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 to drain or not to drain?
Author: mcf57 (GA)

I have a 5yr old (gas) hot water heater that I think needs to be drained. Recently, I noticed the hot water is initially turning brown when first turned on in ANY sink fo the house. After about 5 mins running, it clears up. From what I have started researching, it seems like my hot water heater may need to be drained in since there is probably too much sentiment & junk at the bottom.

I have never drained this water heater causeI have always heard conflicting reports on if a water heater should be drained or not. Some say "if it ain't broke" don't mess with it/ Others say at least once per year.

I have seen some youtube video that say you have to be careful cause if you start opening valves up (drain and pressure release), you may not be able to fully close them & then have more problems on your hands.
I have read that preparation for this task includes the following:

-turning off cold water supply
-open pressure release valve
-turn off gas line
-switch to "pilot" on water heater
-connect standard garden hose to drain line

Any other recommendations? Or should I not even mess with it and just let the water "clear up" as it is currently doing?

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 Re: to drain or not to drain?
Author: sum (FL)

Last item "connect standard garden hose to drain line" I assume it was a typo you meant attach hose to the drain valve?

Problem with draining after not draining for such a long time, is when you do open the drain valve, it may not open, or open fully. In addition if it does open and draining, the sediment and junk may clog it then you see the other end of the hose slows to a crawl.

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 Re: to drain or not to drain?
Author: steve (CA)

I don't think your issue is with tank sediment. The dip tube directs the incoming cold water to the bottom of the tank. This forces the hot water out the top of the tank and if sediment was being stirred up at the bottom, that tainted water would have to flow completely through the heater and I think it would take more than 5 minutes to run clear. What material are the water pipes made of? Sounds like a galvanized pipe or dielectric union that is rusting.

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 Re: to drain or not to drain?
Author: packy (MA)

or worst case scenario, a piece of the inner tank liner has failed and the tank is rusting ?

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