 hour is not terribly long.

Disconnecting the cold water supply at the top of the water heater, might speed up the process.

Also, if the drain is slow (like dripping), remove the plastic drain valve, insert a long neck screwdriver to break away some of the sediment "growth", and see if the water comes out faster. This will be a good time to replace the flimsy OE plastic valve with a brass valve (only $5), to ensure a better operation of the drain.

ed21
Re: Faster way to drain hot water heater?
ed21

Open a hot water faucet, open the pressure relief valve or union at the top of the water heater if there is one to allow air to enter as the water drains. Pressure relief valves sometimes leak after being opened if they haven't ever been used before.
Start the water heater draining when you first get there so it can get draining while you do other winterizing work. Don't forget to turn off the heater.

A. Spruce
Re: Faster way to drain hot water heater?
A. Spruce
ed21 wrote:

Open a hot water faucet, open the pressure relief valve or union at the top of the water heater if there is one to allow air to enter as the water drains. Pressure relief valves sometimes leak after being opened if they haven't ever been used before.
Start the water heater draining when you first get there so it can get draining while you do other winterizing work. Don't forget to turn off the heater.

Water can only drain from a closed system so fast, as Ed21 notes, open a hot water valve or two to allow air into the system so that it can drain from the water heater more rapidly.

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