Can't find replacement water heater drain valve washer.

jaxoJune 27, 2011

It is a size that I can't find in any hardware store despite the manufacturer saying it should be easily available at most hardware stores.

17/32 X 13/64 X 1/8

The part is item #4 in the parts list

and I found more than one manufacturer that uses that size in more than one model of water heater but they don't sell them.

The manufacturer says they don't have it so I should just buy a new valve whenever I need a washer.

Is there some place that sell most sizes of washers? I checked Lowes, Home Depot and a plumbing supply store locally already and gave the dimensions and they say they have never seen anything that size.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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You can buy a new valve for $5

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 6:29PM
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A plumber said it would be $93 for the part plus installation, so I didn't want to have to spend that much just to replace a 10 cent washer.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 6:52PM
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A plumber just told you "You can buy a new valve for $5" and he wasn't trying to get his hand in your pocket.

You won't get better advice than Lazypup already gave you.

I rarely, if ever, can buy a washer by citing the measurement. The only way I ever get the washer I need is to walk into a plumbing supply open my hand and say "I need one of these... and another for a spare, please"

If you want to find the washer then you'll have to remove the valve and go to a plumbing supply. By the time you consider your time and gas, another boiler valve for $5 will look pretty good... especially after you've removed the old one to cart around from plumbing supply to plumbing supply.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 8:32PM
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Are they standard sizes for all water heaters or are they unique to each brand and model? The manual that comes with the water heater gives no dimensions for the drain valve.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 12:44AM
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Unscrew the valve that is in your water heater. You will find that in most instances it is a standard 3/4 boiler cock. Some water heaters have a thicher insulation blanket and they use a 3/4" boiler cock that has an extended thread section. In either case you can find a replacement valve at almost any hardware or home supply store. (look in the plumbing section where all the valves are, not in the water heater section)

Back in the mid 80's somebody came up with the idea that their was a waste of energy from heat radiating off a brass valve so most of the water heater companies started using plastic valves. From experience I can assure you, the plastic valves are junk. Once they have been opened it is highly unlikely that they will seal again. Personally, whenever I install a water heater I simply take the plastic valve off and install a brass valve.

The only word of caution is, when you install the new valve, be sure to put thread dope on the threads before you screw the valve in.

If your valve just has a slow leak and you don't want to go to the bother of changing it, you can get a cap with hose thread and screw that on the end of your existing valve to close it off.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 2:54AM
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