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[–] Spaceballs-1 0 points 14 points (+14|-0) ago 

This is partially why it's important to regularly flush the scale out of your water heater. Look for the tap down low, hook up a water hose to a drain and open the valve FULLY.

Here's instructions on that ==>> http://archive.is/H3UbM - I always like Bob Vila because he so often seemed to say "Let's get an expert to show you, because I don't know shit about this"

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[–] AnTi90d [S] 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Yeah, I was reading around on other plumbing related stuff and figured I should also flush the water heater.

There's just one problem: they don't have any drains in their basement. It was built in the 1920s when the house didn't even have running water, just a cistern.

I guess I'd have to get some large tupperware containers and/or 5 gallon buckets and slowly fill those up and haul them back up the basement stairs.

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[–] 11670083? 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Most water heaters have a drain spigot that has standard garden hose threads on it. If theirs does, then just run a garden hose to the outside.

I flush ours that way every six months or so.

Turn off the water heater, use a lot of hot water for whatever - do a few loads of laundry, run the dishwasher, whatever (This is mostly so the hose doesn't get hot and develop permanent creases. I learned that the hard way.) Then hook the hose up, run it out to the nearest place that can handle about 50 gallons, and then open the valve and let it run for a while. You don't need to shut off the water or anything, because you want the normal house pressure to force all the settled gunk out the hose and up to ground level. But just let it run until it runs clear. This might take a while if it's never been flushed before, but it goes quicker every time.

It is possible they have hard water, in which case the flush spigot may not let any water flow if the water heater is old... I got rid of a water heater in a house I bought because when I tried to flush it, not only couldn't I get any water out of it, but I couldn't get any water to flow after taking apart the spigot and jamming a screwdriver into the drain pipe.

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[–] Spaceballs-1 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Does it have galvanized pipes too???

If the place has a sump you can drain the water to there as well.

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[–] patriot_biz 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Would you consider investing in a pump? I'd want a hand-pump for prepping scenarios. I'm thinking of picking up a pump for my gardening efforts. Just seems like there are plenty of times I'd want to move water uphill.

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[–] avgwhtguy1 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Fill the cistern

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[–] 11669734? 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

Good for you for researching the problem, finding the solution, and executing it perfectly.

More important, good for you for helping your grandparents.

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[–] AnTi90d [S] 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

Thanks. I wish my aunts, uncles and cousins were more helpful. If anything breaks, I'm the one that gets called upon to attempt a repair.. and I've never worked as a mechanic, plumber, carpenter or anything like that.

On the plus side, I've learned a great deal of information that I wouldn't have been exposed to, otherwise.

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[–] Weedeater_Matt 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

If its one thing I’ve learned in this world, the weak will lean and pawn any and all work off on anyone they can. Help the right ones.

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[–] ScottRockview 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

Thanks for sharing this. These are the best kinds of posts, ones that people can use to fix something in their lives right now. Thanks again and have a great weekend.

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[–] AnTi90d [S] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Thanks. You have a good one, yourself.

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[–] Gravspeed 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Good work. You should have seen what i shot out of the hot water lines in my house when i moved in. Not too mention the 5 pounds of sand that was in the water heater.

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[–] varialus 1 points 3 points (+4|-1) ago 

You should cross post this to /v/Frugal.

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[–] AnTi90d [S] 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

I didn't know that place existed. It looks like it's getting spammed fairly hard.

The fix worked, though! Granny can wash her hands after she poops, again. They can't afford to pay me anything.. not that I care. It feels good to take care of family. (Well.. It feels good to take care of family that I give a shit about. I wouldn't waste ten minutes on at least half of them.)

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[–] varialus 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

The pipes might also be quite rusted. I'm not a plumber, I'm just a guy who thinks maintaining houses is as annoying hassle. I have seen pipes that were pretty much completely rusted out. Such a hassle!

Edit: The spamming is actually why I thought of it.

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[–] WhiteRonin 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

V/diy makes more sense

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[–] stealthninjataliban 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I heard today that draining your hot water heater annually preserves it's life. Any input?

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[–] GOMAD_OR_GFYAD 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Yeah sort of, it's more like routine maintenance. Water heaters can die for a variety of reasons and flushing it does not affect most of them. It's like rotating the tires on your car and getting an alignment will "preserve the life" of the tires but it won't stop a nail on the road, and it wont stop wear & tear.

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[–] AnTi90d [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I was discussing that with another guy, somewhere in these comments. It's probably a good idea, but IDK how often you're supposed to do it.

This spring I plan on hooking up a water hose to the release vale and then I'll run that up the basement steps and let it pee in the yard for a few minutes. I don't think its ever been drained, before. I'll probably run the water through some kind of colander or screen so I can see what kind of crud is hiding in there.

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[–] zen_music 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I'm not a plumber either, but I am a handyman. I read the page you linked.

But there may be an easier answer; faucets screw up a whole lot more than water lines do, unless the water lines are galvanized pipe in which case all bets are off anyway.

I would remove and check the faucet itself before going through all this rigmarole. Not sayin' it won't work, but it's a lot of trouble only to find the problem wasn't that in the first place.

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[–] AnTi90d [S] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

Thanks for the advice. Yeah, I probably should have inspected the faucet before messing around in the basement.

Backflushing totally fixed the issue, though. I ran about fifteen gallons of water through the line and now the hot water works again.

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[–] zen_music 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Well, that's great to hear! Good on ya.

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[–] GOMAD_OR_GFYAD 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

That's cool. The older I get the more and more respect I have for plumbers. That stereotype in childrens cartoons of some dumb fat oaf bent over with his buttcrack showing and sewage stains on the bottoms of his pant legs is really unfair. I guess that ridiculous stereotype is the same reason why plumbers make damn good money, there arent enough of them around.

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[–] AnTi90d [S] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

..not to mention that the accepted stereotype couldn't fit into a crawlspace to work on plumbing in older houses. Heck, I'm just a hair over 6'1 / 190ish lbs and I barely fit in there. I can't even lay on my side because my shoulders are wider than the clearance.

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