6 Ways to Unclog a Water Heater That Won’t Drain
Please keep in mind that this content may contain affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, we may gain a small profit on purchases made via our links. This issue is far more prevalent on earlier models, which do not have many of the extra anti-sediment measures seen on the most recent top-of-the-line heaters. Clogs can be avoided by emptying the system more frequently or by adding components to the system to assist filter incoming water. There are two techniques of unclogging the drain valve in the meanwhile, depending on whether the water is still hot or cold.
Hot Water Methods
There may be affiliate links in this content, so please be aware of that. This means that, at no additional cost to you, we may gain a small fee on purchases made via our links and advertisements. Most of the time, this problem occurs on older models that do not have many of the additional anti-sediment measures found on the most recent top-of-the-line water heaters. Clogs can be avoided by emptying the system more frequently or by adding components to the system that assist filter entering water.
For this method, you’ll need a washer fill hose, which has female connectors on both ends and can be found at any hardware store. The drain valve should be on one end, and the other end should be connected to your washtub or another nearby faucet. Once this is completed, open the drain valve and turn on the water. It is anticipated that the water pressure will work its way up through the silt, dislodging the obstruction. After a few of minutes, turn off the water, seal the valve, and remove the hose to allow for regular draining to resume.
Despite the fact that you might not think of it that way, the drain is actually a two-way valve. Simply slamming your foot down on the hose can clear a clogged drain valve, whether it occurs before or during your drainage effort. This results in a blast of air entering the tank, which pushes debris to the side. The majority of the time, this is sufficient to restore water flow, and it is simple to repeat as necessary. Although this procedure may not be possible with kink-proof hoses, it can be quite useful when utilizing conventional garden hoses.
If your tank is emptying slowly, there is a good probability that your blockage will clear itself on its own. Just keep checking back every few minutes to make sure the water is still pouring out. It might take an hour or more (or if the clog was dislodged). It is important to note that this approach is the least effective and will not work against high accumulation since more sediment can easily fall into the blockage as a result.
Cold Water Methods
These procedures will frequently have you being in close proximity to the drain valve.
As a result, we highly advise that you turn off your hot water tank for up to 24 hours. Using the hot water faucets in the home will assist in lowering the temperature of the tank water a little faster, since the hot water that has been used will be replaced by cold.
Coat Hanger Fishing
The ever-reliable wire coat hanger, how I love thee. This is a gadget that is almost as important as duct tape in any tool box. As a first step, lay down some towels because this might become a bit dirty. After that, open the drain valve and insert the wire, rotating it in a circular motion to remove any material that has accumulated. Once the water begins to flow, turn off the drain valve for a short period of time to connect your hose. if the blockage reappears before you’ve completed draining, you may simply repeat the operation until it is completely gone.
Drain Valve Replacement
Sometimes the problem isn’t a blocked water heater at all, but rather a faulty valve that has to be replaced. Even though the tank is still full, you may resolve this condition by changing the drain valve. During your job, you’ll want to make sure that all of the faucets in the home are turned off to prevent air from getting into the tank. The ensuing vacuum may be sufficient to prevent the tank from leaking all over the ground. Thread the new drain valve with some teflon tape to keep it from leaking.
After that, carefully unscrew the faulty valve, keeping an eye out for any leaks.
After that, you can flush the toilet as you normally would.
It is possible to simply unscrew the drain valve from the floor drain next to your water heater and let the water to flood through it. While it is not the perfect option, it does allow you to have easier access to the clog, allowing you to make a more effective fishing effort with your coat hanger. Keep in mind that this approach is rather untidy, but it has the potential to be one of the most successful.
How to Unclog a Drain Valve: 7 Ways to Get the Water Flowing
As an Amazon Associate, we receive a commission on qualifying purchases made via our links. Find out more. When your water heater won’t drain, the most likely reason is that the drain valve has become clogged. This is usually the result of an excessive amount of silt accumulating within the tank. During the heating process, the minerals present in the water separate and settle to the bottom of the water heater. If the sediment in the tank is not removed on a regular basis, it will not only diminish the effectiveness of the device, but it can also clog the drain valve, causing the water to become trapped within the water heater.
If left ignored, it will eventually need the purchase of a new water heater since the sediment will corrode the interior of your tank and cause an unrepairable leak.
7 Methods to Unclog a Drain Valve
As an Amazon Associate, we receive a commission on qualifying purchases made via our link. Get to Know Us a Little Bit Better! Clogged drain valves are the most common reason of a water heater that will not drain. As a result of excessive sediment build-up within the tank, this is a common occurrence. During the heating process, the minerals present in the water separate and fall to the bottom of the water heater. Not only will the silt diminish the efficiency of the device if it is not emptied on a regular basis, but it may also clog the drain valve and cause the water within the water heater to get trapped.
Clogs may be anything from a little nuisance to a significant problem, depending on their severity. This problem, if left ignored, will eventually need the purchase of a new water heater, as silt will tear down the inside of your tank, resulting in an unfixable leak.
- Turn off the fuel supply for your water heater (electric: turn off the power to the water heater). Turn off the circuit breaker (in the case of gas, turn the on/off control knob to the off position)
- Drainage should be connected to the drain valve and the valve should be OPENED. DEPRESSURE IN THE TANK: OPEN a hot water faucet inside your home (and leave it open) to allow the negative pressure to escape
- It is unlikely that your valve is clogged if the water drains and turns clean. Clogged valves cause the water to dribble or not drain at all
- This indicates that the valve is clogged.
Caution is advised since there is a strong likelihood that the water in the tank is extremely hot. To avoid being burnt in this situation, you should take appropriate safety steps before proceeding. When attempting to drain a water heater, always use work gloves and safety eyewear to keep yourself safe. Additionally, the water should be allowed to cool before being drained. There are numerous techniques for cooling the water inside the tank, which are as follows:
- It is necessary to turn off the natural gas or electric supply to the water heater and let it sit for up to 24 hours. To check if your water heater is not entirely blocked, remove all of the water that you can from the drain valve while leaving the water inflow valve open. Cold water will be able to enter your tank and dilute the hot water as a result of this. It is necessary to cut off the fuel supply (gas or electricity). If your water heater is entirely blocked, you can draw hot water from the tank by opening the hot water taps in the kitchen and bathroom. Keep the cold water intake valve open to allow the hot water to cool down to a more comfortable temperature. It is necessary to cut off the fuel source (gas or electricity) in order to prevent the water from warming.
Close any gas or electric connections to the water heater and leave it unplugged for up to 24 hours. Drain as much water as possible from the drain valve while leaving the water inlet valve open if your water heater is not fully blocked. Cold water will be able to enter your tank and dilute the hot water as a result of this action. It is necessary to cut off the fuel source (whether gas or electricity). You may draw hot water from the tank if your water heater is fully blocked, by opening the hot water taps in the kitchen and bathroom.
To prevent the water from warming, the fuel source (gas or electricity) should be switched off.
How to Unclog a Water Heater Drain Valve
There are a variety of methods for draining a clogged water heater tank, and the degree of the blockage will play a significant factor in selecting which approach is most effective. Begin with the simplest item on the list and work your way down to the more difficult items. Take note that the water in the tank is most likely quite hot, so take precautions to avoid getting burned by following the safety guidelines stated above. Before you begin, make sure that the water heater’s power supply is turned off.
If your drain valve is clogged, the first thing you should do is simply wait it out. Occasionally, the weight of the water within the tank will be sufficient to dislodge the blockage on its own. Here’s what you should do:
- Continue to leave the drain valve open while the hose is connected. Close all hot water faucets in the home except for one. Continue to wait for an hour or so to observe whether the tank begins to drain.
Wire Coat Hanger
If waiting doesn’t work to unclog your drain valve, the next step is to use a wire coat hanger to clear the obstruction.
- Close the drain valve and take the hose out of the system. Under the drain valve, a small pail or a couple towels are a good idea to keep the water from backing up. Make use of a sturdy wire, such as a wire coat hanger, for this project. Drain the tank by opening the drain valve and inserting the wire through the valve hole into the tank. Move the wire in a circular motion to try to dislodge any debris that has accumulated. If you are successful, the water will begin to flow out of the tank
- Otherwise, nothing will happen. Once you have a steady flow of water, you may close the valve and connect a hose to allow the tank to drain completely. Before your tank is totally empty, the valve may become clogged again
- However, you may just repeat the operation.
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Stomping on the hose may help if your drain valve is still not working properly.
- As soon as you have connected the hose to the drain valve, stand firmly onto the hose around 2 feet away from your water heater
- If the sediment is the source of the blockage, an air bubble will be blasted back into the tank, clearing the obstruction and unclogging the valve. You shouldn’t be surprised if the drain valve becomes clogged once more when you are attempting to drain the tank. Basically, you just have to keep repeating the process until the tank is totally emptied.
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If none of the procedures listed above were successful, it may be necessary to attempt back cleansing your water heater. Here’s how it’s done:
- Fill the hose with water from a washing machine. On both ends of these hoses, there is a female connector. DON’T forget to close the drain valve and attach one end of the wash machine hose to the valve. Use a garden hose to connect the other end of the hose to a nearby washtub faucet (washtub faucets are commonly threaded) or to an outside faucet (and connect the garden hose to an outside faucet)
- Turn the water supply to the faucet on. OPEN the water heater’s drain valve and allow the water to flow into the tank for 10 to 15 seconds
- OPEN the water heater’s drain valve and allow the water to flow into the tank
- In order to unclog the valve, water from the hose should be used to drive the silt away from the valve. Close the drain valve and turn OFF the water at the faucet to prevent a puddle from forming. Unplug the hose from the faucet (leave the line attached to the drain valve, or use a garden hose to drain the tank)
- OPEN the water heater drain valve and allow the water to drain from the tank. It’s possible that your blockage is too severe or that your drain valve is malfunctioning, in which case you’ll need to replace your drain valve.
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If backflushing does not resolve the issue, it may be necessary to replace the drain valve. It IS feasible to change the drain valve while your tank is still full with water if the procedure is followed correctly. Here’s how it’s done:
- A replacement drain valve (preferably brass) should be purchased. Tape the threads of the replacement drain valve with Teflon tape. Check to make sure that ALL of the faucets in your home are closed. When this happens, your water heater will generate a vacuum, which will prevent the water from “pouring out.” Place a bucket and a few towels beneath the drain valve to catch the water. To open the drain valve, use an adjustable wrench to turn it. Remove the drain valve one turn at a time. Keep in mind that some water will be dripping from your tank. Even if your tank is completely blocked, you will very certainly have some water escaping from it. If, on the other hand, the problem is a defective drain valve, you will almost surely have water. Insert the replacement drain valve as soon as possible. This shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. To drain your tank, just connect it to the new drain valve using a garden hose
- We propose that if you’re going to go to the trouble of changing your drain valve, you consider replacing it with a ball valve to save time and effort (see below). Your drain valve will never clog again, and you will never have to worry about it again.
Many water heaters are equipped with low-cost plastic drain valves. You should replace it with a high-quality brass valve, such as this one from Rheem, if you find yourself in this situation.
Replace the Drain Valve with a Ball Valve
It is substantially larger than a conventional drain valve to operate a ball valve.
Replace your drain valve with a ball valve to not only clear your tank, but you’ll also prevent sediment from blocking it in the future as a result of the replacement. The following steps will show you how to replace your drain valve with a ball valve:
- Purchase a 3/4″ abrasive ball valve as well as two 3″ dielectric nipples. (The nipples have been covered with acrylic to keep them from rusting). Each nipple will be attached to one of the ball valve’s two halves. Make use of teflon tape on the threads of the nipples that screw into the ball valve
- And Keep in mind that the ball valve’s handle should be turned away from the tank when it is opened. Teflon tape should be applied to the second side of one of the nipples (just three of the four threads on each of the two nipples will be lined with teflon tape). Check to make sure that ALL of the faucets in the home are closed. When this happens, your water heater will generate a vacuum, which will prevent the water from “pouring out.” Place a bucket and a few towels beneath the drain valve to catch the water. Loosen the drain valve by turning it with an adjustable wrench. Remove the drain valve one turn at a time. Keep in mind that some water will be dripping from your tank. Even if your tank is completely blocked, you will very certainly have some water escaping from it. If the problem is caused by a defective drain valve, you will almost likely have water on your hands. Insert the new ball valve as soon as possible. This shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. Connect a garden hose to your tank and drain the contents
- You should either replace the ball valve with a conventional drain valve or remove the handle for the sake of safety once your tank has been drained completely. It is possible that the handle will be accidentally opened, resulting in the draining of your tank. This has the potential to cause water damage and/or significant burns.
Due to the fact that ball valves are bigger than drain valves, they are capable of draining the most obstinate obstructions.
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In the event that you are planning on replacing your water heater and do not want to invest the time necessary to unclog your drain valve using the techniques listed above, putting your tank outdoors to drain is the best option for you. What you need to do is as follows:
- In the event that you are planning on replacing your water heater and do not wish to invest the time necessary to unclog your drain valve using the techniques described above, putting your tank outdoors to drain is the best option for you. Listed below are the steps you must take: a.
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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:
- 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
- Open a hot water faucet in a convenient location around the house. Open the water heater drain valve (caution: hot water will be released! )
- Close the valve after flushing 3 to 4 gallons (if emptying, continue until the tank is empty)
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 you need to flush or drain a water heater, the actions to take are as follows: An excellent introduction may be found in this video: 1Depending on whether the water heater is gas or electric, turn off the gas supply or electrical power to the water heater. It’s simple to use the “Pilot” setting on a gas water heater to start it up. 2 Deactivate the cold water intake valve, which is in charge of regulating the flow of water into the tank. Make certain that this is the entering cold water valve and not the outgoing hot water valve (the pipe should be cold).
- Flow of water 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 outside, or a large bucket.
- Drain the water heater’s tank by connecting a hose to the drain valve.
- As the water drains, this avoids the formation of a vacuum.
- To avoid scorching, use extreme caution while handling hot objects.
- 5Pull the drain valve on the water heater open.
- Drain and PT valves must be closed after that.
For thorough decomposition of the water heater, leave the drain valve open until it is totally decomposed.
Replace the water heater’s tank with fresh water.
In order to refill the tank, reopen the water supply valve.
Then, reopen the hot water faucet to allow any remaining air to be expelled from the tank and plumbing.
Allow the water to clear for a few minutes before turning off the water.
Whether it’s a gas or electric water heater, relight the pilot light or switch on the electrical circuit.
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.
Hopefully, this will allow the blockage to be released. If it does not, continue reading. Don Vandervort of HomeTips explains how to replace the drain valve on a water heater.
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.
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.
- Water heaters have a drain valve that is positioned at the bottom of the tank.
- 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.
- Expect to be drenched as a result.
- This will take some time.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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How to Drain a Water Heater With a Clogged Drain Valve
A drain valve on a water heater is a convenience feature that makes life easier. This product will only be used when draining for repairs, when it is being disposed of, or when flushing the lime scale out with a hose, among other things. A lack of lime, calcium, or iron accumulation in the water heater will result in easy drainage of the water through the drain valve. However, if there is a buildup of debris, pieces of material can become lodged in the hole and obstruct the flow of water to the point where it will no longer drain.
- Check to see if the valve is genuinely obstructed before proceeding. Disconnect the water heater from the circuit breaker panel. Alternative: Turn the gas valve till it is perpendicular to the gas line and then release the pressure. If the drain valve is not located in close proximity to a drain, a drain hose should be attached. Drain the tank by opening the drain valve and starting the draining process. Activate the pressure-relief valve located on the water heater’s exterior. Instead, switch on the hot water tap in your home. As a result, the negative pressure in the tank will be eliminated, and the tank will be able to drain. As soon as the drain begins to run clean and clear, it indicates that the problem has been resolved. It is possible that the valve is clogged if the water continues to drip out.
- Step firmly onto the drain hose, which should be about 2 feet away from the water storage tank. The air bubble created by this will be forced back into the tank, and it will help to temporarily unblock the valve if there is a clog caused by lime scale or other debris. If the tank is clogged with debris, the obstruction may reappear within a few minutes if the tank is empty. After each clogging incident, repeatedly stomping on the hose and forcing air back into the tank may finally drain the tank, but it may take more time than it is worth to do so.
- Position yourself firmly on the drain pipe, approximately 2 feet from the water tank. a) The air bubble created by this will be forced back into the tank, and it will help to temporarily clear the valve if it is clogged by lime scale or other debris. If the tank is overflowing with debris, the blockage may reappear after a few minutes. The process of repeatedly stomping on the hose and forcing air back into the tank after each clogging incident may finally drain the tank, but it may take more time than it is worth to complete.
- Drain the water heater by removing the drain valve from the water heater. Allow 24 hours for the tank to cool before doing this. Turn off the drain valve by inserting a pipe wrench into the valve body and turning carefully. It’s possible that the fixture may begin to leak abundantly as you remove it, but the leaks will rapidly become clogged with lime particles. You should expect a torrent of water to burst out the opening after the valve has been entirely shut off. It is possible that the water tank will continue to empty effectively in this manner. When lime deposits are significant and plug the drain hole, however, the draining may come to a grinding halt very soon
A screwdriver should be inserted into the drain hole that has been created by removing the valve. Pull the screwdriver out of the hole by swirling it around. The water will begin to drain, but it is possible that it could block up again shortly. Insert the screwdriver into the opening as many times as required to break up the obstruction before the tank has entirely drained.
Things You Will Need
- Wrench for removing pipes
- Hose for washing machines
- Leather-palm gloves
- When disconnecting the drain valve, put on a pair of leather-palm gloves to protect your hands from the hot water.
How To Drain A Clogged Water Heater
Knowing how to unclog a drain valve might come in handy when you have more than 50 gallons of hot water in your tank and it refuses to drain! The most typical cause for a drain valve to become clogged is an accumulation of silt. Flushing sediment out of your water heater should be part of your normal water heater maintenance routine to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. This article will demonstrate a number of different techniques for unclogging a drain valve. Start at the beginning of the list and go on to the next way if the first one doesn’t work out for you.
The vast majority of the time, you’ll be able to unclog your drain valve at some point in time.
Is Your Drain Valve Clogged?
As a result of the incoming water supply, sediment might accumulate in your tank. It can also be left over from the interior of your tank, such as rust. Minerals separate and settle at the bottom of the tank as a result of heating water, resulting in lime scale over time. Sediment buildup is detrimental to the performance of water heaters. It affects the efficiency of the unit, breaks down the inside of the tank, and has the potential to build up to the point where it clogs the drain valve, among other things.
If you do not discover a means to drain your tank, you will ultimately have to purchase a new water heater because the interior of the tank will begin to deteriorate and an unrepairable leak will occur.
- Before you do anything else, switch off the fuel to your water heater. Turn the circuit breaker off for electric units, and the control knob to pilot OFF for gas units if applicable. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve and run the other end of the hose outdoors to collect the water (or to a drain). then turn the water heater’s drainage valve to “off.” Air must be allowed to enter the tank from a nearby hot water faucet. As the water drains from your tank, take note of any unusual odors. If it is clear, the valve is not clogged
- Otherwise, it is. You will need to unclog your drain valve if the water is not draining or is just partially draining
- Otherwise, you will need to replace your drain valve.
How to Cool Water within a Hot Water Heater Tank
Make sure that the fuel to your water heater is turned off first. Electrical appliances should have their circuit breakers turned off; gas units should have their controls set to pilot OFF. To drain the sink, connect the drain valve to a garden hose and run the other end of it outdoors (or to a drain). Afterwards, turn on the water heater’s drain valve. Allow air to enter the tank by opening a nearby hot water faucet; As the water drips from your tank, take note of the color of the water. If the valve is not blocked, it is clear.
- Allow up to 24 hours after turning off the electricity for the water heater to cool before using it. Drain as much water down the drain valve as you possibly can. When the power is turned off, leave the water inlet valve open. Cool water will enter the tank when the water drains from it, diluting the hot water that was previously present. This procedure will only work if your drain valve is not fully clogged
- Otherwise, it will not work. When the drain valve is entirely jammed, turn on multiple hot water faucets throughout the home to flush the system. Cut power to the unit, but keep the cold water intake valve open to allow cold water to dilute the hot water.
How to Unclog a Drain Valve
The severity of the obstruction will decide which remedy is most effective for you. The first approach on this list is the simplest to implement. We propose that you start at the top and work your way down until you find a solution that is effective. Before you begin, keep in mind that anytime you empty your water heater, you should always switch off the electricity and shut off the incoming water supply. Check with your local plumber and get FREE estimates today.
Give it Time
Many mild blockages will clear themselves on their own. If the pressure from the water is high enough, the debris will be forced through the open drain valve if the chance presents itself. Take the following steps:
- A large number of small blockages will clear on their own over time. If the water pressure is high enough, the debris will be pushed through the open drain valve by the force of the water pressure. Steps to take include:
Use a Stiff Wire
It may be highly successful to use the “stiff wire” approach, especially if there is a little amount of debris stopping your tank from emptying, which may be causing your water heater to make strange noises. The way it works is as follows:
- Close the drain valve and remove the hose that connects to it before starting the job. Place a couple towels below the drain valve or a bucket beneath the valve to catch any leaking water. Open the drain valve and put a stiff wire or a wire coat hanger into the entrance of the drain valve to stop it from backing up. Rotate the wire in a circular motion to make it more flexible. This will aid in the loosening of the debris. If you were successful in unclogging the drain valve, water should begin to flow through the valve. Continue to insert the wire until you get a steady stream of water. After that, close the valve and connect the hose to it. During the process of draining the tank, it is not unusual for the drain valve to become clogged on many occasions. Continue until the tank is completely depleted.
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The ” stomp on the hose ” approach should be tried first if neither of the other two ways work.
Here’s What to Do:
- Stomping on the hose approximately 2-feet away from the water heater with the line attached and the drain valve open will cause an air bubble to be blown into the tank. This will frequently be sufficient to clear the drain valve. Prepare to repeat the operation because the seiment within the tank will most likely settle and block the valve once more
- Else, call for assistance.
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It is generally always necessary to use the ” reverse flow ” approach to unclog a drain valve; however, when the blockage is severe or when the drain valve no longer functions, you will need to resort to one of the other methods instead.
Here’s What to Do:
- Connect one end of a washing machine hose to the drain valve and the other end to a garden hose when the drain valve is closed
- This will prevent the water from backing up. Reconnect the garden hose’s other end to a threaded faucet, such as a wash tub or an exterior faucet
- Turn on the water supply to the faucet and open the drain valve for about 10 to 15 seconds to flush the toilet. As water pours into the tank through the valve, it should unclog the drain valve
- Otherwise, the tank would overflow. Close the drain valve and turn off the water supply at the faucet if necessary. Disconnect the hose from the faucet and turn on the drain valve if necessary. The water should be able to drain. However, if it does not, it is most likely because the drain valve is malfunctioning or because the obstruction is too severe.
Hose from the washing machineConnecting a washing machine hose to your drain valve together with a garden hose will help you to clear any obstruction that has formed in your drain valve.
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Unless you are able to unclog the drain valve using one of the ways listed above, it may be necessary to replace the valve. It is feasible to do this task with a full tank of water, believe it or not.
Here’s What to Do:
- Teflon tape should be used to seal the threads of your new drain valve. We recommend that you purchase an abrasive drain valve. All of the hot water taps around the home should be turned off. Creating a vacuum while the faucets are closed will prevent the water from leaking out
- This will prevent the water from leaking out. Place towels and a pan under the drain valve to catch any leaks. Unscrew the drain valve using an adjustable wrench and rapidly replace it with your new valve
- While the operation is underway, some water will be released from your tank. Consider switching valves as quickly as possible and having towels on hand to quickly wipe up any water that may have gotten into the house. Installing the replacement valve is as simple as connecting a garden hose and draining the storage tank.
Make sure you use Teflon tape to seal the threads on your new drain valve. Purchase of an abrasive drain valve is recommended. All of the hot water taps in the home should be turned off. a. When the faucets are closed, a vacuum is generated, which prevents the water from leaking out. Place towels and a bucket under the drain valve to catch any leaking water. Remove the drain valve with an adjustable wrench and replace it with your new valve as soon as possible. While the operation is underway, some water will be released from the tank.
Connect a garden hose to the new valve and drain the tank once it has been installed.
Replace the Valve with a Ball Valve
Replacing your drain valve with a ball valve will not only solve your immediate problem, but it will also serve as a preventative measure, preventing your water heater from being clogged in the future as well. Ball valves are far bigger than normal drain valves, and as a result, they are more difficult to clog. Purchase a 3/4″ ball valve as well as two 3/4″ dielectric nipples for this project.
Here’s What to Do:
- Wrap teflon tape around one end of the dielectric nipple to keep it in place. Then screw the wrapped end into the ball valve
- This completes the process. Wrap both ends of the second nipple around the first nipple (3 of the 4 threaded ends of the nipples will be lined with Teflon tape). Decide which one will be wrapped around the wall valve handle. Wrap the nipple around the handle so that it opens away from the tank If you want to prevent water from spilling out of the drain valve hole, you should turn off all of the faucets in your house. Place towels and a pan or bucket beneath the drain valve to catch any water that comes out. Remove the drain valve with a wrench and replace it with your new ball valve as soon as possible. Prepare yourself since some water will be poured from the tank. Pour water into the tank by connecting a garden hose and turning on the ball valve. When the ball valve is not in use, it is a good idea to remove the handle from the valve. The majority of ball valves are equipped with a lengthy lever-style handle that can be accidentally opened. If this occurs, your tank may begin to leak without your notice. This has the potential to damage the tank, cause water damage, and even result in serious burns.
Ball Valve is a type of valve that has a ball in it.
The majority of the time, replacing your drain valve with a ball valve will resolve your problem. Dielectric NipplesYou’ll need two nipples to replace the drain valve with a ball valve when replacing the drain valve with a ball valve.
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It’s quite reasonable to bring your tank outside and allow it to drain from the top from time to time. In the event that you intend on upgrading your water heater, you may not want to go through the bother of replacing your drain valve with a ball valve, and you may not be concerned about the state of your tank after it has already been emptied. It seems reasonable to move your tank outside in this situation. However, you must use caution because your tank will be incredibly hefty. It is strongly recommended that you chill the water first.
Here’s What to Do:
- Unplug the power source (gas line or electrical connection) from the house. Ensure that all water lines, including incoming and outgoing, are disconnected. Then, using a hand truck, transport your water heater outside
- As soon as you are outdoors, carefully flip the heater on its side. Allow the water to flow out of the tank’s top, if possible.
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Water Heater Maintenance: Why Won’t My Water Heater Drain?
It is clear that you understand the necessity of water heater maintenance and that you are prepared to do one of the most critical tasks – emptying the tank. It is our pleasure to commend you on being an excellent homeowner and for staying on top of important chores. However, when you attempted to drain the tank, you discovered that it just wouldn’t seem to drain! What may be the source of the problem? See what I mean in the video below!
How To Drain A Water Heater
When everything is in working order, emptying a water heater tank is a rather straightforward procedure. It is usually sufficient to simply switch off the electricity to the system, turn on the cold water supply by opening the valve, connect a garden hose to the tank to transport the water and sediment away from the tank, and then open the drain valve and pressure relief valve to relieve the pressure buildup. Once the tank is completely emptied and fresh cold water is pouring through it, the operation is nearly complete.
Then, if you have a gas system, relight the pilotlight, or switch on the power if you have an electric system, and you’re done!
How To Unclog A Water Heater Drain Valve
If you’re not so lucky, and you’re having problems with your tank not draining, there’s a considerable probability the drain valve is clogged or otherwise stopped. As a consequence of calcium accumulation on or aroundthe drain valve, or silt from within the tank clogging the valve, this is a common occurrence. So, what can you do to clear the blockage in your drain? There are a variety of alternative tactics you may take based on your specific scenario, including:
- Give It Some Time: If the clog is slight, you may only need to wait a short period of time for the pressure generated by the water and sediment exiting the tank to clear the blockage. You’ll most likely have a more major blockage on your hands if the tank isn’t emptying adequately within an hour. Use A Coat Hanger: While wire coat hangers are intended for the purpose of hanging clothes, they are also excellent instruments for dislodging clogs. Drain the tank by opening the drain valve and inserting the wire into the tank. Reposition it slightly to dislodge any debris or silt that may have accumulated around the drain opening. Back-flushing the drain is a technique in which water is used to drive debris away from the drain valves, allowing your tank to drain freely again. Using a wash machine fill hose with female connectors on both ends will be necessary for this project. Close the drain valve and connect one end of the hose to a nearby sink faucet, then connect the other end to another nearby sink faucet. For roughly ten seconds, turn on the faucet and open the drain valve, enabling water to pour into the tank from both ends. After that, turn off the faucet, close the drain valve, and remove the hose from the sink. After that, use the standard draining procedures.
However, if this does not resolve the problem, it may necessitate the skillsand expertise of an experienced plumbing professional, or it may simply be the case that the drainvalve is broken and has to be repaired or replaced. Don’t give up, no matter what the situation is. Failure to remove the sediment from the tank on a regular basis might result in a variety of serious concerns, including increased wear and strain on the tank itself. All of this might result in the need for a completely new water heater much before you really need to replace the one you now have!
Your water heater is a critical component of your home’s infrastructure.
At Aztec PlumbingDrains, we’re delighted to provide water heater repair services that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We’ll be in and out the same day you call us, if not sooner. Furthermore, you will not be charged an additional fee if your water heater repair or installation is completed at night, on weekends, or on holidays.
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.
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
- 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 replace the valve entirely.
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:
- 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
- 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
- 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
Large and tiny leaks are caused by corrosion of the tank. Reduced hot water delivery; popping noises caused by air trapped in the sediment; and other problems Problems with water heating. Utility bills that are higher.
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