Easy way to remove the plastic drain valve on a Kenmore Power Miser 9 hot water heater, even if you cracked the flats…

Plastic drain valve on Kenmore Power Miser 9 hot water heater, how to remove...

Hot water heaters such as the Kenmore Power Miser 9, come with a plastic drain valve that is most likely going to start leaking soon. Mine started leaking at about the 7 year mark, through the plug valve washer, but recently the valve sprung a second leak and was leaking right at the threads so it had to be removed. It is extremely difficult to remove these little bastards without breaking the plastic flats. If you break the thing off at the threads you may need to resort to special tools for removing broken bolts, or even perhaps painstakingly using a hacksaw blade to slowly split the threaded end so you can pry it out. Most likely though you have started to break this on the plastic flats with an adjustable wrench like I did. Anyway, there is an easy solution, don’t break the valve off completely yet with anger! The trick to remove this bastard is to first remove the white/grey knob assembly (by twisting the white part) and valve plug washer… once that is removed, you can then find around your house a metal rod that you can insert into the open hole where the knob/plug assembly used to be… and now with your adjustable wrench and your rod together in each hand, it should turn! You should be able to remove the valve! Even if you cracked the plastic flats slightly trying to remove the valve with your adjustable wrench, this will likely still work like it did for me, I illustrate below…. once it’s off I highly recommend replacing the valve with a standard 3/4″ NPT brass nipple, full-port ball valve, and garden hose adapter as shown in the last image below. These water heaters all use standard 3/4″ NPT fittings which are readily available in your local hardware store, likely even cheaper than the replacement value of the plastic valve from Kenmore, and the brass fittings are a million times better quality and will last much longer. Even if they cost more I still think it’s completely worth the upgrade. In fact, if you buy a new water heater in the future, look for the stupid plastic drain valve and immediately replace it with brass fittings. It will make life easier years down the road. They drain faster too.

Plastic drain valve on Kenmore Power Miser 9 hot water heater, difficult to remove without breaking it.

With your adjustable wrench it is likely you will crack the plastic flats shown above. Do not continue to force it! Use the metal rod method together with the wrench and you’ll be good to go…


Plastic drain valve on Kenmore Power Miser 9 hot water heater, how to remove...

Above is a steel threaded rod that came from a cheap C-clamp I bought at Walmart. I simply removed the C-clamp’s little pressure cap from the ball joint, then unscrewed the rod right out of the clamp. Makes for a great rod.

Plastic drain valve on Kenmore Power Miser 9 hot water heater, how to remove...

Grab the metal rod with your left hand, wrench with right hand, and turn counter clockwise. Hopefully this will work for you.


Above is a 3/4″ brass nipple that is 4 inches long (for my convenience), a full port brass ball valve, and a brass garden hose adapter fitting. Be sure to use a few wraps of Teflon tape on each of the 3/4″ NPT threads prior to assembly. Wrap the Teflon tape so that when you screw the fittings together the tape does not unwrap! Wrapping direction matters!!  So if the male thread end is facing you, wrap the tape clockwise. Tighten good and tight. This full port brass fittings arrangement also can drain the water tank much faster. Typically with the OEM valve it will take 30 minutes to drain your tank, with this, it will drain in just a couple of minutes or less, so it will flush debris better too.

* The white cover that went over the valve originally will likely not fit over top any more.  This is cosmetic, but also a child safety issue.  I recommend you install a some form of child proofing – perhaps a locking cap over the end, or something to lock the valve handle such as a child safety lock or valve lockout device to prevent scalding if a child plays with it.

24 Comments on "Easy way to remove the plastic drain valve on a Kenmore Power Miser 9 hot water heater, even if you cracked the flats…"

  1. Thank you!!! You have saved my family a LOT of money and time (neither of which we have to waste), and problems. You probably have no idea how much your advice means to many in this thread! Much appreciated! :)))))))

  2. Not just for plastic valves but any slow opening valve. about 1990 Rick from Canadian Gas Burner suggested using brass fittings to a Ball valve to me with a brass conversion to fit a garden hose after the valve. The idea being the rapid flush would keep the tank cleaner and its been a great idea. Initially the tank flushed chunks of debris but has cleaned out to just water.

    I keep a garden hose attached and aimed at the floor drain and simply give it a few seconds flush every time I replace the furnace filter. I have done for both home and at work. It is also great for getting a quick bucket of warm water as well. I haven’t found the water to be excessively hot however as it is coming from the bottom of the tank.

  3. This solution is way too complicated. You have to drain the stupid tank/waste water/maybe energy and shut off the gas to boot. Go to the hardware store and buy a two dollar garden hose cap. Screw it on tight and you will be good to go. You don’t need to fix it. You just need to stop the leak LOL.

  4. I got a new Sears water heater and the first thing I did was to remove the plastic drain so I could install a full port brass ball valve. I wanted to be able to drain the tank without the risk of getting sediment in the valve keeping it from totally closing.

    Is there a problem with connecting a brass nipple to the iron tank or should I use a steel nipple. I notice that you used brass. I read something about dielectric corrosion with dissimilar metals. Do I need to be concerned? The other thing is that the brass nipple I bought says that it contains lead. Should I look for a brass nipple that is no-lead?

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