How Do You Drain A Water Heater

Use These Tips to Drain a Water Heater Properly

California Residents Are Warned About Proposition 65.

Before You Begin

Before you begin, make sure you understand where the main water shutdown valve is situated in your home. While you won’t necessarily need it during this procedure, it’s always a good idea to be familiar with this valve whenever you’re dealing with any type of plumbing fixtures in your house in case something goes wrong and you need to shut off all water coming through your pipes.

Safety Considerations

When doing this procedure, you will be working with water that can be quite hot. It is possible that you will need to switch off your hot water heater many hours before you begin in order to allow the water in the tank to calm down before you begin. If you are unable to do so, use heavy-duty rubber work gloves to protect your hands from any splashes and safety glasses to protect your eyes from any hot water droplets that may fall over them.


  • Drain valve (if necessary)
  • Threaded hose cap (if necessary)
  • Drain valve (if necessary)

Perform a Quick Flush

  • Using a garden hose connected to the drain valve, attempt to clean the water heater tank a little bit while the water pressure is still on before shutting off the water supply. In order to accomplish this, first open the drain valve for a few seconds before closing it again. The pressure will blast away any silt that has become lodged in the valve, allowing the tank to empty more quickly. If a significant amount of sediment is expelled, you may need to repeat the process several times. Make certain that you’ve connected your garden hose to an outdoor place or to a bucket in order to collect the water and sediment that will be emitted from the faucet.

Turn Off the Water Heater

  • Turn off the gas to your water heater, or turn off the electricity if you have an electric water heater. Remove water by shutting off the valve on the cold-water pipe above the water heater or the main water supply valve to the home, whichever is most convenient. Test the hot water faucets around the home by turning them on and checking for water to ensure that the pressure has been released. Water may flood out at first, but if the water has been cut off properly, it should rapidly decrease to a trickle and then stop. To relieve pressure in the system, keep a hot water faucet open in the sink closest to your hot water heater.

Open the Drain Valve

  • Open the drain valve while holding your garden hose in one hand. Normally, you may complete this task by hand, but you may need to employ your flat-head screwdriver in this instance. Once the valve is opened, water will begin to rush out of the drain, so make sure your hose is either connected to the outside or to a bucket to catch the water. You should switch off the drain valve as soon as the bucket is full so that you may empty it. Repeat the procedure as many times as necessary to completely empty the tank.

Flush the Tank With Water

  • Once the tank has been completely drained, you may flush it with a few gallons at a time by turning on the water for a few seconds and then allowing it to drain out again until it is completely empty. As soon as the outflow is free of silt, it will be evident that you have completed the process and may proceed to the following stage.

Refill the Water Heater

  • Close the drain valve and remove the garden hose from the system. Make certain that all but one of your home’s hot water faucets are turned off (the one in the bathtub closest to the water heater is best). You may now re-start the water heater by turning the water back on. After that, keep an eye on the faucet you left open and, as soon as you notice that you are receiving nothing but water out of it, turn it off.

Relight the Water Heater

  • Immediately close and disconnect the drain valve and garden hose. Make certain that all but one of your home’s hot water faucets is turned off (the one in the bathtub closest to the water heater is best). Turning on the water heater again is now a simple matter. After that, keep an eye on the faucet you left open and, once you notice that you are just getting water out of it, close it.

Check the Drain Valve

  1. Check for leaks at the spout of your water heater to see if the drain on the heater has completely closed. If the outlet does not completely close, you can stop the leak by placing a threaded hose cap over the hose thread of the outlet. Alternatively, you can replace the valve entirely.

How to Drain a Water Heater

Video Playback is not supported at this time. Every year, draining your water heater eliminates sediment that might cause it to work harder and cost you more money to run the heater.

  • The first step is to cut off the electricity or gas to the water heater. After that, close the cold water supply valve, which will prevent water from flowing into the heater. Glue a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and let it flow on the ground outside
  • Activate the drain valve that is connected to the hose. Pulling up on the pressure release valve on the tank’s top will allow it to be opened. Allowing the water in the tank to drain is recommended. If there is still sediment in the tank after it has been emptied, open the cold water valve for several minutes to flush it out. Close the drain valve as well as the pressure relief valve and let the tank to fill up again. If the heater is powered by gas, relight the pilot and switch it on
  • If your water heater is electric, you’ll need to reset the breaker to restore electricity.

For more information, please visit our video on Water Heater Upkeep and Repair.

Further Reading

  • It is critical to drain a hot water heater once it has been plugged with a toilet tank and bowl leak detection kit. How to Check for Leaks in the Toilet Tank and Bowl

How to Drain a Water Heater (& When You Shouldn’t!)

Homeowners in Birmingham who have classic tank-style water heaters need to know how to empty a water heater properly. This is a vital step in the maintenance of a water heater. You will receive step-by-step instructions on how to do this work yourself from our plumbing pros, as well as information on when you should call a professional and when you should refrain from draining your tank.

How to Drain a Water Heater Tank

Tank water heaters should be emptied about every six months by performing the following steps:

  1. Make sure that your unit’s electricity or gas is turned off. The cold water supply valve (the valve that delivers chilly water into the tank) should be closed on the unit. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve on the water heater, which is situated towards the bottom of the tank
  2. Drain the water from the garden hose outside or into a bathtub for drainage. The drain valve should be opened once the line has been fastened and sent outside or to a drain Open the pressure release valve, which is located at the top of the machine. Allow enough time for the water heater to drain completely. When your water heater tank is completely depleted, reopen the cold water valve and allow the water to flow for a few minutes to flush out any remaining particles. Close the drain valve and pressure release valve, then disconnect and empty your garden hose
  3. To restart the system, turn on the power or relight the pilot light on your water heater.

Why Drain Your Water Heater Tank?

On average, a tank-style water heater sees a large amount of water pass through its tank over the course of a year. While softened water is used in many houses today, certain minerals and sediment are still carried into the water heater — and if you have hard water, your water heater is more adversely affected by higher concentrations of these pollutants. During the storage of water in the tank, silt and minerals fall to the bottom of the tank where they gather. Water passing through them leads them to accumulate over the course of a year, causing troubles for your tank.

  • Corrosion of the tank, resulting in both large and tiny leaks
  • A reduction in the amount of hot water available
  • Popping sounds caused by air trapped in the sediment
  • It’s difficult to get water to boil
  • Utility bills that are higher

When Not to Drain Your Water Heater Tank

While learning how to drain a water heater isn’t a common home maintenance activity, there are specific situations in which you may not want to do so. The first situation is simply if you are not confident in your ability to carry out this maintenance operation on your own. Leaving water heater repair to a professional is always a wise decision in this circumstance since you don’t want to chance causing any damage to your water heater or causing any water damage to your property. Next, if you’ve never done it before, refrain from draining your water heater!

When sediment accumulates in the water heater tank, hot spots along the bottom metal are frequently created, causing the metal to corrode and eventually fail completely.

If your tank is full of sediment, it’s possible that the sediment has actually closed these little leaks over the course of several years. If you drain the water heater and remove the sediment all at once, you will almost certainly end up with a leaking water heater.

Get Water Heater Help from Plumbing Experts

Plumbing Experts, a KS Services Company, will assist you with the upkeep and repair of your Birmingham water heater. Contact us now. Our professional plumbers do complete maintenance on your water heater in order to increase the performance and durability of the unit. Schedule your servicing appointment as soon as possible! prev

Frozen Hose Bib: How to ThawPrevent Major Water Damage

Previous PostNext PostWhen was the last time you emptied the water from your hot water tank? When it comes to hot water, we all take it for granted, until it is no longer available. A shivering shower serves as a stark reminder of the significance of regular water heater service. Draining a hot water heater is one of the most important preventative maintenance jobs a homeowner can perform to help extend the life of the unit’s performance. It is important to drain your hot water tank because it reduces sediment accumulation, which allows your water heater to operate more effectively, which can result in cost savings.

Draining Your Hot Water Heater

If you want to empty your hot water heater, you’ll need a length of garden hose that’s 3 to 4 feet long and has a connection that can connect to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Many times, this is the same sort of fitting that you use on your water supply line. Plan to direct the flow of the hose into either a bucket or a floor drain, depending on which is most convenient for you and your situation. Turn off the gas and extinguish the pilot light if you’re working with a gas water heater to start the repair process.

Occasionally, it is not essential to completely drain the hot water tank.

Homeowners will also be prevented from accidentally harming their hot water heater by turning it on while there is no water.

  1. To drain your hot water heater, you’ll need a 3- to 4-foot stretch of garden hose with a fitting that can connect to the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank, as shown in the illustration. Many times, this is the same sort of fitting that you find on your water supply line. Plan to direct the flow of the hose into a bucket or a floor drain, depending on which is most convenient for you. Turn off the gas and extinguish the pilot light if you’re working with a gas water heater to get things started. Remove the plug from the wall, or manually trip the circuit breaker, if the water heater is powered by electricity. In some cases, it is not essential to completely drain the hot water tank of the house. For this reason, you should drain a few liters of water at a time until the majority of the sediment has been drained out, which may take several minutes. This also prevents homeowners from accidentally harming their hot water heater by turning it on while there is no water available to use it with. When the hot water tank is empty, this can help expedite the refilling procedure, which might take a long time.

While this may appear to be a straightforward procedure, there is the possibility of flooding in your basement if you do not proceed with caution. Plastic hot water heater valves, as well as valves that have not been used in a long time, are susceptible to leaking. Continue to keep an eye on the valve after it has been shut in order to verify that it is not malfunctioning. Even a little trickle might quickly escalate into a major issue.

See also:  How To Install Submersible Pump In Water Tank?

Professional Plumbing Services

Draining a hot water heater is a simple maintenance chore that many homeowners are capable of performing on their own. In the event that you are not comfortable doing this or would rather to spend your time in other ways, just call your local Mr. Rooter or get a work quote online. Alternatively, If this is an emergency, we are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 855-591-0128. Whether or not your hot water heater is in good working order, no matter how clean the tank may be, it may be time to consider replacing it.

You may get assistance from the appliance professionals at Mr.



In no way can this blog be considered a substitute for the services of a licensed plumbing professional in your state or region. Before beginning any household improvement, be sure you are in compliance with local and state rules. Previous PostNext Post Previous Post

How to Maintain & Drain A Water Heater: 8 Step Guide

Date of publication: December 2019 You may take your water heater for granted until it stops working and you are forced to take a frigid shower in the middle of winter. Even worse, it might cease operating altogether, resulting in water splattered all over the floor. Fortunately, a hot water heater does not require much maintenance, although emptying it on a regular basis may assist to ensure that it continues to operate smoothly. Consider the following recommendations for maintaining your water heater.

According to The Family Handyman, silt builds up in the bottom of a water heater over time, which can cause obstructions in the system.

If you do not properly maintain your water heater, it may not operate at peak efficiency or may even fail to operate at all in some cases.


A high level of protection for your house makes all the difference when it comes to keeping your family safe. Allstate home insurance can assist you in protecting what is important to you. Request a quote Locate a representative. When it comes to draining a water heater, the DIY Network recommends the following measures. The owner’s handbook for your water heater will provide you with particular information on your water heater. For those who are uncomfortable completing this sort of maintenance on their water heater, contact a plumber to arrange for a professional draining to be performed.

  1. A water line and a shutdown valve leading into the water heater may be found at the very top of the water heater’s tank.
  2. Step 2: Disconnect the water heater’s power supply line.
  3. Alternatively, if you have an electric water heater, turn off the electricity at your home’s electrical panel.
  4. If you have a gas water heater, according to the DIY Network, you may change the water heater’s thermostat to “pilot” to complete this procedure.
  5. Check your water heater’s owner’s handbook and follow the directions that are provided for your particular water heater.
  6. Because your water heater is running at a high temperature, it is incredibly hot.
  7. (According to, you should at the very least wait a few hours.) In addition, taking a hot shower can assist to accelerate the cooling process.) Step 4: Connect a hose to the drain valve.

Connect the other end of the hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of your water heater.

The hot water tap, such as a sink faucet, that is closest to the water heater should be opened.

According to the DIY Network, it is preferable to use a tap that is located on the floor above the water heater.

As soon as you turn on this valve, the water will begin to drain out of the storage tank.

Step 7: Reconnect the water supply to the tank and flush it with fresh, clean water to finish the job.

It is necessary to repeat this process until the water flows clean.

Step 8: Refill the tank with water.

Return the water supply to its original setting to begin replenishing the tank. Once the tank is full, turn on the electricity or gas supply to the water heater to re-energize it. While draining the tank, remember to turn off the faucet that you had previously turned on.

How Often Should You Drain Your Water Heater?

According to both and The Family Handyman, it’s a good idea to empty your water heater at least once a year in general. If you reside in a hard water area, on the other hand, according to Angie’s List, you may need to empty your water more often. Always remember to consult your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer suggests before making any changes. Water heaters are relatively low-maintenance appliances, but it’s important to remember to drain yours on a regular basis. If you do this, you may be able to keep it working effectively and the hot water going.

Please keep in mind that a certain precaution may not be suitable or effective in every situation, and that adopting preventative steps does not ensure a positive outcome.

What Would Bob Do? Draining a Water Heater

Image courtesy of I’ve just finished draining my water heater for the first time since it was installed in 1989.24 years ago today! I stopped after approximately five minutes since the water came out incredibly clear and there was no trace of any silt. Is this a sign that my heater is devoid of any sediment? Whatever sort of storage tank water heater you have, draining your water heater at least once a year is a good practice. Over time, sediment accumulates within the appliance, reducing its energy efficiency and causing blockages in other fixtures throughout the house, including the kitchen sink.

To remove sediment from a water heater, it is necessary to drain it not just for five minutes, but for as long as it takes for the water heater to entirely empty.

STEP 1: Check the pressure-relief valve.

Before you empty a water heater, make sure it has a pressure-relief valve, which is the device that prevents the tank from exploding due to excessive pressure. You must confirm that the valve is operating correctly in order to do so. Turn off the water heater’s electricity supply. (If the unit is powered by electricity, simply shut it down.) If it is a gas-powered heater, turn it to “pilot” mode to conserve energy.) After that, open the cold water supply line valve by pulling the lever on the valve.

Once you’ve opened the valve, listen for air and look for water to confirm that it’s working.

In addition, if you open the pressure-release valve and nothing happens—no hissing air, no pouring water—it is likely that the valve has to be replaced. Image courtesy of

STEP 2: Run your drain line.

Examine the pressure-relief valve on a water heater before draining it. This is the device that prevents the tank from exploding due to excessive pressure. You must confirm that the valve is in perfect working order. The water heater’s electricity should be turned off.’ The unit should be turned off if it is powered by electricity (if so). The heater should be switched to “pilot” mode if it runs on gas.) After that, open the cold water supply line by pulling the lever on the valve. For the final step, place a bucket beneath the pressure-relief valve to contain the mess.

You should move to the next phase if you feel one of these symptoms, which indicates that the valve is functioning properly.

Illustration courtesy of

STEP 3: Flush your tank.

After you’ve opened all of the hot water taps in your home, you’ll want to open the water heater drain valve as well. In the event that you have opted to utilize a pump, this is the moment to turn it on. Allow the tank to completely empty before turning on the water supply (short bursts of water may help to dislodge any sediment buildup). Make sure there isn’t any silt blocking or slowing down your drain valve’s flow by doing the following: Remove the drain valve, in other words, to allow the sediment to leave through a bigger hole.

Keep a number of big buckets on standby to catch any excess water.

STEP 4: Finish up.

Re-start the water supply after the water flowing out of your tank looks to be running clean once more. Next, close the water heater’s drain valve and switch on the cold water supply to the house. It’s also important to remember to restore the pressure-relief valve to its original position. Close all of the hot water taps in your home (which you had previously switched on in Step 3) and, lastly, reconnect the electricity to your water heater, which should now be clear of sediment after you completed Step 3.

How to Drain a Water Heater: 10 Tips

Was it ever brought to your attention that most water heaters have a lifespan of about 10-13 years? Many individuals do not consider changing the water heater in their houses, but doing so might result in a variety of problems if left addressed. Avoid paying additional fees by learning how to keep your water heater in good working order instead of waiting until it’s too late to fix it. Continue reading to find out how to empty a water heater on your own with these helpful suggestions and instructions.

Signs That You Need to Drain Your Water Heater

Water heater draining is one of the most apparent symptoms that you need to do so, since it occurs when you run out of hot water more quickly than you should. When the sediment in the tank accumulates to an excessive level, the heating element in the tank is at risk of catching fire. Another indication that you should not ignore is water that is orange and rusty in appearance. This occurs when the anode rod begins to degrade. The unfortunate fact is that water heater tanks are constructed of a material that gradually degrades over time.

This occurs when minerals build up over time and harden, and when hot water is present, it has an adverse effect on the brittle tank’s structural integrity.

If you discover that your water heater is leaking, it is possible that the tank has been compromised by silt accumulation.

Over time, the silt degrades the tank’s substance, causing it to become rusted and discolored. Water heaters account for 17 percent of total energy use in a typical home. Ignoring these warning signals that your water heater tank is nearing the end of its life might cost you a lot of money.

1. Prepare Your Water Heater

If you are learning how to drain a water heater, the first crucial step to remember is to prepare your heater by turning it off before you begin. This step will necessitate the knowledge about the type of water heater you currently have. Electric water heaters are often equipped with a switch that allows them to be connected to power. If you are having trouble locating the switch to turn it off, look above the heater for a board that says “Switch to Turn Off.” In certain cases, the switch is concealed within the switchboard.

The majority of the time, their circuit breakers are located in the main electric panel.

2. Wait Before Continuing

It is highly suggested that you allow all of the water in the tank to cool completely before proceeding. Many individuals underestimate the length of time it might take to do this task. It is reasonable to anticipate that the water will take anything from a few of minutes to many hours to chill down. Depending on the size of the water heater, you may need more or less time to complete the project. During this step, you should have your water inlet valve turned to the “on” position. It is critical to wait for the process to complete before flushing the water pipes since you face the danger of burning yourself or destroying goods near where the water will be released.

3. Flush the Pipes

After several hours have passed, the next step in the process of draining a hot water tank is to flush the pipes. It is necessary to turn off the cold water intake switch in order to complete this step properly. In most cases, this switch may be found towards the top of the heater. It is also the location where water collects before being heated. After that, you’ll need to go to a sink in your home and turn on the hot water faucet. If at all feasible, it is advised that you move to the floor above where the water heater is installed.

When you open your faucet and flush your pipes, you are also relieving any pressure that has built up in the pipes.

See also:  How To Replace Anode Rod In Water Heater

If you hear a hissing sound, don’t be concerned; this is very normal.

4. Transfer to an Outdoor Drain

You will be required to discharge your water heater into a drain outside of your property in the majority of cases. Finding a lengthy garden hose is one of the most effective methods of accomplishing this. Additionally, if you have a drain in your basement, you can simply connect the hose to it and transport the water that way. If you need to turn on the water, you should make sure that the hose is long enough. You may store the hose in a garden area if necessary.

If you notice that the water is not correctly flowing out of the faucet, it is possible that the hose has a kink or clog in it. Make sure to thoroughly inspect the hose and avoid any kinks; if you have a blockage, you will need to remove it and replace it.

5. Connect to the Pump

It is necessary to connect your garden hose to the pump now that your water heater has been properly prepared. You’ll need to know if your water heater is above ground or below ground in order to properly install it. If your water heater is located above ground, the job will be a little easier for you. All that is required is the connection of the hose to the tank. After that, you’ll have to let gravity take its course and drive the water downhill and out of the reservoir. Those who have an underground water heater will need to purchase a small pump from the store in order to connect it to the hose.

It’s possible that you’ll need to connect your pump in to for it to function.

6. Collect Water

When emptying your water heater, you should have a bucket nearby to catch the water that accumulates during the operation. Draining your water heater will need you to collect this water in a bucket, which you will need for the following step. Many people also advocate putting your hose in a garden area so that you can really use the water instead of squandering it as much as possible. It is possible to waste a significant amount of water by leaving the hose running to clean out. It is recommended that you collect any extra water using a bucket in order to store and reuse it.

The amount of silt in the water may be determined by collecting it and testing it later.

7. Evaluate and Decide

It is strongly advised that you collect water in a bucket to assess whether or not you need to completely clean your water drain. Similarly, if the water heater is in good working order and is clean, the water in the bucket should appear to be clean. The presence of watercolor and sediment buildup provides information about the state of the tank. In the event that a significant quantity of sediment has accumulated at the bottom of your bucket, you will need to clean out the water heater. As long as there isn’t much buildup, you should be able to keep an eye on things and flush them afterwards.

8. Flush the Water Heater

For this procedure, you will need to detach the garden hose from which you previously connected the water heater. After that, you must turn off the water faucet as well as the pressure relief valves. After that, refill the tank with water and empty it once more. It is possible that you may need to repeat this process multiple times before the silt is completely drained. As sediment accumulates, the more times you will need to rinse, and the more time it takes. The practice of flushing the sediment-water down the toilet is widely accepted as an effective method of getting rid of the liquid.

If you opt to flush the water down the toilet, make sure to completely clean it. As you drain the tank, make sure to momentarily switch on the cold water valve to ensure that the water doesn’t overflow. This will allow cold water to flow into the tank, allowing it to be refilled and drained again.

9. Put It Back Together

It’s time to put everything back together now that you’ve cleaned out the sediment from the water heater tank. To begin, disconnect the garden hose and switch the pressure release valve to the off position. You’ll also need to re-energize your gas and electrical lines by switching the switches on the side of the tank. Once you’ve completed all of these instructions, your water heater should operate as usual again. The water should begin to fill to its normal level and then stop. After that, you should return to the sink where you had previously released the water pressure in the pipes and turn on the hot side of the faucet.

Additionally, it should be refilled with water.

Continue to run it until a continuous stream of water is produced.

If you are still experiencing problems with the tank, you may need to seek expert assistance.

10. Monitor and Keep up on Maintenance

The most effective strategy to guarantee optimal water heater operation is to monitor it and do basic maintenance on it on a regular basis. If you want to extend the life of your water heater, there are several things you can do to help. One of the most effective strategies to avoid problems is to locate your water heater in an unoccupied space. If you surround it with too many objects, you run the danger of obstructing ventilation and perhaps causing a fire to start. Another approach to keep your water heater in good working order is to lower the temperature if you will be away from home for an extended period of time.

Common Problems

When problems happen that aren’t as prevalent as those covered in a step-by-step guide, having a plan for how to tackle them may be quite beneficial. A common difficulty that individuals have is locating the pressure and water inlet valves on their water heaters. Pressure valves are commonly located at the top or side of a water heater, and they are connected to the water heater by a little lever. Another typical problem is discovering that water is still running even after you have turned off all of the valves in the system.

If the water does not come out, you will need to unplug your garden hose and slowly open the valve, as shown above.

Always use caution when dealing with a water heater, as it is simple to get burned by hot water if you are not careful. Gloves, glasses, and long sleeves are all advised for this activity.

Now That You Know How to Drain a Water Heater

If you follow the instructions in the tutorial above, learning how to drain a water heater may be incredibly beneficial and simple. It is critical to remember to use cautious motions while opening and shutting valves when draining your water heater, since pressure is released and can be dangerous if not handled properly. Because the water can be quite hot, considerable caution should be exercised. Draining a water heater is a straightforward procedure that may be completed in as little as ten simple steps.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for rusty-looking water and shorter periods of hot water, since these are both signs that your water heater needs to be replaced.

How to Drain a Water Heater

Is it necessary to empty your water heater? Yes. To avoid scaling and silt from collecting inside the tank, you should perform this procedure once a year, or even more frequently if you have hard water. Sediment might have the appearance of sand, yet it is composed of minerals derived from your home’s water supply. As a result, these minerals do not dissolve and instead condense into little particles within your unit. Unfortunately, if left unchecked, this build-up may create substantial concerns, including time and money savings by decreasing the unit’s efficiency and functioning, as well as the possibility of the water heater failing prematurely, leading you to lose time and money.

How to Flush a Water Heater:

  1. To begin working on your water heater, make sure that all of the electricity to the device has been turned off, including the circuit breaker. Immediately turn off the cold water supply and wait a couple of hours for the heater to cool (this may take many hours). Locate the drain valve on your water heater, which is usually located at the bottom of the tank. It is possible to drain the water from the tank without using the floor drain by using a conventional garden hose and connecting it to the valve. The water will be directed into a bucket. Although many people may simply use gravity to drain water from the device into a bucket, following the manufacturer’s connection instructions is recommended if you wish to pump the water outdoors (which makes disposing the unwanted water easier). In order to avoid damage to your pipes, open one or two hot water taps around the home. Drain the water and look for silt by opening the drain valve. if the water is turbid or cloudy, refill the heater with fresh water and drain it once again Turn the water shut off valve on and off a couple of times to mix up any sediment that has accumulated at the bottom of the tank
  2. Continue to fill and empty the heater as often as required until the water flows clean. If the unit is in good condition, one flushing is usually sufficient, and you will not need to flush it again for at least one year. It may be necessary to consult with a specialist if there is an excessive quantity of sediment in your water. Once the water flows clear and the unit is completely empty, remove the hose and pump from the unit. Close the drain valve and replenish the tank before turning on the water heater’s power source. Turn on the water heater’s power source. Performance should return to normal, with the exception of a few air pockets that will be expelled via the faucets at the beginning. In most cases, the air will be expelled within a few seconds, and then full water flow will be restored to the system. Close all of the water faucets that you have previously opened.

How to Tell if Your Water Heater Has Sediment Build-Up

There are a number of symptoms that your water heater has a sediment build-up, including the following ones:

  • Despite the fact that energy use has not increased, energy costs have grown. The hot water runs out before it should
  • When the water heater is operating, it generates a lot of noise. Your hot water appears to be rusted or has a foul odor
  • It takes an extremely long time for the hot water to come to temperature
  • There is inconsistency and fluctuation in the water temperature.

Draining a water heater is a relatively simple task that most homeowners can complete on their own. However, if the water does not drain or if the heater’s performance issues persist after flushing the unit, a professional will be able to identify other potential problems that may not be apparent to the homeowner.

How to Flush or Drain a Water Heater

Remove mineral sediment and scale from your water heater tank twice a year by flushing it out. Your water heater will heat more effectively and last longer as a result of this improvement. This professional advise demonstrates how to flush and drain a water heater through the use of videos, pictures, and easy-to-understand language. What is the significance of flushing or partially emptying a water heater? For the simple reason that it reduces the accumulation of mineral deposits within the water heater.

  • A very thick, crusty layer can grow at the base of a gas water heater, and the heating components of an electric water heater can be completely covered by these sediments.
  • It eventually results in rusting as well.
  • They can also block the valve that is used to flush or drain a water heater tank, causing it to not function properly.
  • The hypothesis goes like follows: A small crack in the base may have filled with silt, which can assist prevent leaks, especially in a gas water heater where the flame has been roasting the steel bottom.
  • In the event that your water heater has not been cleaned in several years, it would behoove you to consult with a few of plumbers in your neighborhood for their recommendations.
  • Flushing or partly draining a water heater at least once a year from the time it was initially installed is the most prudent approach to follow in this situation.
  • If you decide not to undertake the repair yourself, you could expect to pay a plumber between $80 and $100.
  • Diagrams of Electric and Natural Gas Water Heaters It is necessary to drain a water heater tank in order to replace or repair it, as well as to remove mineral deposits from the tank, through the drain valve located at the bottom of the water heater.

The drain valve looks like a little outdoor faucet. If you use this valve, keep in mind that the water will be hot until the water has had time to cool before the water is released. In a nutshell, here’s how to flush or empty a water heater on your own:

  1. The water heater’s gas or electricity should be turned off. Close the cold water intake valve and turn it off. Connect a hose to the water heater’s drain valve and route it to the location where the water will be drained
  2. Open a hot water faucet in a convenient location around the house. Open the water heater drain valve (caution: hot water will be released! )
  3. Close the valve after flushing 3 to 4 gallons (if emptying, continue until the tank is empty)
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Please continue reading for additional information on these processes.

How to Flush or Drain a Water Heater Tank

Listed below are the procedures to be followed while flushing or emptying a water heater. This video provides a wonderful summary of the subject: To turn off the gas or electrical power to the water heater, depending on whether it is a gas or an electric water heater, follow these steps: The “Pilot” setting on a gas water heater is as simple as turning the gas control to “Pilot.” 2 Turn off the cold water inlet valve, which is responsible for regulating the supply of water into the tank.

  • Make certain that this is the incoming cold water valve and not a valve for the outgoing hot water supply (the pipe should be cold).
  • The supply to this water heater is controlled by a lever valve.
  • 3 Using a hose, connect it to the tank drain valve, which is located in the bottom of the water heater, and direct it to a drain, the outdoors, or a large bucket.
  • Fill the tank with water by connecting a hose to the water heater’s drain valve.
  • As the water drains, this prevents a vacuum from building in the system.
  • To avoid scorching, exercise extreme caution.
  • 5Depress the drain valve on the water heater.

Once this is done, close both the drain valve and the PT valve.

In the event that you are totally draining the water heater, leave the drain valve open until the tank is completely empty.

7Refill the water heater with fresh water.

Return the water supply valve to its original position to re-fill the tank.

Then, reopen the hot water faucet to allow any remaining air to escape from the tank and pipes.

Allow the water to clear for a few minutes before turning off the faucet. 8Restart the water heater if necessary. If you have a gas water heater, relight the pilot light, or switch on the electric circuit if you have an electric water heater.

Water Heater Won’t Drain

If your water heater is draining slowly or not at all when you open the drain valve, you should try opening the pressure-relief valve to see if it helps (see the illustration at the top of this page). This has the potential to dislodge the vacuum that is keeping the water from leaving. In most cases, if the water heater won’t drain or drains slowly, the problem is most likely due to an excessive amount of sediment building up in the water heater. The drain valve of a water heater can become clogged with sediment.

First Steps in Breaking a Drain Valve Clog

1Detach the water heater from the mains. Depending on whether the water heater is gas or electric, switch off the gas valve or the circuit breaker that supplies electricity to the water heater. Secondly, connect an outside hose to the drain valve and run it outside, making sure that the hose’s end is below the level of the water heater. Turn on a hot water faucet someplace in the home or open the pressure-relief valve on the water heater to dislodge the vacuum that has built up inside the tank.

If the water flows freely, the valve is functional.

4 In the event you believe that the drain valve has become clogged, you can attempt to shoot water and air bubbles back into the tank by repeatedly walking on the hose a few feet away from the tank.

If it does not, continue reading.

How to Back-Flush a Water Heater

A hose is connected between the drain valve and an outdoor faucet, and water is squirted back into the water heater through the drain valve in order to backflush it. For this project, you’ll need two male threads connected together with a double-female garden hose coupler (which can be purchased online for approximately $8).

How to Flush a Water Heater Video

Take a look at this video, which demonstrates the procedure of cleansing your hot water heater.

Back-Flushing a Water Heater Step-by-Step

1First, perform the steps outlined above for preparation. 2Close the drain valve on the water heater by twisting it in the clockwise direction. 3Connect the male end of the garden hose to an outdoor hose faucet or a washtub faucet by means of the female hose coupler that was previously installed. Hose Coupler with a Double Female EndBosch4 Turn on the faucet to fill the hose with water pressure and fill the hose with water. 5Depress the drain valve on the water heater. A torrent of water should be forced into the water heater, forcing deposits away from the water heater’s valve.

7Remove the hose from the water faucet and attempt cleansing the tank once again with the hose. If the water heater’s drain valve is still not functioning properly, the next step is to either replace the drain valve or to replace the water heater.

How to Replace a Water Heater Drain Valve

As previously noted, flushing a water heater is a vital element of doing basic DIY water heater maintenance. Unfortunately, the drain valve on a water heater can get blocked with mineral deposits to the point where it must be completely replaced. Step-by-step instructions on how to replace it may be found here. Valve for the drain of a water heaterB K Water heater drain valves are available for purchase at most hardware stores and on the internet for around $8 per valve, depending on the model.

  1. Water heaters have a drain valve that is positioned at the bottom of the tank.
  2. Having a helper use buckets to collect and dump water that is flowing from the water heater while you remove and replace the valve will be the norm in most circumstances, but it may be necessary in other cases.
  3. Expect to be drenched as a result.
  4. This will take some time.
  5. To do this, switch off the cold-water supply to the water heater and ensure sure no one comes into contact with any of the hot water fixtures or appliances in the house while the valve is being changed.
  6. After that, turn off the circuit breaker on an electric water heater or the gas valve on a gas water heater to prevent the water from reheating further.
  7. Allow for the water in the water heater to drop down to a safe temperature before using it once more.

Before you begin the task, make sure you have two buckets, a pipe wrench, a screwdriver, and the new valve on hand to make the job easier.

Wear leather-palm gloves and have a helper as well as lots of rags on hand before you begin.

The water will begin to seep as the seal loosens, then spray, and ultimately pour warm (or hot) water!

Remove the valve completely from the system.

Insert a screwdriver into the hole and move it around to break up any deposits that have accumulated.



Disconnect the tank’s water supply with a hose until the water begins to flow clean of sediments.

In addition, if you’ve opened the water heater’s pressure-release valve or any hot water taps, make sure you close those as well.

8 In order to restart an electric water heater, turn the circuit breaker back on, or open the gas valve and ignite the pilot (or use the electronic ignition) in order to restart a gas water heater, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

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A Step-by-Step Guide for Draining a Water Heater

It is important to drain and flush your hot water heater on a regular basis in order to maintain the life of your equipment, keep your energy expenses low, and guarantee that your system is operating at peak performance. Get quotations from as many as three professionals! Enter your zip code below to get matched with top-rated professionals in your area. It is possible that the hot water heater is the most difficult to maintain item in your home, but it is also the device that you give the least thought to.

To be sure, you should not wait until there are indicators of difficulty before giving your home’s hot water heater some attention.

One of the most effective methods of promoting water heater health?

When to Drain and Flush Your Hot Water Heater

The frequency with which you drain and flush your hot water heater is determined by a variety of factors, including the age of your water heater and pipes, as well as the presence of metals and other materials in your water supply. Once or twice a year, you should drain and cleanse your hot water heater to keep it operating at peak efficiency. However, if you reside in a region where the groundwater supply contains significant amounts of iron or other particles, you may need to do this more frequently.

It is possible that your tank is gathering mineral deposits such as lime, magnesium, and calcium if you observe discoloration or sedimentation in your water.

To make this comparison simpler, gather water from both the hot and cold taps in transparent glasses and place them side by side in a large mixing bowl.

Why You Should Drain and Flush Your Hot Water Heater

It is not only important to drain and flush your hot water heater, but it is also important to ensure that your hot water is clear and particle-free. As an added bonus, it will assist to keep your heater and pipes from rusting on the inside. Draining and cleansing your water heater on a regular basis will help it work more effectively, resulting in considerable savings in energy expenses every year. Not only that, but if you allow mineral deposits to build up in your water heater, you will most likely lose water pressure and face broken pipes.

It is possible to end up paying as much as $1,000 to replace your hot water heater far sooner than was originally planned.

How to Drain and Flush a Water Heater

While it is critical to drain and cleanse your hot water heater, the good news is that it is a reasonably quick and simple do-it-yourself project. Here’s how to go about it: 1.Review the owner’s handbook for your water heater, as well as the directions placed on the side of the tank. These will assist you in identifying the locations of all of the relevant drains and valves. 2. Disconnect the heater’s power source from the wall outlet. If you have an electric water heater, locate the circuit breaker for your heater in your home’s electrical panel and turn it down.

In order to use a gas water heater, you must first turn the gas supply valve to the “Pilot” position.

Shut down the water supply to your water heater.

However, if there is no valve, you will need to cut off the water supply at the water meter in your house.


Additionally, you’ll want to keep youngsters and pets away from the faucets and drains while working.

This will relieve pressure in the line and avoid the formation of a vacuum, which would prevent your system from entirely draining and flushing.

Drain water from the closed drain valve by attaching a garden hose to it and placing the other end in a drain bucket, sink, or outside.

Again, take care to keep children and pets away from the discharge area because the water may still be hot at this point.

It is possible to rent these pumps from home improvement businesses for a reasonable fee if you cannot afford to purchase them outright.

Completely open the drain valve by twisting it in the counter-clockwise direction.


The water should flow clear and free of sediment when the hose is disconnected.

Turn off the water supply valve and seal the drain valve, making sure the drain is completely closed and free of leaks.

Reconnect the water supply line and check the faucets in the sink and shower that you had previously shut off.

If this is not the case, continue the drain and flush process until the water flowing from the faucets is clean.

It is now time to connect and turn on your water heater once more.

Turn on the gas supply line if you’re using a gas water heater.

Set the temperature of your water heater to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit to assist maximum energy efficiency while also preventing bacterial development. That’s all there is to it! You’re all prepared for another year of hot showers and freshly laundered clothes.

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