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reply to garys_2k

Re: Hot Water Runs Out Quickly: What's Wrong With My Water Heate

I bought a dip tube and read a bunch of articles on how to replace one, but I'm at a bit of a conundrum at the first steps. I turned the cold water off and put the temp on the lowest setting without turning off the pilot. The thing is: I tried to run hot water into the tub to empty the tank and maybe even get a hot bath out of the deal, but nothing comes out. The cold water, however, runs freely. That doesn't make sense to me. Is it safe for me to even proceed in trying to take the top off?

Plymouth, MI
You're misunderstanding how the hot water system works. You need the cold water ON in order to provide the pressure for the hot water to come out of the tank.

The only way to drain the tank with the cold water OFF (i.e. without refilling the tank) is to use the drain valve on the bottom of the tank.
Hopefully you have a functioning floor drain near the tank, and a length of garden hose to get from the tank to the drain. Open a nearby hot water faucet to let air back in to the system so it will drain faster.

I'm thinking you should call a plumber, though.