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Manage My Life

Why does my water heater take so long to drain?

by Manage My Life Last activity date:
February 3rd, 2011

I have a whirlpool Energy Smart 80 gallon water heater model EE328OHDO55V, installed in 2006. The other day I had to replace the bottom element. The light at the top of the water heater was blinking 5 times and the trouble shooting page said to check the bottom element. When I first attached the drain hose and opened it, a little amount of sedement (calcium deposits from hard water) came out, I'd say about 2 table spoons worth ( I do use a water softener). So I waited for the draining to stop or get low enough to change the element and after about 2 hours of what appeared to be a medium trickle I decided to remove the bottom element, when I did a lot of water started coming out of the element hole, so I quickly put the new element into place and screwed it in. Everything is working fine now. Does it normally take this long for this water heater to drain? and could it be that some of the calcium is blocking the drain hole? if so how can I clean the tank out?

Tags:
Whirlpool , Building Supplies
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Answers (2)
scott d
I can understand your concern. The information you have received is correct to drain a water heater. When draining any water heater, it will also help to open the relief valve in addition to keeping any hot water faucet open. This will help it drain faster. Now if it still trickles out, it indicates the bottom of the tank has a lot of mineral deposits built up. If this build up gets up to the element, it will decrease the life of the element. In this case, it will take a very long time to drain the tank and this can happen with any water heater. When the bottom of the tank gets this build up, it's very unlikely that it can be cleaned out. The only way to remove some of the build up, will be to, turn the water supply back on, after the drain hose has been connected. This may force some of the mineral deposits out but it will not clean it. Now this will not hurt anything other then causing the bottom element to burn out at a faster rate. If it gets too frequent, then you may want to consider replacing the water heater. I hope this will help you. If you would like more assistance, any additional details will be helpful and I will be glad to assist you further.
by scott d
February 3rd, 2011
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Manage My Life
Water heaters are necessary this time of year so when it starts to have problems it can get really disappointing. While you are waiting on an expert to response to your question, I was searching in the Manage My Life website and found a great link on your question. I have attached the link below. Hope this helps!
Answered in 7 minutes
by Manage My Life
February 2nd, 2011
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