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Water Heater Drain Valve Question - GE SE50T12TAH


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5 replies to this topic

#1 Golferdude

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 11:58 AM

I have an electric GE water heater, only about 4 years old, and I was testing an washing machine in my garage. So I hooked up a hose to my water heater drain valve to run hot water through the washer. But it didn't drain hot water, it might of gotten a little warm but not much. I thought it would of been close to as hot as what comes out in the house. I did check both elements and they checked out ok. And the bottom element comes on. So just curious if I was incorrect assuming the water should be pretty hot coming out of the drain valve?

Thanks..

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#2 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 12:18 PM

should be
.

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#3 Golferdude

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 12:43 PM

Any thoughts why it wouldn't be hot? The water supply is on a water softener and when I drain water from the water heater it is clean...so it doesn't appear to have sediment.

#4 Bullstok

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:20 PM

Hot water rises to the top of the tank, the cold stays near the bottom. When the heater heats, the newly hot water satisfies the lower t-stat and the lower t-stat is not right at the bottom of the heater. So the water down below the level of the bottom t-stat is not full temperature. The dip tube delivers the cold water to the bottom of the tank very near the drain valve on some water heaters. Therefore the only chace the water coming into the heater has of getting hot before it leaves the drain is the mixing done in distance between the end of the dip tube and the drain. If you look at a picture of the insides of a water heater it may help. Some dip tubes have holes in them all the way up the tube to help prevent "stacking." This is for another subject, but the holes allow some "extra" mixing over a solid dip tube. So you get luke warm water out of the drain. Also you get all the gookus that has settled in the bottom of the heater so clean your hose screens too or your washer won't be happy :) On the plus side, the inside of the tank will be clean if it wasn't before.

For anyone else reading this: be warned, if you have never ran the drain and think this sounds like a great idea for you to try (I wash the garage floor with mine) you may:

1.Get clean water out and be lucky

2. Get water full of sediment for a while, then clear water, then all is fine (also lucky)

3. Get no or little water and discover the bottom is full of crud. Then if you fall into this catagory, you may or may not be able to close the valve because of the newly found crud stuck in it. This leaves you in a great situation because at any time the crud could let loose with the valve stuck open (use your imagination.) If you find yourself in this place, hook up a hose and put the other end in a drain with it secured so it doesnt blow out (laying the hose in a sink with a 5 gallon bucket on it works.) Then open and shut the valve to work the crud loose. If that don't work good luck to you :) I'm on call to drive to your house.

Edited by Bullstok, 13 January 2012 - 07:40 PM.


#5 RJ Kanary_old

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 06:29 PM

I just enjoyed the annual plastic boiler drain saga on my 14 year old US/Craftmasters 50 gallon gas model.After removing the valve and replacing it with something less flimsy, I'm giving serious consideration to installing a gate valve.Expensive, I know, but it will be worth it to get ALL of the trash out. :)
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#6 RJ Kanary_old

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 06:14 PM

A fellow wrench slinger has been nice enough to provide me with a real, honest to goodness, three quarter inch bronze, Made In USA Milwaukee/Hammond gate valve. :) So, the upcoming project is to drain and remove the tank from the closet sized,under the cellar stairs 'Mechanical Room' to reinforce the platform the tank sits on. { There' a 3X3 foot hole in the cement floor right where it had to go. :( } Change the valve, put a plug in the end of it between drainings because gate valves have been know to develop incontinence,and maybe I'll get another decade or so out of it. <VBG>
RJ Kanary
ASE® Certified Master Automotive Technician




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