How to Drain Water Heater Fast and Improve Performance
Why and how should a water heater be drained? Is it effective in resolving the most prevalent water heating issues? How frequently should it be carried out? Is it necessary to flush the tank as well? Please refer to the following procedure for draining a water heater quickly and effectively in order to assure improved functioning. Tips and tactics for draining, as well as how to cope with complications that may arise. Draining a water heater is recommended by every manufacturer, plumber, and expert because of the benefits it provides: improved performance, efficiency, desired power output, longer heater life, safer operation, and cost savings.
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Make use of this article, which discusses how to maintain electric water heaters and how to drain them.
Benefits of draining a water heater
In order to avoid or eliminate sediment buildup and debris that can accumulate at the bottom of a water heater’s tank and degrade its performance and efficiency while increasing its operational cost as a whole, it is recommended to drain and flush the system every six months. The reason for this is that one tank might be subjected to a variety of imperfect circumstances (hard water, mineral content, and corrosion, to name a few). As a result, frequent tank maintenance should be performed. When the heater is not in use, such as when on vacation for a long period of time, it should be drained fully, and the drain valve should be left open.
If you have a tankless water heater, you should read this article on how to winterize a tankless water heater.
Leaking is most often caused by faulty connections, corrosive activity in the tank, or damaged parts.
Note: Even if everything goes smoothly during the draining process, there may be some leakage after the hose is disconnected.
Avoid water damages by installing the drain pan
Install a drain or catch pan beneath the water heater during the installation process to collect the occasional leaking that occurs during the condensation from the heater’s tank, TPR valve, or pipe joints at the top of the unit’s construction. Using a metal drain pan with an exterior diameter that is 2″ larger than the tank’s diameter and connecting it to a sufficient drain is recommended in order to prevent overflow and leaking.
It is necessary to have a drain pan installed if the water heater is positioned in the attic. A tiny gadget that may be fitted under the water heater to sound an alert if there is a leak is also an option.
How can I drain a water heater fast?
Using a utility pump to drain a water heater is the most efficient and safest method available today. Take a look at the pump specifications to discover how many gallons of water can be moved per hour, how powerful the motor is, and what the maximum water temperature that the pump can withstand. In the event of an emergency or when electricity is unavailable, it is recommended that you purchase a portable electrical pump with at least 1/2 horsepower as well as a 12 V battery driven pump. Note: Because silt accumulation might hinder regular water flow, it is recommended that an existing drain valve be replaced with a ball valve.
The hose should be connected to the utility pump on one end, and the other end should be connected to a location away from the residence.
What to do if water is still leaking
Using the utility pump is the most efficient and safest method of draining a water heater. Check the pump specifications to find out how many gallons of water can be moved per hour, how powerful the motor is, and what the maximum water temperature it can withstand before purchasing one. In the event of an emergency or when electricity is unavailable, it is recommended that you purchase a portable electrical pump with at least 1/2 horsepower as well as a 12 V battery driven model. Because silt accumulation can impair regular water flow, it is recommended that an existing drain valve be replaced by theball valve.
The hose should be connected to the utility pump on one end and to a location away from the home on the other end.
Step by step guide on how to drain a water heater
Water heater powered by natural gas
- Extinguish the gas by closing the gas control valve or manual shut-off valve, which should be positioned near to the heater. Removing the cold water intake valve is necessary. To vent the heating system, turn on the hot water faucet nearest to you. Connect the garden hose to the drain valve, which is situated at the bottom of the heater
- And The other end of the hose should be disposed of in an appropriate drain so that it does no damage or cause any injuries. It is also possible to drain through a bucket if the hose is not available for this reason. Drain the water heater by opening the flow valve and allowing all of the water to drain from the tank. Due to the possibility of hot water, use caution. This is the primary reason for selecting the proper hose type. Once the tank has been empty, flush it as often as necessary to eliminate any deposits. Close the faucet and follow the instructions on how to turn on the heater to refill the tank.
You may also refer to the video provided below.
Should I drain a water heater often?
According to the manufacturer’s recommendations, empty and flush the tank every six months, or at least once a year, as part of your normal, suggested maintenance schedule. In the case of a first-time drain and there is a lot of sediment accumulation in the tank, the drain valve will either not operate or will become clogged, making it impossible to completely close the valve, resulting in some leakage later. Given that most water heaters come equipped with plastic and low-quality drain valves, if it becomes difficult to clean, or if it becomes damaged, use a hacksaw blade, hammer, and screwdriver to saw and chip out the broken pieces, and then replace it with a ball valve for ease of use and maintenance afterward.
Tips when draining a water heater
Installing a water softener or using a de-limer solution is one method of preventing lime and sediment accumulation. Because this is an added expense to your budget, emptying and flushing a water heater on a regular basis is the most cost-effective and straightforward approach. The pressure release valve must be open in order for air to be able to enter the tank and for water to flow out easily. The second option is to turn on a water faucet. The use of a hot water tap to let adequate cold water into a tank will lower the temperature and reduce the danger of burns caused by scorching water.
- This is due to all of the minerals and sediments that have accumulated through time, as well as rusting.
- Turn on the water to the tank to flush out the remaining sediments, and when the water that has been drained is clean, you have completed the task.
- The discharge pipe from the valve must slant downward in order to completely empty the water heater by gravity while it is being drained.
- How long does it take for the water to drain?
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- Instructions on how to maintain a tank-style water heater Keeping an electric water heater in good condition
- Instructions on how to empty a water heater
- Instructions on how to cleanse a water heater
- Tips for extending the life of a hot water heater
- How to winterize a tankless water heater
- Cleaning hints and techniques
- How to properly vent a gas water heater How to increase the safety of your water heater at home
- How to minimize water damage and save money on expensive repairs
- Protecting a water heater from corrosion is a difficult task.
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.
- 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.
- 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)
The water heater should be turned off with either gas or electricity. Make sure to close the cold water entry valve. To drain the water heater, connect a hose to the drain valve and route it to the location where the water will be drained. Open a hot water faucet in a convenient location throughout the house. Activate the water heater drain valve (with caution, since hot water will be released); Then close the valve (if you’re emptying it, keep going until it’s completely empty).
How to Flush or Drain a Water Heater Tank
Listed below are the procedures to be followed while flushing or emptying a water heater. This video provides a wonderful summary of the subject: To turn off the gas or electrical power to the water heater, depending on whether it is a gas or an electric water heater, follow these steps: The “Pilot” setting on a gas water heater is as simple as turning the gas control to “Pilot.” 2 Turn off the cold water inlet valve, which is responsible for regulating the supply of water into the tank.
- Make certain that this is the incoming cold water valve and not a valve for the outgoing hot water supply (the pipe should be cold).
- The supply to this water heater is controlled by a lever valve.
- 3 Using a hose, connect it to the tank drain valve, which is located in the bottom of the water heater, and direct it to a drain, the outdoors, or a large bucket.
- Fill the tank with water by connecting a hose to the water heater’s drain valve.
- As the water drains, this prevents a vacuum from building in the system.
- To avoid scorching, exercise extreme caution.
- 5Depress the drain valve on the water heater.
Once this is done, close both the drain valve and the PT valve.
In the event that you are totally draining the water heater, leave the drain valve open until the tank is completely empty.
7Refill the water heater with fresh water.
Return the water supply valve to its original position to re-fill the tank.
Then, reopen the hot water faucet to allow any remaining air to escape from the tank and pipes.
Allow the water to clear for a few minutes before turning off the faucet. 8Restart the water heater if necessary. If you have a gas water heater, relight the pilot light, or switch on the electric circuit if you have an electric water heater.
Water Heater Won’t Drain
If your water heater is draining slowly or not at all when you open the drain valve, you should try opening the pressure-relief valve to see if it helps (see the illustration at the top of this page). This has the potential to dislodge the vacuum that is keeping the water from leaving. In most cases, if the water heater won’t drain or drains slowly, the problem is most likely due to an excessive amount of sediment building up in the water heater. The drain valve of a water heater can become clogged with sediment.
First Steps in Breaking a Drain Valve Clog
1Detach the water heater from the mains. Depending on whether the water heater is gas or electric, switch off the gas valve or the circuit breaker that supplies electricity to the water heater. Secondly, connect an outside hose to the drain valve and run it outside, making sure that the hose’s end is below the level of the water heater. Turn on a hot water faucet someplace in the home or open the pressure-relief valve on the water heater to dislodge the vacuum that has built up inside the tank.
If the water flows freely, the valve is functional.
4 In the event you believe that the drain valve has become clogged, you can attempt to shoot water and air bubbles back into the tank by repeatedly walking on the hose a few feet away from the tank.
If it does not, continue reading.
How to Back-Flush a Water Heater
A hose is connected between the drain valve and an outdoor faucet, and water is squirted back into the water heater through the drain valve in order to backflush it. For this project, you’ll need two male threads connected together with a double-female garden hose coupler (which can be purchased online for approximately $8).
How to Flush a Water Heater Video
Take a look at this video, which demonstrates the procedure of cleansing your hot water heater.
Back-Flushing a Water Heater Step-by-Step
1First, perform the steps outlined above for preparation. 2Close the drain valve on the water heater by twisting it in the clockwise direction. 3Connect the male end of the garden hose to an outdoor hose faucet or a washtub faucet by means of the female hose coupler that was previously installed. Hose Coupler with a Double Female EndBosch4 Turn on the faucet to fill the hose with water pressure and fill the hose with water. 5Depress the drain valve on the water heater. A torrent of water should be forced into the water heater, forcing deposits away from the water heater’s valve.
7Remove the hose from the water faucet and attempt cleansing the tank once again with the hose. If the water heater’s drain valve is still not functioning properly, the next step is to either replace the drain valve or to replace the water heater.
How to Replace a Water Heater Drain Valve
As previously noted, flushing a water heater is a vital element of doing basic DIY water heater maintenance. Unfortunately, the drain valve on a water heater can get blocked with mineral deposits to the point where it must be completely replaced. Step-by-step instructions on how to replace it may be found here. Valve for the drain of a water heaterB K Water heater drain valves are available for purchase at most hardware stores and on the internet for around $8 per valve, depending on the model.
- 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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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)
Kevin Norris’s The Spruce is a novel about a young man who grows up in the woods.
Perform a Quick Flush
- Kevin Norris’s novel The Spruce
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. 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. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
- The Spruce / Kevin Norris
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 operation as many times as necessary to completely empty the tank. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
- The Spruce / Kevin Norris
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. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
- The Spruce / Kevin Norris
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. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
- The Spruce / Kevin Norris
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. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
- The Spruce / Kevin Norris
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. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
- The Spruce / Kevin Norris
How to Drain an Electric Water Heater
When you’re experiencing issues with an electric water heater and are attempting to troubleshoot or fix the problem, you may need to drain the tank. 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. A circuit breaker or fuse that powers the water heater must be disabled at the electrical panel to complete this task. 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.
- 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 use the floor draining option, connect the garden hose to it.
Open the Pressure Release Valve
- You will then need to locate the temperature and pressure (T P) valves on the water heater so that you may release the pressure that has 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.
- Although it is possible to 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 burning yourself or someone else. After a few hours, you’ll be able to accomplish your goal!
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. To avoid tipping the bucket to pull it out from under the valve spout, fill it only partly with water before tipping it over.
Close the Valve
- To complete the draining, close the T P valve by pulling the lever down and closing the drain valve by twisting it clockwise until the valves are completely closed. Remove the bucket from the sink or disconnect the hose
Restore Power and Water
- Once the draining has been completed, seal the T P valve by flicking the lever down and close the drain valve by twisting it in the opposite direction as the lever. Remove the bucket from the sink or disconnect the hose from the faucet.
How to Drain a Water Heater Fast in 8 Surprisingly Easy Steps
You may be emptying your water heater for the first time. However, you may be unaware of how to drain a water heater quickly enough to avoid disrupting your family’s hot water demands. The process of emptying a water heater should not take more than an hour if you are thorough in your approach. Draining a water heater is an important part of preventative maintenance.
It enables you to remove mineral deposits from the tank’s bottom and clean it in order to keep its water heating efficiency at its peak. In this essay, I’ll teach you how to swiftly drain the hot water tank without damaging it.
Things You Need for this Tutorial
You may be emptying your water heater for the first time. However, you may be unaware of how to drain a water heater quickly enough to avoid interrupting your family’s hot water supply. If you adopt a deliberate approach, emptying a water heater should not take more than an hour, without including any other associated duties. A water heater’s draining is a necessary part of its maintenance. Cleaning the tank bottom and removing mineral deposits helps you to maintain the water heating effectiveness of the tank.
Steps for Draining a Water Heater Quickly
Your water heater is less than one year old, in which case you can move on to Step 2. In every hot water tank, the temperature and pressure (T P) relief valve is an absolutely necessary part of the system. As a result of thermal expansion, the compact device is able to accept extra steam and pressure generated by the hot water tank. Check the placement of the T P valve, which is normally near the top of the tank or on the upper side. It has a tube that runs down the tank, which is known as the discharge pipe.
Open the T P valve only slightly in order to release pressure.
After hearing the sound, close the T P valve and start to empty the electric water heater or the natural gas water heater.
Preferably, you should arrange the draining while you are already scheduled to have a T P valve replaced.
Step 2. Turn off the gas or electric power to the water heater.
The procedure of emptying the water heater may begin once the T P valve has been tested and found to be in working order. In order to switch off the water heater, you must first turn off the fuel or power that is providing it. Gas water heaters are connected to a gas supply line by means of a shutdown valve to provide hot water. Locate and switch off the gas supply cutoff valve if it is present. The majority of electric water heaters have a direct connection to the electrical system of the home.
If you are unable to read the label on the breaker or are unclear which breaker is responsible for shutting off the water heater, it is advisable to switch off the entire electrical panel.
Step 3. Let the hot water cool off.
Never empty an electric water heater or a gas water heater as soon as the power or fuel supply is turned off. It might be wise to wait until the water has cooled down a little before entering to avoid burn damage. By turning on a nearby hot water faucet, you may speed up the chilling process even further. It is important to leave the main water supply valve open for the time being since you will need cold water to flow into the tank as hot water will be flowing out of the open water faucet.
Step 4. Prepare the drain hose.
Get your garden hose and look for the water heater’s drain valve on the wall. You should be able to see it towards the bottom of the hot water tank, where it is equipped with a lever that allows you to open and close the valve. If you don’t have a drain valve, you can follow these instructions to empty the water heater as effectively as possible. The garden hose should be connected to the drain valve’s faucet and then extended outside in your backyard.
A floor drain can be used as an alternative to placing the flexible tube’s open end on it. Pro Tip: If you want to empty a hot water heater rapidly, always straighten the garden hose from the tank to the drainage chamber before connecting it.
Step 5. Close the cold water supply to the water heater tank.
After a few minutes of free-flowing water through the tank, it should be safe to drain the water from the tank completely. I propose that you check the temperature of the water flowing out of the hot water faucet. It should not be very heated. Verify that the water line leading to the hot water tank’s top has a shutdown valve by turning it on and off. Turning off this valve will prevent cold water from entering the tank and causing corrosion. If you are unable to discover a shutdown valve, try tracing the water supply line to see if one can be found.
Close this valve as soon as possible.
Step 6. Empty the tank.
To begin emptying the hot water tank, fully open the drain valve on the tank. Consider checking the open end of the garden hose to see if the water is running constantly or if it is intermittently flowing. If you observe that the flow is irregular, you should inspect the tubing for kinks. Straightening the hose will allow for more efficient draining. According to industry standards, a typical water heater drains between nine and seventeen gallons per minute. The time it takes to empty the hot water tank may be calculated based on this rate of consumption of energy.
Take a cup of coffee, read the news, or listen to your favorite music if you have enough time between appointments.
Step 7. Refill the hot water tank.
Close the drain valve on the hot water tank and remove the garden hose from the tank. Roll up the flexible tubing and return it to its original location. Close the hot water faucet and turn on the cold water supply shutdown valve at the same time. Wait a few minutes before filling the water heater tank with water. Refilling the tank can take anywhere from 30 to 70 minutes, depending on the size of the tank, the water pressure, and the rate at which the water flows. After filling the tank, turn on the hot water faucet and turn it off when there are no more air bubbles in the water.
Step 8. Reestablish power or gas supply to the water heater.
Turn on the gas cutoff valve and ignite the pilot light by turning the knob to the right. To activate the water heater circuit breaker if you have an electric water heater, go to the breaker panel and turn it to the on position. Depending on your water heater, it might take anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes to bring the water up to the proper temperature for drinking. The pace at which water is heated is dependent on the temperature of the cold water and the amount of temperature rise. A great video from MonkeySee on the topic of emptying a water heater is available here.
Learning how to drain a water heater rapidly requires immediately cooling the hot water and straightening the drain pipe, among other things. Tank emptying takes no more than 10 minutes in total, but the preparation work and waiting game might make it appear as though the operation is taking a long, long time.
Did you find this tutorial to be of assistance? Do you believe that other people will appreciate it as well? Would you be willing to share this instruction with them if that’s the case? I also look forward to hearing from you with any comments, criticism, or questions that you may have.
How to Maintain & Drain A Water Heater: 8 Step Guide
Date of publication: December 2019 You may take your water heater for granted until it stops working and you are forced to take a frigid shower in the middle of winter. Even worse, it might cease operating altogether, resulting in water splattered all over the floor. Fortunately, a hot water heater does not require much maintenance, although emptying it on a regular basis may assist to ensure that it continues to operate smoothly. Consider the following recommendations for maintaining your water heater.
According to The Family Handyman, silt builds up in the bottom of a water heater over time, which can cause obstructions in the system.
If you do not properly maintain your water heater, it may not operate at peak efficiency or may even fail to operate at all in some cases.
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A high level of protection for your house makes all the difference when it comes to keeping your family safe. Allstate home insurance can assist you in protecting what is important to you. Request a quote Locate a representative. When it comes to draining a water heater, the DIY Network recommends the following measures. The owner’s handbook for your water heater will provide you with particular information on your water heater. For those who are uncomfortable completing this sort of maintenance on their water heater, contact a plumber to arrange for a professional draining to be performed.
- 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.
- Step 2: Disconnect the water heater’s power supply line.
- Alternatively, if you have an electric water heater, turn off the electricity at your home’s electrical panel.
- 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.
- Check your water heater’s owner’s handbook and follow the directions that are provided for your particular water heater.
- Because your water heater is running at a high temperature, it is incredibly hot.
- (According to BobVila.com, you should at the very least wait a few hours.) In addition, taking a hot shower can assist to accelerate the cooling process.) Step 4: Connect a hose to the drain valve.
Connect the other end of the hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of your water heater.
The hot water tap, such as a sink faucet, that is closest to the water heater should be opened.
According to the DIY Network, it is preferable to use a tap that is located on the floor above the water heater.
As soon as you turn on this valve, the water will begin to drain out of the storage tank.
Step 7: Reconnect the water supply to the tank and flush it with fresh, clean water to finish the job.
It is necessary to repeat this process until the water flows clean.
Step 8: Refill the tank with water.
Return the water supply to its original setting to begin replenishing the tank. Once the tank is full, turn on the electricity or gas supply to the water heater to re-energize it. While draining the tank, remember to turn off the faucet that you had previously turned on.
How Often Should You Drain Your Water Heater?
According to both BobVila.com and The Family Handyman, it’s a good idea to empty your water heater at least once a year in general. If you reside in a hard water area, on the other hand, according to Angie’s List, you may need to empty your water more often. Always remember to consult your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer suggests before making any changes. Water heaters are relatively low-maintenance appliances, but it’s important to remember to drain yours on a regular basis. If you do this, you may be able to keep it working effectively and the hot water going.
Please keep in mind that a certain precaution may not be suitable or effective in every situation, and that adopting preventative steps does not ensure a positive outcome.
What Would Bob Do? Draining a Water Heater
Image courtesy of shutterstock.com I’ve just finished draining my water heater for the first time since it was installed in 1989.24 years ago today! I stopped after approximately five minutes since the water came out incredibly clear and there was no trace of any silt. Is this a sign that my heater is devoid of any sediment? Whatever sort of storage tank water heater you have, draining your water heater at least once a year is a good practice. Over time, sediment accumulates within the appliance, reducing its energy efficiency and causing blockages in other fixtures throughout the house, including the kitchen sink.
To remove sediment from a water heater, it is necessary to drain it not just for five minutes, but for as long as it takes for the water heater to entirely empty.
STEP 1: Check the pressure-relief valve.
Photograph courtesy of shutterstock.com. For the first time since it was installed in 1989.24 years ago.I just finished draining my water heater. I stopped after approximately five minutes since the water came out quite pure, with no signs of silt. So, my heater has no sediment, does this imply that it is clean? Whatever sort of storage tank water heater you own, draining your water heater once a year is a good idea. Over time, sediment accumulates within the appliance, reducing its energy efficiency and causing blockages in other fixtures throughout the house, including the dishwasher.
A water heater must be thoroughly drained in order to eliminate sediment, which means it must be drained for an extended period of time (not just five minutes). If you ever find yourself needing to empty a water heater again, remember to follow these steps:
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.
STEP 3: Flush your tank.
After you’ve opened all of the hot water taps in your home, you’ll want to open the water heater drain valve as well. In the event that you have opted to utilize a pump, this is the moment to turn it on. Allow the tank to completely empty before turning on the water supply (short bursts of water may help to dislodge any sediment buildup). Make sure there isn’t any silt blocking or slowing down your drain valve’s flow by doing the following: Remove the drain valve, in other words, to allow the sediment to leave through a bigger hole.
Keep a number of big buckets on standby to catch any excess water.
STEP 4: Finish up.
Re-start the water supply after the water flowing out of your tank looks to be running clean once more. Next, close the water heater’s drain valve and switch on the cold water supply to the house. It’s also important to remember to restore the pressure-relief valve to its original position. Close all of the hot water taps in your home (which you had previously switched on in Step 3) and, lastly, reconnect the electricity to your water heater, which should now be clear of sediment after you completed Step 3.
A Step-by-Step Guide for Draining a Water Heater
It is important to drain and flush your hot water heater on a regular basis in order to maintain the life of your equipment, keep your energy expenses low, and guarantee that your system is operating at peak performance. Get quotations from as many as three professionals! Enter your zip code below to get matched with top-rated professionals in your area. It is possible that the hot water heater is the most difficult to maintain item in your home, but it is also the device that you give the least thought to.
To be sure, you should not wait until there are indicators of difficulty before giving your home’s hot water heater some attention.
One of the most effective methods of promoting water heater health?
When to Drain and Flush Your Hot Water Heater
The frequency with which you drain and flush your hot water heater is determined by a variety of factors, including the age of your water heater and pipes, as well as the presence of metals and other materials in your water supply. Once or twice a year, you should drain and cleanse your hot water heater to keep it operating at peak efficiency. However, if you reside in a region where the groundwater supply contains significant amounts of iron or other particles, you may need to do this more frequently.
It is possible that your tank is gathering mineral deposits such as lime, magnesium, and calcium if you observe discoloration or sedimentation in your water.
To make this comparison simpler, gather water from both the hot and cold taps in transparent glasses and place them side by side in a large mixing bowl.
If just the hot water is discolored or contains sediment, this is a clear sign that the problem is with your hot water heater rather than with the water supply in general.
Why You Should Drain and Flush Your Hot Water Heater
It is not only important to drain and flush your hot water heater, but it is also important to ensure that your hot water is clear and particle-free. As an added bonus, it will assist to keep your heater and pipes from rusting on the inside. Draining and cleansing your water heater on a regular basis will help it work more effectively, resulting in considerable savings in energy expenses every year. Not only that, but if you allow mineral deposits to build up in your water heater, you will most likely lose water pressure and face broken pipes.
It is possible to end up paying as much as $1,000 to replace your hot water heater far sooner than was originally planned.
How to Drain and Flush a Water Heater
While it is critical to drain and cleanse your hot water heater, the good news is that it is a reasonably quick and simple do-it-yourself project. Here’s how to go about it: 1.Review the owner’s handbook for your water heater, as well as the directions placed on the side of the tank. These will assist you in identifying the locations of all of the relevant drains and valves. 2. Disconnect the heater’s power source from the wall outlet. If you have an electric water heater, locate the circuit breaker for your heater in your home’s electrical panel and turn it down.
- In order to use a gas water heater, you must first turn the gas supply valve to the “Pilot” position.
- Shut down the water supply to your water heater.
- However, if there is no valve, you will need to cut off the water supply at the water meter in your house.
- Additionally, you’ll want to keep youngsters and pets away from the faucets and drains while working.
- This will relieve pressure in the line and avoid the formation of a vacuum, which would prevent your system from entirely draining and flushing.
- Drain water from the closed drain valve by attaching a garden hose to it and placing the other end in a drain bucket, sink, or outside.
Again, take care to keep children and pets away from the discharge area because the water may still be hot at this point.
It is possible to rent these pumps from home improvement businesses for a reasonable fee if you cannot afford to purchase them outright.
Completely open the drain valve by twisting it in the counter-clockwise direction.
The water should flow clear and free of sediment when the hose is disconnected.
Turn off the water supply valve and seal the drain valve, making sure the drain is completely closed and free of leaks.
Reconnect the water supply line and check the faucets in the sink and shower that you had previously shut off.
If this is not the case, continue the drain and flush process until the water flowing from the faucets is clean.
It is now time to connect and turn on your water heater once more.
Turn on the gas supply line if you’re using a gas water heater.
Set the temperature of your water heater to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit to assist maximum energy efficiency while also preventing bacterial development. That’s all there is to it! You’re all prepared for another year of hot showers and freshly laundered clothes.
Basic Water Heater Maintenance – Draining the tank
If you want to be honest with yourself, you may acknowledge it – and I will, in fact, begin by admitting that I haven’t emptied my water heater in several years. I’m fortunate in that the water is not very “hard” where I live. Sand, minerals, and other materials contained in water are what is referred to as “hard” water. As a result, if I were still a resident of Phoenix, I would be in for some major difficulties. While little amounts of silt that settle to the bottom of the tank are not a major concern, over time, they can accumulate and become a problem for the tank’s operation.
Step 1: The most important step, that is most often overlooked (Orange)
Electric Water Heater (Left Side): Turn off the power to your electric water heater by turning the breaker to the off position. Gas Water Heater (Right Side): Turn off the gas water heater by turning the breaker to the off position. You may have been fortunate enough to have a genuine outlet installed by your builder, electrician, or plumber, and you will be able to simply unplug it. If you neglect to turn off the power to the heating element(s), it is probable that they will be destroyed by the high temperatures.
Using the pilot setting at my home is no problem, while in a customer’s home, I would cut off the gas not just at the thermostat, but also at the main supply line.
Step 2: Turn off the cold water supply to the tank.
Here are a few simple comments about this: when hot water is pushed through inexpensive hoses, they tend to become very soft and are more likely to leak. Make certain that the water is routed through the home to a handy drain, sump pump, or other drainage system, rather than directly into your crawl space. In certain circumstances, if a drain is entirely unavailable or the water heater is located at a higher elevation than the drain, you may always resort to the bucket brigade or purchase a pump to assist in propelling the water out and away from the home.
Step 4: Time to drain the water
First, turn on a nearby hot water faucet, and then turn on the drain valve on your water heater to drain any remaining water. After you have completed this, you should turn on any hot water faucets that are nearby. Allow the tank to empty by opening the drain valve on the bottom of the tank. You may anticipate it to provide between 9 and 17 GPM, depending on the size of the hose and the pressure applied. As an example, if you have a 50-gallon tank, the water should be running at full pressure for 3 to 6 minutes; otherwise, switch on the cold water supply to the tank if the flow is sluggish, trickling, or otherwise ineffective.
Step 5: Rinse and Repeat
When the tank has been completely emptied, you can safely close the drainage valve. Reconnect the cold water supply and wait for the water heater to begin refilling itself. This will aid in the loosening of further silt in the tank. Once the tank is partially filled (about 1/2 to 2/3 full), allow the tank to fill partially before beginning the emptying procedure all over again if necessary. Once the water starts to flow, you may turn off the water supply valve at the appropriate location.
This method may need to be repeated several times if there is a significant quantity of sediment remaining in the tank after the first time. Drain water should be clear after you are finished, so check that first before moving on.
Step 6: The final few steps
It’s time to go backwards, or at least to retrace our tracks. To begin, you must first turn off the drain valve and detach the hose. Pour cold water into the tank by opening the cold water supply valve approximately halfway and allowing it to gently fill while checking for leaks. It is recommended that you remove the aerator from the open faucet and rinse it while this is taking place. When hot water begins to flow from the hot water faucet, the tank is full, and you may turn off the faucet and re-install the aerator to finish filling it.
A few final notes:
Is it really necessary to clean out your tank once a year? The practice is recommended, particularly if you have well water or naturally hard water. In the case that you are following our monthly maintenance checklists, we did mention it as an annual item merely because it is simpler to recall than the ever common “Did I complete it last year or not?” question. When using an electric water heater, remember to cut off the power before draining the water since even a partial drain might expose the higher heating element to the air and cause it to malfunction permanently!
Conservation Money Saving Projects and TipsTricks — Part 225 of the Conservation Money Saving TipsTricks Home Maintenance Schedule for July and Mid-Summer