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Old 10-21-2008, 04:42 PM   #1
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How long does it take to drain a 40 gal water heater?

Im in the process of replacing my water heater. I've opened up all the hot water spouts in the house and opened the drain on the water heater. This was about 45mins ago and water is still coming out... cept not hot anymore. I've closed the valve on the cold water pipe at the top of the heater so there shouldn't be any new water going into the tank.





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Old 10-21-2008, 04:57 PM   #2
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I cannot remember the exact time it took to drain mine, but it did seem like forever. If you have disconnected all sources of water, it will eventually run dry.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:15 PM   #3
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That sounds like a long time. Check the valve and make sure it's actually off for the water feed into the heater. Especially if now it's running cold but was really hot.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:23 PM   #4
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It should not output cold water if the supply valve is closed. It will refill itself if it is able to, and that sounds like what you've got going on, just that the incoming water is not getting the chance to warm up, but is coming out your faucets. Something is amiss. . . .
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:25 PM   #5
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I think the valve maybe broken or not fully closing. I had to put a channel lock on it just to turn it, it was so hard to screw. I turned off the main valve just now so we'll see if that does the trick.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:40 PM   #6
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You should have a pressure relief valve with a downtube attached. Open that valve as well.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:41 PM   #7
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45 minutes to drain 40 gallons = less then a gallon per minute. Safe to say something is feeding it.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:42 PM   #8
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Shoot a hole in the bottm of it with the largest firearm you have availibe.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:51 PM   #9
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I changed the 50 gal at my gf's house on saturday. I got a bit impatient waiting for it to drain so at around 1/2 empty I closed the spicket, threw my arms around it and carried it out.
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:45 PM   #10
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I changed the 50 gal at my gf's house on saturday. I got a bit impatient waiting for it to drain so at around 1/2 empty I closed the spicket, threw my arms around it and carried it out.
can you beat up the bear though?
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:04 PM   #11
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can you beat up the bear though?
I chose yes.
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:51 PM   #12
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I used to drain my hot water tank twice a year. (Typically during the daylight savings/standard time changes). I figure what the heck. I had to go into the crawl space and adjust the timer. Might as well flush the system.

Yes, it takes an eternity to drain 40 gallons. 45 minutes sounded about right. At least 30 minutes and then some.

The water will get cooler as you drain it. When the electric element is off (breaker turned off), you have a combination of not heating water + emptying hot water. Once the level seeps below the elements, you're not getting any residual heat off the coils.

It also depends how far you're sending the drain water. In my case it would empty out a hose about 2 feet long and down a bit, and then exit into the soil for the sump pump to pick it up. If you're draining it 30 feet away and level ground, it's going to take a while.

Is the spigot for draining it open all the way?
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:52 PM   #13
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so...how long did it take?
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:07 PM   #14
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Shoot a hole in the bottm of it with the largest firearm you have availibe.
That's still too slow.

DIY Instant Water Heater Drainage

Yes, many of you probably guessed that was coming.
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:13 PM   #15
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The first thing I thought of was Torricelli's Law, but I'm not sure if that applies, is there a pump anywhere in the system or is it strictly gravity?

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I changed the 50 gal at my gf's house on saturday. I got a bit impatient waiting for it to drain so at around 1/2 empty I closed the spicket, threw my arms around it and carried it out.
25gal x 8lbs per gallon + weight of the heater =
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:13 PM
 
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