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Why does my water heater take so long to drain?

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?

Whirlpool , Building Supplies
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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!
by Manage My Life
February 2nd, 2011
Answered in 7 minutes
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