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DIY Water Heater Repair

by Kevin Hill — last modified Dec 04, 2007 12:58 PM
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Fixed our leaking water heater

So our water heater has been leaking just a little the last few weeks. After some observation and well placed pans, I determined it was the cheap plastic drain valve that was the problem.

Turns out after doing some research these plastic "cone valves" frequently leak, and are easy to replace even without draining the tank.

Here how I did it:

  1. I bought a 3/4" ball valve with a hose connector on it at Lowes.
  2. I turned off the gas to water heater.
  3. I turned off the water supply to the water heater.
  4. I opened a hot water faucet to relieve the pressure by letting it run until it mostly stopped, then closed the faucet. Its very important no one tries to turn on the hot water from this point on!
  5. I unscrewed the old plastic valve. It loosens counterclockwise until its cleared the threads on the outer pipe, then you need to turn it clockwise to get the rest of it out.
  6. I put some teflon tape on the drain pipe and screwed on the ball valve.
  7. I closed the ball valve, turned on the water supply, and re-lit the pilot light.
The next morning everything was nice and dry!


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