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Home Care Library

Water Heater (electric)


hot water tank leaking at the drain valve put a pipe wrench on it put a little pressure on it didnt move afraid of it snaping off and then have to buy a new water heater or it going to be very tight


Dear Mike:

If your question is whether you should use your pipe wrench to force off a drain valve on your water heater that is frozen, yes, you need to be careful not to snap it off.

Between the heat, water, sediments, etc., this valve can get quite frozen.

Have you tried spraying penetrating oil all around the treads of the valve, and then letting it set for several hours (even overnight if you can). Also, after the penetrating oil has been allowed to work its way in, when you put your wrench on it to untighten it (and remember: "lefty loosy", "righty tighty"), do NOT just pull hard on the wrench, instead use quick jerks on the wrench, like pounding the end of the wrench with your hand. These quick jerks on the wrench can do better at breaking corroded threads that just a long sustained pull.

And remember SAFETY: I assume that you have first drained all of the hot water out of your tank before removing the drain valve.

Hope this is helpful.

Water Heater (electric)