How Do You Empty A Water Heater?

How Do You Empty a Water Heater?

If you reside in a hard water region, you may have to empty your water heater on a frequent basis as part of your routine maintenance.The act of flushing out the water heater prevents calcium from accumulating.With an electric water heater, this is especially crucial since calcium deposits can accumulate over time and cover the heating element, preventing the water from warming properly.

In addition, draining the water heater should be done when you are closing down a home for the season or removing an old water heater.Regardless of the cause for your need to empty the unit, the technique is the same for everyone.

  1. The water supply pipe to the water heater should be located at the top of the unit. The water heater’s water supply should be turned off by turning the water supply valve entirely to the right.
  2. Activate all of the hot water faucets around the home to prevent air from accumulating in the pipes.
  3. Turn off the electricity to electric water heaters to avoid overheating the electric heating components, which must be completely submerged in water in order to function effectively. If your water heater is powered by gas, turn off the gas valve.
  4. The faucet at the bottom of the water heater should have one end of a garden hose connected to it. The other end of the hose should be placed in a drain or outside at a lower height than the water heater.
  5. Turning the faucet valve at the bottom of the water heater all the way to the left will completely open the valve. Continue to hold your breath until the water stops running out of the garden hose.
  6. Close the valve at the bottom of the water heater and unplug the garden hose from the water heater.
  7. Turn off all of the hot water faucets in the home at the same time. Restore the flow of water and the supply of electricity or gas to the water heater.

Use These Tips to Drain a Water Heater Properly

Most water heater maintenance instructions recommend that you drain a water heater every six to twelve months, depending on how much use it gets.The reason for this is that it will aid in the removal of any sediment or buildup that may have accumulated on the bottom of the water heater tank as a result of the presence of minerals and other particles in the water.As a result of the accumulation, the water heater will have to work harder to heat the water, consuming more energy and increasing its operating costs.

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 into a bucket in order to collect the water and sediment that will be emitted from the faucet.

Turn Off the Water Heater

Stop using your water heater by turning off the gas to it, or turning off the electricity if it is an electric heater.To do this, close either the valve on the cold-water line above the water heater or the main water supply valve to the house, depending on which 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.It is important to leave a hot water faucet open in the sink closest to your hot water heater in order to relieve pressure in the entire system.

Open the Drain Valve

Using your garden hose, open the drain valve on the bottom of the sink.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 operation 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. When the outflow is clean, you’ll know that you’ve successfully eliminated the sediment and may proceed to the following phase in the process.

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

Re-ignite the water heater’s pilot light, or if it’s an electric heater, re-energize the circuit breaker. You should be able to use hot water after an hour or so.

Check the Drain Valve

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 totally replace the valve.

How to Drain a Water Heater

Article to be downloaded article to be downloaded Draining your water heater at least once a year is necessary to remove any sediment that has accumulated and to keep it in proper operating order.Fortunately, emptying a water heater is a straightforward procedure.To begin, turn off the electricity or gas and then attach a garden hose to the drain valve in the basement.

Make careful to fully open the drain and pressure relief valves so that all of the water may drain out entirely.Re-start the water supply to flush away any leftover silt that has accumulated.After that, simply close the valves and reconnect the power or gas, and you’re done!

1 If you have an electric water heater, turn off the electricity to it.To identify which breaker handles the electricity to your water heater, locate your fuse box or circuit breaker box and look at the schematic on the inside of the panel to see whether it is one of the circuit breakers.To avoid electrocution, turn off the electricity to the water heater by flipping the switch.

Make use of a flashlight or place a lamp near the water heater so that you can see what you’re doing as you work.

2 If you have a gas water heater, turn the pilot light switch to the ″Pilot″ position.The flow of gas into the water heater is controlled by a switch that is located near the pilot light.Change the setting of the switch to ″pilot″ to avoid heating an empty heater and to prevent gas from leaking out while you’re working on it.

The pilot light will not really go out, but the gas supply to the water heater will be disconnected as a result of this.

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  • 3 The water supply valve located at the top of the water heater should be closed. The flow of water entering the water heater is controlled by a valve, which is located on the top right side of the water heater. To turn off the water supply, turn the knob or move the switch to the off position. To identify your water supply valve if you are unable to locate it, consult your water heater’s owner’s handbook or search up the make and model of your water heater online

4 A garden hose should be connected to the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank.The drain valve is a tiny valve that is located at the bottom of the water heater.Take a regular garden hose and position the threads on the drain valve so that they are parallel.

To attach the garden hose to the valve, screw it onto the valve.Check that the hose is properly fastened and that the threads are even to ensure that water does not seep out.

5 Attach the other end of the hose to the outside of the house, below the level of the drainage pipe.Connect the garden hose to the exterior of the building so that the water may be securely discharged there.Make sure the end of the hose is lower than the level of the drain on the heater in order for the water to flow through it properly.

Additionally, you may connect the hose to a storm drain in the street, which would ensure that the water is securely channeled into a drainage system.

Consider placing the other end of the hose into a 5 gallon (19 L) bucket so that you can inspect the water that comes out. This will allow you to check for sediment or damage to your water heater while you drain the water. Advertisement

1 To open the drain valve, turn the knob on the valve.A knob or lever is located near the drain valve, where the hose is connected, and it is used to open and close the valve.To open the valve, turn the knob or lever to the desired position.

Check to see that it is completely open to enable for good drainage to occur.If turning the valve is difficult, use a wrench to assist you in turning it.

  • It is important to note that certain drain valves require the use of a screwdriver to turn the knob that opens them. To open the pressure relief valve located at the top of the tank, raise the lever. A valve located at the top of the water heater allows air to flow into the device in order to alleviate pressure that can build up inside of it when the water heater is in use. By allowing air to pass through the pressure relief valve and drain the water, you are reducing the pressure in the system. If water does not begin to flow immediately after loosening the nut on the top of the water heater that links the drain valve, release the nut on the bottom of the water heater to enable more air to move through. It is not necessary to remove or completely separate the nut located at the top of the water heater. Simply loosen it a little to enable air to flow through
  • Take care not to snap or jerk the valves, since this might cause them to get damaged.

3 Allow the water to drain fully before continuing. It may take as long as 30 minutes for your water heater to entirely empty its contents. When the water from the garden hose stops running, it means that the water heater has completed its draining cycle. Maintain close watch on the garden hose to ensure that it is draining properly.

4 To flush out the water heater, open the water valve for 5 minutes at a time.Because sediment can accumulate at the bottom of your water heater, it’s critical that you pump fresh water through it to clean it all out as often as possible.The water valve should be opened to allow water to begin circulating through the heater and out through the drain valve.

Allow the fresh water to run for at least 5 minutes before turning off the water supply again.


1 Close the drain valve and the pressure release valve.2 Open the drain valve and the pressure relief valve.Close the drain where the hose is attached by adjusting the valve on the drain.

Check to see that it is completely closed.Then, close the pressure relief valve on the water heater and tighten the nut on the top if it has become loose throughout the process.It is critical that the valves are completely closed to ensure that they do not leak when you switch on the water heater and allow it to fill up with water.

2 Disconnect the garden hose from the drain valve using the hose connector.Remove the garden hose from the drain valve by unscrewing the connection at the end of the hose.Bring it outdoors and empty out any water that has accumulated within it to avoid the growth of mold or mildew, which can cause damage to the container.

When you’re through using the hose, roll it up and put it somewhere safe.

3 Reset the circuit breaker to restore power to the system. To re-energize an electric water heater, just flick the breaker that regulates energy to it back on again. When you’re finished, turn off the power to the circuit breaker box. If the electricity to the water heater is not restored quickly, try flicking the breaker off and back on again many times.

4 If you’re using a gas water heater, make sure the pilot light is in the ″On″ position.When you switch on a gas water heater, you must first make sure that the gas is flowing into the water heater again.Return the pilot light switch to the ″on″ position by pressing it in.

Tip: To relight the pilot light if it has been extinguished, turn the valve to the ″Pilot″ position and use the ignitor switch on the valve, or a long lighter if there is no igniter, to turn the valve back to the ″On″ position.Advertisement

  • Question Add a new question Question What is the location of the pressure valve on the tank, and how do I open it on the tank? It’s usually found on the top or side of the water heater, depending on the model. In addition to the pipe extending outdoors or to within six inches of the ground, there should be another pipe connecting it. It has a little lever on the side of it. When opening the valve, use caution since hot water might be released from the valve at a quick pace.
  • Concerning the Question I have water from a well. Is it safe to put a gallon of vinegar in the tank during the three-month maintenance period in order to absorb the lime deposits? Will this prevent the formation of lime deposits? They will not dilute, and the water will taste like if you had put Caesar salad into it.
  • Do you think it’s safe to flush water with sediment down the toilet? Yes. The sediment is likely to contain a significant amount of reddish-brown rust
  • if the toilet porcelain is old and pitted, some of this pigment may attach to the interior of the bowl. Prepare yourself to wipe it out.
  • Question Why is water still entering the hot water heater despite the fact that all of the valves have been closed? On the cold water intake pipe, there should be a valve to turn it off. Occasionally, they are not readily discernible. If you’ve located the valve and twisted it, but the water is still running, you may have a malfunctioning valve. The installation of an additional valve, if one does not exist, is an excellent idea. What is the proper way to flush out an electric hot water heater? Continue with the same steps as you would for emptying a gas hot water tank, except instead of turning off the gas, go to the panel box where your electricity comes into the house and locate the circuit breaker that powers the hot water tank, which is usually a twenty- or thirty-amp breaker, and turn that breaker switch to the off position. After the tank has been drained, this step should be completed as early as possible in the procedure.
  • Question Rather of connecting a hose to the water heater’s drain valve, can I empty a water heater simply turning off the cold water and turning on a faucet? We were unable to make it work. We also had to open the release valve on the hot water heater, which was a hassle. What should I do if my hot water tank refuses to empty, despite the fact that I have followed all of the instructions? Open the valve carefully after disconnecting the hose. If water is coming out of the hose, it is possible that the hose is blocked or kinked. If no water comes out of the valve, insert a screwdriver into the hole and prepare to close it. Reconnect the hose and drain the water through the open valve. If required, repeat the process. Depending on the situation, you may need to fill and drain numerous times. Be cautious not to be burned. How can I unplug a water heater that has become clogged and refuses to drain? To remove some of the silt, try shoving a straightened wire clothes hanger up the drain valve from the bottom. Make sure you are cautious when passing through the valve to avoid damaging it. If this doesn’t work, you’ll most likely need to speak with a plumber about your particular problem.
  • Concerning the Question The bottom of a water heater is spewing forth a stream of water. What exactly is the problem? It is probable that you require a new water heater. You should immediately cut off the electricity to the water heater (at the fuse box).
  • Concerning the Question Even though there is water in the tank, the water is not getting hot enough to shower with. What exactly is the issue? When using a gas water heater, it is most probable that the pilot light has not been lighted in order to warm the water. If the problem is electrical in nature, inspect the circuit breakers and wiring.
See also:  How Do You Light The Pilot On A Water Heater?

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About This Article

Summary of the Article For best results, turn off the water heater and allow the water to cool for a few hours before continuing.Once the water in the heater has cooled, turn off the cold water intake valve and run some hot water from a faucet in your home to flush out any remaining water in the pipes and drain the heater completely.To drain the tank, first turn on the pressure release valve on the side of the tank and connect a long garden hose to it.

As long as your heater is above ground, you may simply let the water to flow from its tank and via the hose to an outside place.If your heater is located below ground, you will need to utilize a pump to raise the water via the hose.Continue reading the post if you want to learn more, such as how to cleanse your water heater.Did you find this overview to be helpful?

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How to Empty a Water Heater Safely

Your water heater is a vital component of your contemporary home’s plumbing system.A cold shower because your water heater isn’t working properly is one of the most uncomfortable experiences a person can have.Water heater maintenance is essential because it allows you to both extend the life of your water heater and avoid the need for costly repairs or replacements.

Even while it is recommended that you inspect your water heater at least twice per year for rust, corrosion, and leaks, many people do not realize that they should also empty your water heater on a regular basis.We’ll go over why and how to empty a water heater in order to extend its life while also saving you money and your sanity in the process.

Why you need to drain your water heater

Minerals and sediment found in water might accumulate in the tank of your water heater over time, causing it to malfunction.This accumulation may cause problems with your water heater’s performance, including clogging the drain, and it can also cause your water heater to work much harder than it needs to in order to function properly.Energy prices rise as a result, and maintenance or replacement is required sooner than you had anticipated, resulting in higher expenses.

Water heaters that are in good condition can run for up to ten years before needing substantial repairs or replacement; however, mineral accumulation dramatically reduces that lifespan.

How often do you need to drain it?

The American Water Heater Association recommends draining and cleaning your water heater once every one to two years in order to remove mineral buildup and sediment accumulation.Well water is known to contain higher levels of sediment and mineral content than municipal water, and certain towns’ water sources include higher levels of sediment and mineral content than others.If this is the case with your water, you may find that you need to empty the tank of your water heater more frequently.

You should cleanse your water heater if you find that it is taking longer to heat up, that it isn’t getting as hot as it used to, or that it isn’t remaining as hot as it should.

How to drain a hot water heater: Step-by-step

The process of draining your water heater may appear to be complicated, but it is actually rather straightforward and requires only the most basic of instruments.Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions in the handbook that came with your water heater to ensure the best possible safety precautions.We’ll lead you through the process, providing some safety tips along the way and pointing out situations in which you should seek expert assistance.

Turn off the water and power supply

The cold water supply valve at the top of the water heater can be shut off to prevent water from reaching it and heating it.After that, you’ll turn off the electricity to the water heater.If the equipment is powered by gas, turn the gas knob to the ″pilot″ position to cut off the power.

Alternatively, if you have an electric water heater, you will need to go to the main panel of your circuit breaker and turn off the power supply to the unit from that location.The water in your water heater will still be boiling at this time, and it will need to cool for many hours before it is safe for you to drain the water.It’s a good idea to let the water to cool overnight to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Hook up a hose

Locate the drain valve on your water heater and connect a hose to it.If your water heater does not have a drain valve, install one.This step may be accomplished using a standard garden hose.

The other end of the hose should be directed to a location where it can be properly drained, such as your basement’s floor drain, large buckets, or even out onto your driveway if your hose is long enough.

Turn on the tap

Locate the nearest hot water faucet and turn on the hot water, allowing it to run continuously during the draining procedure. This will allow the water to drain from the water heater more freely since the system’s pressure will be reduced in this manner.

Open up the drain valve

The draining process is now underway.Locate the drain valve and turn it on using any tools specified in the unit’s instruction manual.If the water is having difficulty draining, it is possible that sediment buildup is obstructing the drain, and it is recommended to consult a professional.

If this is the case, allow the tank to entirely empty while keeping an eye on the color and cloudiness of the water as it drains.Afterwards, briefly switch on the tank’s cold water supply for a few seconds.This will dislodge any sediment and mineral buildup that has accumulated at the bottom of the tank and allow it to drain.When the water pouring from the drain seems to be clear, you have successfully removed all of the muck.

Refill your tank

Close the drain valve and remove the hose from the water heater before re-connecting the cold water supply to the water heater. At this point, switch off the hot water faucet and let it run for a few seconds until the water runs smoothly again.

Restart the water heater

Once the water heater has been filled with water, switch on the electricity to it by resetting the gas valve to its original position or by resetting the circuit breaker to its original position.To minimize any damage, wait until the water heater’s tank has completely filled before turning on the electricity.While these procedures may appear to be the beginnings of a difficult undertaking, emptying your water heater is something that you can complete on your own.

Only a few hours of labor every year and only a couple of times per year, but you’ll be pleased you put in the effort to do it.With a few basic tools and a little patience, you can ensure that your water heater continues to operate at peak performance for many years to come.

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Learn the Proper and Safe Way to Do the Job

Draining the tank of an electric water heater may be necessary if you are experiencing issues with the unit and are attempting to diagnose or remedy the problem.Preventative maintenance, such as partial drainage, can be performed to keep silt from accumulating.In most cases, this is advised once every month and a half for the first year, and then once every six months following that.

It doesn’t matter what the cause is for needing to drain your electric water heater; just make sure you follow these procedures to ensure the task is done correctly.

Before You Begin

Before you do anything else, you must first shut down the water heater’s electrical power supply.This is accomplished at the electrical panel by turning off the circuit breaker or fuse that supplies power to the water heater.Turning off the water supply to the water heater is the next step.

You should be able to locate a water shutdown valve at or near the cold water inflow line, which should be located at the top of the tank.Close the valve by turning it counterclockwise.If you are unable to locate a local cutoff valve, you can turn off the water supply to the home at the main shutoff valve instead.


  • Bucket
  • Rubber work gloves

Locate and Prepare the Drain

The drain cock, which is located at the bottom of the water heater tank, is a threaded valve that is silver, brass-colored, or plastic in appearance.This is the point at which water is released from the water heater.As you drain the tank, you’ll need a place to put the water that’s collected.

Pour the water into the bucket underneath the drain valve or into the valve itself by connecting a garden hose to the threaded end.If you want to utilize the garden hose, make sure you direct it to a floor drain.

Open the Pressure Release Valve

After that, you’ll need to locate the temperature and pressure (T&P) valve on the water heater so that you may release pressure built up in the tank. Depending on the model, it is either on the side or on top of the water heater. Look for a valve with a tube that extends downward from the top. To open the T&P valve, raise the lever on the T&P valve to the up position.

Let the Water Cool

Despite the fact that you may drain a water heater while the water is still hot, basic safety standards recommend that you wait until the water has cooled to reduce the danger of scorching. This may be accomplished by waiting a few hours.


This is an excellent opportunity to take a hot shower if your water heater is in good operating order and you are only emptying it for maintenance. This can assist in lowering the volume of water in the tank while also removing some of the hot water from the tank.

Drain the Tank

It is now time to remove the water from the tank, having followed all safety procedures.Some drain valves are equipped with a handle.The stems of several of these tools are short and handleless, with a groove for a flathead screwdriver.

For a partial flush, turn the valve counter-clockwise so that a few litres of water are released into a bucket or hose.You should let the tank drain until it’s completely empty if you’re conducting a complete drain using a hose.It is recommended that you use rubber gloves when flushing the toilet with a bucket to avoid getting scalded.To empty the tank, fill the bucket halfway with water and open and close the valve as many times as necessary.

If you need to tip the bucket to pull it out from under the valve spout, fill it only partly with water first.

Close the Valve

As soon as the draining is finished, close the T&P valve by flipping the lever down, followed by closing the drain valve by rotating the valve clockwise. Remove the bucket from the sink or disconnect the hose.

Restore Power and Water

You will be able to do any necessary maintenance once the tank has been drained. When the repair is complete, or if this was only a maintenance flush, reconnect the power and water supply to the water heater to finish the cycle.

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.Regular maintenance on a water heater should include a thorough draining of the heater’s tank.According to The Family Handyman, silt builds up in the bottom of a water heater over time, which can cause obstructions in the system.According to the DIY Network, draining a water heater helps wash out the sediment, which is often composed of minerals and other material, that can cause the heater to fail.

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.


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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.Step 1: Disconnect the water supply to your water heater from the mains.

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.To turn off the water supply to the tank, turn the valve to the off position.Step 2: Disconnect the water heater’s power supply line.You must turn off the electricity to your water heater before draining it, or else you risk damaging the heating elements in the tank.

Alternatively, if you have an electric water heater, turn off the electricity at your home’s electrical panel.The water heater should be connected to the relevant fuse or circuit breaker, which should be clearly labeled.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.Alternatively, The Family Handyman recommends turning off the gas feed to the heater.

  • Check your water heater’s owner’s handbook and follow the directions that are provided for your particular water heater.
  • Step 3: Allow enough time for the water to cool down.
  • Because your water heater is running at a high temperature, it is incredibly hot.
  • In order to avoid harm, it is recommended that you leave your water heater turned on overnight so that the water in the tank has time to cool before draining it.
  • The website recommends waiting at the very least 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.
  1. (Optional) As soon as your water heater has cooled down, connect one end of the hose (you may use a garden hose) to a floor drain or, if it is long enough, to the exterior of your house.
  2. Connect the other end of the hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of your water heater.
  3. Step 5: Run a hot water faucet to warm up the water.
  4. The hot water tap, such as a sink faucet, that is closest to the water heater should be opened.
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This helps to relieve pressure while also allowing the tank to drain more quickly.According to the DIY Network, it is preferable to use a tap that is located on the floor above the water heater.Step 6: Depress the drain valve to let the water out.

As soon as you turn on this valve, the water will begin to drain out of the storage tank.Be patient, as it may take some time for the tank to drain completely if it was completely full or if there is a lot of sediment in it.Step 7: Reconnect the water supply to the tank and flush it with fresh, clean water to finish the job.Restarting the cold water supply while leaving your drain valve open can assist in flushing out any leftover sediment from the bottom of the tank.It is necessary to repeat this process until the water flows clean.After that, turn off the water valve once again.

Step 8: Refill the tank with water.Remove the hose from the drain valve and make sure that the valve is completely closed.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.Angie’s List, on the other hand, suggests that if you reside in a hard water location, you may need to empty it 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.Several examples of safeguards you may take to help keep your personal belongings in good condition are discussed in this article.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.

We encourage you to use your own good judgment when determining what is suitable, and to always keep safety in mind.

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 following the instructions outlined below:

  1. Make sure that your unit’s electricity or gas is turned off.
  2. The cold water supply valve (the valve that delivers chilly water into the tank) should be closed on the unit.
  3. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve on the water heater, which is situated towards the bottom of the tank
  4. Drain the water from the garden hose outside or into a bathtub for drainage.
  5. The drain valve should be opened once the line has been fastened and sent outside or to a drain
  6. Open the pressure release valve, which is located at the top of the machine.
  7. Allow enough time for the water heater to drain completely.
  8. 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.
  9. Close the drain valve and pressure release valve, then disconnect and empty your garden hose
  10. 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. Among the problems caused by sediment building are: corrosion of the tank, which results in leaks both large and minor
  • decreased hot water supply
  • popping noises caused by trapped air trapped in the sediment
  • difficulty heating water
  • and increased utility expenses.

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.Water heater repair should always be left to the professionals in this circumstance – you don’t want to run the risk of causing damage to your water heater or water damage to your property by attempting it yourself.

Next, if you’ve never done it before, refrain from draining your water heater!In the event that you have had your water heater in operation for several years but have never emptied the tank, this is not a home maintenance activity that you want to start doing all of the sudden.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 Thaw & Prevent Major Water Damage


What Would Bob Do? Draining a Water Heater

  • Major Systems

Drain your water heater regularly to keep it running efficiently and safely.

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.The fact that you saw clean-looking water pouring out of your tank does not necessarily imply that you are in good standing with the authorities.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.

Draining a water heater should be done in the following stages in the future:

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.The electricity to the water heater should be turned off.

(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.Finally, to keep the mess to a minimum, place a bucket beneath the pressure-relief valve.Once you’ve opened the valve, listen for air and look for water to confirm that it’s working.If you experience either of these symptoms, it indicates that the valve is functioning as intended, and you should proceed to the next stage.

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.

Connect a garden hose to the water heater drain and run it to the outside of your house.You’ll most likely need at least two pieces of pipe if the tank is below grade (for example, in the basement).One will go from the tank to a portable pump, and the other will run from the pump to an outside collection container.

In most cases, if your water heater is not in the basement, gravity should be able to handle the job.Allow enough time for the water in the heater to cool down (a few hours at the very least) before opening the drain valve to be on the safe side.It is important to note that having a lengthy, hot shower is a good approach for expediting this stage of the draining process!

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.Using a long screwdriver or dowel to dislodge silt after the valve has been removed may be beneficial.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 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.Mineral deposits accumulate in a water heater tank over time, resulting in silt and scale buildup.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.

Due to the presence of this coating, heat transfer from the burner or heating components to the water in the tank is reduced, resulting in energy and money waste.It eventually results in rusting as well.Scale and mineral deposits can eventually break away, causing the flow of hot water through pipes and faucets to become sluggish.They can also block the valve that is used to flush or drain a water heater tank, causing it to not function properly.

ADVICE FROM AN EXPERT However, there is something that many people are unaware of: Some plumbers advise against flushing your water heater if it hasn’t been flushed in years since doing so may cause leaks to appear in the system.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.When you flush away the sediment, you run the risk of removing some of the leak-prevention measures in place.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.

  • Locate and contact a local water heater repair professional.
  • 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.
  • The cost of draining and flushing a water heater varies depending on the manufacturer.
  • If you decide not to undertake the repair yourself, you could expect to pay a plumber between $80 and $100.
  • The following graphic illustrates the construction of electric and natural gas water heaters.
  1. 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.
  2. The drain valve looks like a little outdoor faucet.
  3. If you use this valve, keep in mind that the water will be hot until it has had time to cool before it is released.
  4. In a nutshell, here’s how to flush or empty a water heater on your own:
  1. To turn off the water heater, turn off the gas or electricity.
  2. Close the cold water intake valve and turn it off.
  3. Connect a hose to the water heater’s drain valve and route it to the location where the water will be drained
  4. Open a hot water faucet in a convenient location around the house.
  5. Open the water heater drain valve (caution: hot water will be released! )
  6. Close the valve after flushing 3 to 4 gallons (if emptying, continue until the tank is empty)
See also:  How Much Electricity Does A Tankless Water Heater Use

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: 1 Turn off the gas or electrical power to the water heater, depending on whether it is a gas or an electric water heater.The ″Pilot″ setting on a gas water heater is as simple as turning the gas control to ″Pilot.″ 2 Close the cold water entry valve, which is responsible for regulating the delivery of water to 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).If the valve is equipped with a lever similar to the one illustrated below, turn it so that it is perpendicular to the pipe.3 Using a hose, connect the tank drain valve at the bottom of the water heater and run it to a drain, the outdoors, or a large bucket to drain the excess water from the tank.In order to prevent flooding, make sure the hose’s end is below the level of the drain valve.

4 Open a hot water faucet someplace in the home as well as the pressure-release (PT) valve on the water heater to allow air to enter and allow the water heater to drain.As the water drains, this prevents a vacuum from building in the system.Caution: Keep in mind that the water that comes out of the water heater will be quite hot!To avoid scorching, exercise extreme caution.

Allow the water heater to cool for several hours before proceeding with the following step if you wish to be extra cautious.5 Turn the water heater’s drain valve to the open position.Even if you’re only flushing particles, wait 3 or 4 litres of water to escape the drain valve before shutting it off completely.Once this is done, close both the drain valve and the PT valve.

  • It is necessary to open and close the cold water supply valve a few times in order to get clean water to flow into the tank.
  • In the event that you are totally draining the water heater, leave the drain valve open until the tank is completely empty.
  • 6 Close the drain valve and remove the garden hose from the system.
  • 7 Refill the water heater with fresh water.
  • Prior to draining the tank, shut off the hot water tap in your home that you had previously opened.
  1. Return the water supply valve to its original position to re-fill the tank.
  2. Allow approximately 15 minutes for the tank to fill.
  3. Then, reopen the hot water faucet to allow any remaining air to escape from the tank and pipes.
  4. Air bubbles will appear in the hot water that is flowing from the faucet at first.

Allow the water to clear for a few minutes before turning off the faucet.8 Restart 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.You can drain a blocked water heater through the drain valve by following the instructions in the following section.

First Steps in Breaking a Drain Valve Clog

1 Turn off the water heater.2 Turn off the dishwasher.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.

Drain the water heater by attaching a hose to the drain valve and running it outdoors, with one end of the hose extending 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.3 Drain the water by opening the drain valve.If the water flows freely, the valve is functional.

Otherwise, the drain is most likely plugged.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.Hopefully, this will allow the blockage to be released.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. In order to link two male threads together, you’ll need a garden hose as well as 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

1st, adhere to the preparatory procedures outlined above.2 Close the drain valve on the water heater by twisting it counter-clockwise.The male end of the garden hose should be connected to an outdoor hose faucet or a washtub faucet by means of the female hose coupler.

Water pressure will be charged into the hose by turning on the faucet.5 Turn the water heater’s drain valve to the open position.A torrent of water should be forced into the water heater, forcing deposits away from the water heater’s valve.Remove the water heater drain valve and then turn off the water faucet once again, as shown in step 6.

7 Remove the hose from the water faucet and try to cleanse the tank once more 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

  1. As previously noted, flushing a water heater is a vital element of doing basic DIY water heater maintenance.
  2. Unfortunately, the drain valve on a water heater can get blocked with mineral deposits to the point where it must be completely replaced.
  3. Step-by-step instructions on how to replace it may be found here.
  4. You’ll need to purchase a replacement water heater drain valve, which may be found for approximately $8 at a hardware shop or on the internet.
  1. The most common size is 3/4-inch in diameter.
  2. The potential of flooding your basement increases if you do not first empty the water heater and then replace its drain valve, unless you have a floor drain close by to divert the water.
  3. 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.
  4. Having a buddy ready to capture water in a bucket as you remove and replace the valve will be quite helpful once the valve replacement process gets underway.
  5. Expect to be drenched as a result.

For now, though, you will need to let the water to cool before draining it partially from the tank through hot water taps in the home.This will take some time.ADVICE FROM AN EXPERT In order to avoid damaging the water heater, a plumber will ″air lock″ it before removing this valve.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.Check out this video to see how to replace a water heater drain valve from beginning to end: replacing a water heater drain valve 1 Turn off the valve on the cold water supply line that fills the water heater so that it does not refill while you are draining the contents of the water heater.

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.As long as hot water is available at the taps and tubs in the house, make advantage of it.Allow for the water in the water heater to drop down to a safe temperature before using it once more.This might take the better part of a day.

  • 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.
  • 2 Tie pipe-wrap (Teflon®) tape around the threads of the new valve to ensure that it is ready to be installed.
  • Wear leather-palm gloves and have a helper as well as lots of rags on hand before you begin.
  • 3 Remove the valve from the tank by unscrewing it with a pipe wrench and rotating it counterclockwise.
  • The water will begin to seep as the seal loosens, then spray, and ultimately pour warm (or hot) water!

This is the time of day when your assistant may catch water in buckets as you work.Remove the valve completely from the system.4 If there are a lot of mineral deposits in the tank, they may cause the drain hole to get clogged when the water drains out.

  • Insert a screwdriver into the hole and move it around to break up any deposits that have accumulated.
  • Depending on the severity of the deposits, you may need to drain the entire tank this manner.
  • Install the replacement drain valve in the hole and tighten the screws to ensure that it is snug, pointing downward, and not leaking.

6 To test the new drain valve, open and close it many times.Disconnect the tank’s water supply with a hose until the water begins to flow clean of sediments.7 Disconnect the drain valve from the main line.

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 To refill the tank, open the water supply valve and let the water flow in.9 In order to restart an electric water heater, turn the circuit breaker back on, or open the gas valve and relight the pilot (or use the electronic ignition) in order to restart a gas water heater, according to the water heater’s instructions.Call 1-866-342-3263 right now to get free quotes from local professionals.

How Often Should You Flush Your Water Heater? – Detailed Guide

  1. Are you concerned about maintaining your water heater in peak operating condition, perhaps because you are concerned that sediments will develop at the tank’s bottom?
  2. When it comes to flushing your water heater, do you find yourself asking the same question over and over again?
  3. It is critical to regularly flush the hot water tank in order to keep the water heater operating at peak performance.
  4. It enables households to enjoy hot water for a long period of time without having to worry about costly repairs caused by a malfunctioning water heater.
  1. Knowing how frequently to cleanse your water heater should assist you in maintaining the integrity of your equipment.

How Frequently Should You Flush a Water Heater?

  1. A water heater should be flushed on a regular basis, but there are no definitive recommendations.
  2. Some experts advocate draining the hot water tank at least once a year, while others recommend doing it every four to six months, depending on the circumstances.
  3. However, despite the divergent viewpoints, experts agree that all water heaters should be flushed on a regular basis.
  4. Cleaning the inside chambers of the water heater is critical in removing sediments and mineral deposits that have accumulated over time.
  1. Failure to flush a hot water heater on a regular basis might result in the appliance’s inability to perform properly.

What Factors Can Impact Water Heater Flushing Frequency?

  • The frequency with which water heaters should be flushed can be influenced by a number of factors. The first aspect to consider is the hardness of the water. Water hardness is defined by the United States Geological Survey as a function of the amount of calcium carbonate present in the water. Hard water levels are classified by the EPA into four categories, which are as follows. Water that contains up to 60 calcium carbonate parts per million (ppm) or 0-60 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or less than 3.5 grains per gallon (GPG) is considered soft.
  • Moderately hard water – 61 to 120 parts per million (ppm) or 61-120 mg/L or 3.56 to 7.0 grams per gallon (GPG)
  • A hard water sample containing 121 to 180 mg/L or 121-180 ppm or 7.1 to 10.5 GPG is considered to be hard.
  • Extremely hard water – more than 10.5 GPG or greater than 180 mg/L
  1. While calcium carbonate does not pose a health risk to humans, it may form limescale, which sticks to the inside surfaces of plumbing systems, especially water heaters, and can cause corrosion.
  2. Limescale growth in water heaters that is left unchecked can have a negative influence on the appliance’s performance.
  3. It has the potential to degrade the effectiveness of heating components and make it more difficult for gas-powered water heaters to maintain acceptable water temperature levels.
  4. Limescale can cause the water heater to work twice as hard as it should, accelerate wear, and shorten the appliance’s lifespan.
  1. Your water heater may only survive eight years or fewer, rather t

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