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
While learning how to drain a water heater isn’t a common home maintenance activity, there are specific situations in which you may not want to do so. The first situation is simply if you are not confident in your ability to carry out this maintenance operation on your own. Leaving water heater repair to a professional is always a wise decision in this circumstance since you don’t want to chance causing any damage to your water heater or causing any water damage to your property. Next, if you’ve never done it before, refrain from draining your water heater!
When sediment accumulates in the water heater tank, hot spots along the bottom metal are frequently created, causing the metal to corrode and eventually fail completely.
If you drain the water heater and remove the sediment all at once, you will almost certainly end up with a leaking water heater.
Get Water Heater Help from Plumbing Experts
Plumbing Experts, a KS Services Company, will assist you with the upkeep and repair of your Birmingham water heater. Contact us now. Our professional plumbers do complete maintenance on your water heater in order to increase the performance and durability of the unit. Schedule your servicing appointment as soon as possible! prev
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Should You Drain a Water Heater When Not in Use? – Here Are Some Reasons Why1016ViewsShould You Drain a Water Heater When Not in Use? – Here Are Some Reasons Why Water heaters are not inexpensive, which is why keeping them in good working order is essential. My water heater keeps me warm in the chilly weather, which is especially useful while I’m having a shower or bath. To go through my mornings and evenings without utilizing it is a difficult challenge. It’s the primary reason why I make certain that my house heater is always in good working order.
This is something I have also wondered about. With my frequent absences for business trips or holiday trips with my pals, I consider turning my heater down to save money on energy costs when possible. Some of the implications of leaving it turned on, on the other hand, surprise me.
Some Reasons Why You Should Leave Your Water Heater on
My budget is significantly impacted by the purchase of a water heater from thiselectric water heater evaluations. It’s one of the reasons why I’m brainstorming ideas for ways to save even more money when I’ve purchased and installed it at home. Thus, I prefer to switch off my heater while traveling in the hopes of saving money by reducing my energy use. It was only afterwards that I realized that my previous heater would not save me the appropriate amount of money, even if I turned it off when I wasn’t using it.
Yet another reality is that the expense of replacing a faulty heater was greater than the amount of money I would have saved by turning it off.
In addition, there is no hot water available when I use it.
Importance of Draining Your Water Heater at Home
Aside from determining whether or not to turn off my heater, I also have to determine whether or not to drain the water. Saving money is important, but cleanliness is even more important because dirty heaters will only cost you more money in the long run than a complete replacement. This is a question I am frequently asked by new water heater owners: “Should you drain a water heater when not in use?” My response is always a resounding “yes.” Regardless of the variations between these heaters, it is important to drain the water since the silt inside the tank might clog the spigot.
I was completely unaware of how much residue was already in my tank.
Following the jarring exposure, I established a draining routine that would occur every six months to ensure that my tank was clean and that the faucet was clear of obstructions.
Easy Steps to Take on How to Drain Your Water Heater
Beyond determining whether or not to leave my heater on, I have to determine whether or not to empty the water from my heater tank. Saving money is important, but cleanliness is even more important because dirty heaters will only cost you more money in the long run than a complete replacement. “Should you drain a water heater while it is not in use?” a new water heater owner inquires of me. My response is always a resounding affirmative. No matter how different these heaters are from one another, it’s still important to empty the water since the debris in the tank might cause the spigot to become clogged.
I was completely unaware of the amount of residue in my tank.
Once the water is drained, I am surprised at the volume. Following the jarring exposure, I established a draining routine that would take place every six months to ensure that my tank was clean and that the faucet was clear of obstructions.
- The following items: a garden hose, a wet/dry vacuum, a pair of gloves, a drain valve replacement (if necessary), and a rake.
Following the collection of the necessary materials, follow these simple procedures to drain my house heater.
- Turn off the water mains and faucets. Water must be turned off before anything else can be done in order to avoid a leak or a mess in the house later. I have to go all the way back and cut off the main water supply pipe before it can enter my home. Because I now have a water softener put between my water and its main supply, it is much easier to switch it off through its supply valve
- Turn down or turn off the thermostat on my water heater. After I turned off the water supply, I had to lower the thermostat down or off completely. It is critical to prevent the heater from going on, especially during the draining process, because heating the tank when there is no water in it might result in severe damage to the tank. I put my heater in vacation mode so that I won’t have any trouble turning it back on after draining it
- I also connected a hose to the heater. In order to remove the water from my tank, I purchased a garden hose and linked it to the drain valve. It is critical to connect the tube’s other end to a drainage system or to a location where the water may be discharged outside the home. My hose must be routed away from the foundation in order for it to function properly. It will prevent the water from running into my area or into my plants and flowers. When I dump my tank, I prefer to use tap water. As a result, I have to wait overnight after shutting off the heater to allow it to cool down before opening the taps and drain valve. It’s time to turn on the water after it’s been allowed to cool down. It’s how I was able to swiftly remove the water from my tank. The drain valve is the next item on the list after the faucets. It is critical to determine whether or not the water is continually flowing. Even when I opened the pipe, it isn’t leaking the quantity of water that it is supposed to be releasing. After opening it, there were residues that were jammed. I have to open the temperature-pressure release valve in order to prevent the water from flowing again. Opening it will release some pressure, which will aid in the draining process even further
- Use a wet/dry vacuum to complete the job. I constantly have a difficult time draining my tank because of clogged residues. As a result, I employ this equipment to suction the obstruction from my drain valve. It is also necessary for me to put on a pair of gloves to protect both of my hands. The temperature-pressure release valve should be removed and replaced with a drain valve. When I was unable to remove the large blockage of residues, I had no alternative but to remove the temperature-pressure release valve, clean it completely with the wet/dry vacuum, and reinstall the drain valve
- I then turned on the water supply to double-check everything. After draining the tank, I switched on the water supply for a few minutes to rinse away a few sediments that had accumulated at the bottom of the container. When clear water began to flow from the end of the hose, I cut off the water supply once more
- I then removed the line from the valve and used the vacuum to clean the opening of the valve. After removing the hose from the pipe, I must use the vacuum again to remove any residue that may have accumulated and may cause blockage. After thoroughly cleaning the opening, I closed the valve and switched on the water supply
- I then left the faucets open until clear water was flowing through them before closing the valve again. I’m going to leave the water faucets open until I’m certain that no more rust or residues are leaking from the faucets themselves. Once it discharges a clear one, I’ll be able to turn off the faucets and turn the thermostat back on. After I finished emptying the water, I reset the heater thermostat to the desired temperature. As the tank is refilled, I can expect to have clean hot water in 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the container I’m using. Furthermore, this procedure is effective for both electric and natural gas water heaters.
When it comes to water heaters, I make certain that the one I have at home is in good working order. Because I want to save money, I make it a point to keep my heater in good working order. Turning it off during idle periods would almost certainly cost me more money in the long run since it may result in unexpected repairs or replacements. Furthermore, failing to empty the water and allowing inches of silt to accumulate at the bottom of the tank might impair the performance and quality of my container, resulting in the need for costly repairs.
The next topic is related:Why Does My Water Heater Keep Turning Off?
When You Should Turn off Your Water Heater
When it comes down to it, a water heater is a really straightforward item. You can rely on a tank water heater to provide you with consistent hot water for 10-15 years — all it wants in return is for you to do some routine maintenance on it. However, there are occasions when the unit’s upkeep must be taken into mind. A common question we receive from consumers is, “Do I need to switch off my water heater if.?” The following are responses to three frequent circumstances.
When the main water supply is shut off
It is possible that the main water supply will be switched off in a variety of situations. When this occurs, many homeowners ask if it is safe to leave the water heater turned on or whether it should be turned off as well. Yet, turning off the water heater may not be absolutely essential in the majority of circumstances; however, doing so will not be harmful any way. However, there are two instances in which you should turn off the unit to avoid excessive pressure or heat from building up inside the tank: (1) When the unit is not in use; and (2) When the unit is in use but not in use.
- The tank is completely depleted (or almost depleted) and will not be replenished for an extended length of time
- The main water supply is experiencing low pressure
When you go on vacation
When you travel on vacation or anticipate being away from home for a lengthy period of time, you should follow the standard procedures for preparing your house. You may make changes to your heating and cooling systems, program automated lighting, and place a hold on your mail. But what about the water heater in your home? While it may seem rational to turn off the water heater when it is not in use in order to conserve energy, this may not be as advantageous as you may expect. For starters, turning on and off the unit may be disruptive and difficult for the unit.
Instead, use the “VAC” mode on your water heater (which is a typical feature on contemporary water heater types) or lower the water temperature to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
When there’s a leak
The unit should be turned off and the water supply should be turned off until the problem is remedied.
A leak can occur for a variety of causes, including age or a valve fault.
Plumbers in Murrieta and Winchester, CA
If you have any further concerns concerning your tank or tankless water heater, or if you believe it’s time for maintenance or repair, call the local plumbing experts at Liberty Plumbing for assistance. If you’d like to book an appointment, please contact (951) 760-4215.
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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The date of publication is 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 the night. Even worse, it might malfunction, resulting in water splattered on the floor. Even though a hot water heater requires little maintenance, emptying it on a regular basis may assist to ensure that it operates at peak performance. Make use of the following recommendations for maintaining your water heater. As part of its annual maintenance, a water heater must be regularly drained and cleaned.
It is recommended that you drain your water heater to remove sediment, which is often composed of minerals and other material, that can cause it to malfunction.
In the event that your water heater is not properly maintained, it may fail to operate at peak efficiency or may even fail to operate altogether.
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. We encourage you to use your own good judgment when determining what is suitable, and to always keep safety in mind.
Electric Hot Water Heater-Draining or Not after 8 months of non-use
First and foremost, if your tank has been sitting dormant for more than eight months while still full, there is a significant probability that it has generated some hydrogen gas by now. To correct this, go up to the tallest hot water faucet in the home and open it, but make sure there are no open fires or cigarettes present, and make sure there are no lights or appliances turned on in the vicinity of the faucet. If hydrogen is present in the water, you will hear a hissing noise and/or observe bubbles if you take a sample of it with a glass while it is still hot.
To begin with, the term “draining” a hot water heater is a misnomer; your aim is to remove sediment from the heater, which needs a significant amount of force to drive the sediment particles to the outside.
You may also experience difficulties with rotten egg odors in your hot water even after flushing – hydrogen sulfide can be a problem for idle hot water heaters, depending on your water supply and anode chemistry, among other things.
Furthermore, if you are interested in trying the peroxide repair, further information may be found on the website Water Heater Rescue if you click here.
To Drain or Not to Drain-Your Hot Water Heater
In the first place, if your tank has been lying dormant for more than eight months while still full, there’s a significant probability that it has generated some hydrogen gas. This may be corrected by going up to the hottest hot water faucet in the home and opening it. However, make sure there are no open fires or cigarettes present, and make sure there are no lights or appliances turned on near the faucet. In the presence of hydrogen, a hissing noise and/or bubbles will be heard and/or seen while taking a sample of the boiling water in a glass.
A second point to note is that the term “draining” refers to something other than the removal of silt from the heater, which needs a lot of force to drive the material out.
In addition, you may experience difficulties with stinking rotten egg odours in your hot water, even after flushing; hydrogen sulfide may also be a problem for idle hot water heaters, depending on your water supply and anode chemical composition.
Furthermore, if you are interested in trying the peroxide repair, further information may be found on the site Water Heater Rescue.
An aluminum/zinc alloy or powered anode can also be used to combat smelly heaters, albeit this is not always effective if the heater is kept idle for extended periods of time.
- Get yourself a hose. It is preferable to have one with a rubber gasket in it, since this will aid to prevent leakage at the hose connection. Turn off the electricity to the hot water heater if it is not already off. The fact that you must turn off your hot water heater is not optional since you risk destroying your hot water heater. The water supply to the hot water heater should be shut off. Otherwise, it will have to be refilled on a regular basis as it drains. Allow time for the tank to cool. Your tank’s size, insulation level, and water temperature when you first started all influence how long it will take to complete this process. Some people simply need to wait a few hours while others require many days. Others will have to wait until the next day. Connect the hose to the drain valve, which is a spigot located at the bottom of the hot water tank, and run the other end to a location where it is appropriate to allow the water to flow out. You would be better off not emptying the water into your garden or any other area where you could have plant material that is sensitive to calcium because the water will contain sediment. Start by turning on a hot water tap anywhere in your residence. It will serve as a relief valve, allowing the water to flow more quickly from the drain spigot
- And Open the drain spigot by turning it on. Allow it to run until the tank is completely depleted. It’s important to note that the hot water tank manufacturers, who are far more concerned with sales than with proper hot water heater maintenance, built the majority of these spigots to be angled and poorly constructed to remove the silt. Turn the water back on to the tank while keeping the drain spigot open to remove any leftover silt from the system. It is OK to close the valve to enable for the tank to heat up once all water has been removed from its end of the line. Removing your hands from the hot water faucet (the one you opened in your home)
- The water heater should be turned back on after the tank is completely filled.
This easy procedure can extend the life of your hot water heater by several years. If you find a leak or any other sort of problem while draining your hot water heater, please let us know. Alternatively, if you’d like a professional to drain the tank for you, please contact us. We’ll be pleased to set a time to meet with you. If you enjoyed this content, please share it by clicking the the3 button below!
Water heater sitting unused for 20 months
It’s possible that nothing is happening within the White House. I would not be concerned about it at all as long as you drain it far enough away from the home so that it does not back up into the basement. However, if there isn’t a convenient location to run the drain via gravity, you can flush it out reasonably well by shutting off the water supply, allowing it to cool (most garden hoses don’t like hot water), then running the hose somewhere, such as a laundry tub or the washing machine’s standpipe, and then simply opening the drain valve and permitting the incoming fresh water to run for a while.
Draining it with the intake closed will take some time as well, because gravity will be at work, but you’ll get all of the water out without having to use any more.
Whether the process is being carried out by incoming fresh water, it might be difficult to discern when the entire volume has been exhausted.
Despite this, I’d keep the machine running on high for a day or two and then reduce the setting to your ‘regular’ level.
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.
- Working with extremely hot water is a must for this procedure. For safety reasons, it’s a good idea to switch off your hot water heater several hours before you start so that the water in the tank can cool. 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 from above.
This procedure necessitates the use of water that might be exceedingly 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 cool down before you start. 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 on them.
Perform a Quick Flush
- Using a garden hose connected to the drain valve, attempt to clean the water heater tank a little bit while the water pressure is still on before shutting off the water supply. In order to accomplish this, first open the drain valve for a few seconds before closing it again. The pressure will blast away any silt that has become lodged in the valve, allowing the tank to empty more quickly. If a significant amount of sediment is expelled, you may need to repeat the process several times. Make certain that you’ve connected your garden hose to an outdoor place or into a bucket in order to collect the water and sediment that will be emitted from the faucet. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
- The Spruce / Kevin Norris
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
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.
Before you empty a water heater, make sure it has a pressure-relief valve, which is the device that prevents the tank from exploding due to excessive pressure. You must confirm that the valve is operating correctly in order to do so. Turn off the water heater’s electricity supply. (If the unit is powered by electricity, simply shut it down.) If it is a gas-powered heater, turn it to “pilot” mode to conserve energy.) After that, open the cold water supply line valve by pulling the lever on the valve.
Once you’ve opened the valve, listen for air and look for water to confirm that it’s working.
In addition, if you open the pressure-release valve and nothing happens—no hissing air, no pouring water—it is likely that the valve has to be replaced.
STEP 2: Run your drain line.
Connect a garden hose to the water heater drain and run it to the outside of your house. You’ll most likely need at least two pieces of pipe if the tank is below grade (for example, in the basement). One will go from the tank to a portable pump, and the other will run from the pump to an outside collection container. In most cases, if your water heater is not in the basement, gravity should be able to handle the job.
Allow enough time for the water in the heater to cool down (a few hours at the very least) before opening the drain valve to be on the safe side. It is important to note that having a lengthy, hot shower is a good approach for expediting this stage of the draining process!
STEP 3: Flush your tank.
After you’ve opened all of the hot water taps in your home, you’ll want to open the water heater drain valve as well. In the event that you have opted to utilize a pump, this is the moment to turn it on. Allow the tank to completely empty before turning on the water supply (short bursts of water may help to dislodge any sediment buildup). Make sure there isn’t any silt blocking or slowing down your drain valve’s flow by doing the following: Remove the drain valve, in other words, to allow the sediment to leave through a bigger hole.
Keep a number of big buckets on standby to catch any excess water.
STEP 4: Finish up.
Re-start the water supply after the water flowing out of your tank looks to be running clean once more. Next, close the water heater’s drain valve and switch on the cold water supply to the house. It’s also important to remember to restore the pressure-relief valve to its original position. Close all of the hot water taps in your home (which you had previously switched on in Step 3) and, lastly, reconnect the electricity to your water heater, which should now be clear of sediment after you completed Step 3.
How to Drain a Water Heater
Is it necessary to empty your water heater? Yes. To avoid scaling and silt from collecting inside the tank, you should perform this procedure once a year, or even more frequently if you have hard water. Sediment might have the appearance of sand, yet it is composed of minerals derived from your home’s water supply. As a result, these minerals do not dissolve and instead condense into little particles within your unit. Unfortunately, if left unchecked, this build-up may create substantial concerns, including time and money savings by decreasing the unit’s efficiency and functioning, as well as the possibility of the water heater failing prematurely, leading you to lose time and money.
How to Flush a Water Heater:
- To begin working on your water heater, make sure that all of the electricity to the device has been turned off, including the circuit breaker. Immediately turn off the cold water supply and wait a couple of hours for the heater to cool (this may take many hours). Locate the drain valve on your water heater, which is usually located at the bottom of the tank. It is possible to drain the water from the tank without using the floor drain by using a conventional garden hose and connecting it to the valve. The water will be directed into a bucket. Although many people may simply use gravity to drain water from the device into a bucket, following the manufacturer’s connection instructions is recommended if you wish to pump the water outdoors (which makes disposing the unwanted water easier). In order to avoid damage to your pipes, open one or two hot water taps around the home. Drain the water and look for silt by opening the drain valve. if the water is turbid or cloudy, refill the heater with fresh water and drain it once again Turn the water shut off valve on and off a couple of times to mix up any sediment that has accumulated at the bottom of the tank
- Continue to fill and empty the heater as often as required until the water flows clean. If the unit is in good condition, one flushing is usually sufficient, and you will not need to flush it again for at least one year. It may be necessary to consult with a specialist if there is an excessive quantity of sediment in your water. Once the water flows clear and the unit is completely empty, remove the hose and pump from the unit. Close the drain valve and replenish the tank before turning on the water heater’s power source. Turn on the water heater’s power source. Performance should return to normal, with the exception of a few air pockets that will be expelled via the faucets at the beginning. In most cases, the air will be expelled within a few seconds, and then full water flow will be restored to the system. Close all of the water faucets that you have previously opened.
How to Tell if Your Water Heater Has Sediment Build-Up
There are a number of symptoms that your water heater has a sediment build-up, including the following ones:
- Despite the fact that energy use has not increased, energy costs have grown. The hot water runs out before it should
- When the water heater is operating, it generates a lot of noise. Your hot water appears to be rusted or has a foul odor
- It takes an extremely long time for the hot water to come to temperature
- There is inconsistency and fluctuation in the water temperature.
Draining a water heater is a relatively simple task that most homeowners can complete on their own. However, if the water does not drain or if the heater’s performance issues persist after flushing the unit, a professional will be able to identify other potential problems that may not be apparent to the homeowner.
How Do I Flush My Water Heater and How Often Should I Drain It?
Thank you for visiting the Direct Energy series, “Take Charge of Your Home!” While hiring a professional to do household maintenance may provide convenience and peace of mind, many of these tasks may be completed by the homeowner without the need for specific tools or knowledge. And, in the process, you’ll save money, learn more about how your house operates, and experience a sense of satisfaction from completing a well-executed DIY project! You may take your water heater for granted, but it is one of those items that is simple to overlook.
- It’s possible that you only think about it when something goes wrong.
- This is especially true for tankless water heaters.
- The most effective strategy to safeguard your investment is to have your water heater serviced by a certified plumber on a yearly basis.
- In contrast, the last step – cleansing the tank — is something you may want to do on a regular basis, perhaps once every few months, depending on the mineral level of your local water supply.
Learning how to flush a water heater on your own may save you a significant amount of money over the course of your lifetime.
Should I Drain My Water Heater Periodically?
Flushing out the lime and other particles in the water heater tank on a regular basis helps to increase the efficiency and longevity of the heater. Sediment can build up and calcify in water heaters that have been ignored, making it difficult to clean out. Eventually, this can get so severe that the entire unit may have to be replaced. However, by flushing your tank on a regular basis, you can avoid silt from causing difficulties. – Mineral content is present in all water to varying degrees. Because limestone is abundant under the surface of the groundwater, if you live in a location with a lot of limestone beneath the groundwater will pick up calcium and magnesium deposits, resulting in “hard” water.
When using natural gas heaters, it is possible to have uneven heating on the tank, which might lead to leaks over time.
In addition, silt accumulation might jam the drain valve in any case.
When Do I Want to Flush My Hot Water Heater?
For the most part, homeowners should clean their water heaters every six months or so; however, if you have particularly hard water, you may want to flush it more frequently. Depending on the mineral level of your local water supply, it may be essential to flush your hot water heater as frequently as every few months or even more frequently.
Before You Begin a Water Heater Flush
For the most part, homeowners should clean their water heaters every six months or so; however, if you have particularly hard water, you may want to do it more frequently. Depending on the mineral level of your local water supply, flushing your hot water heater might be essential as frequently as every few months.
How to Flush Your Water Heater
Following the completion of your calculations, it’s time to do the flushing procedure.
- Step 1: Shut off the cold water supply to your water heater and remove the tank from the tank. Depending on the age of your home, you may need to cut off the water where the main water supply line enters your property. A shut-off valve for the water supply should be installed between your main supply line and the water softener
- Otherwise, the water will not be softened properly. Step 2: Turn off or lower the temperature of the water heater thermostat. Some water heaters are equipped with a “vacation” setting. In order to avoid the heater turning on once all of the water has been drained out, especially for natural gas heaters, it is best to avoid doing so since heating it without water might cause damage to the tank. Additionally, before continuing, you should turn off the gas supply valve. Step 3: Connect a garden hose to the drain valve on the tank, which is located towards the bottom of the heater. The other end of the hose should be connected to a drain or to a safe location outside the house. In the event that you want to let the water drain outdoors, make certain that it is far enough away from your foundation so that it does not run into your home’s crawl area. Also, keep it away from bushes or other landscaping. In order to avoid dealing with hot water altogether, switch off the water heater at the end of each day to allow it to cool overnight before draining it, or just run your hot water tap for several minutes before getting started
- Step 4: Open all of the hot water faucets. This will allow the water to drain from the tank more quickly. Put another way, it has the same effect as placing your finger tip on the end of a soda straw and then raising out of a drink. The vacuum maintains the liquid locked within until you remove your finger from the vacuum. Step 5: Open the drain valve on the water heater and let the tank to empty. Remember to keep an eye on the water as it pours out of the hose to keep an eye on how much sediment is coming through. Check that the water is flowing in the direction you want it to, and keep any young children or curious dogs from getting too close. If you open the drain valve and no water comes out, it’s possible that sediment has clogged the valve. In this case, you’ll need to open the temperature pressure release valve to release pressure from the tank and drain any water that has accumulated in the hot water pipes downstream from the water heater. Next, use a wet/dry vacuum to remove part of the obstruction from the drain valve — at the very least enough to begin the water flowing again. Wearing gloves and being careful not to get sprayed with hot water are recommended. If the obstruction is severe enough that it will not budge, remove the temperature pressure release valve and suck out the water with the wet/dry vac before replacing the drain valve
- If the blockage is not severe enough to budge, replace the drain valve. Step 6:After the tank has been drained, switch on the cold water supply to assist rinse away any sediment that may have accumulated at the bottom of the tank during the draining process. After a few minutes, check the end of the line to make sure it’s clear and then switch off the water supply to the house. As a test, gather a glass of water from the drain hose after about one minute of flushing, and then turn off the water supply to the toilet and sink. Wait a few minutes to check whether sediment begins to settle at the bottom of the glass, and if it does, or if the water has become coloured, repeat the process once again. 7. Disconnect the hose from the drain valve and use a wet/dry vacuum to remove any silt that has accumulated around the hole. 8. As a result, it will not clog the valve when you turn it off. A little won’t hurt, but you want to make sure there’s enough space around the valve to prevent it from leaking. Reconnect the cold water supply once you’ve finished shutting down the drain valve. Step 8: Keep the hot water faucets open until the water starts to come out of them. Step 9: This will prevent any trapped air from accumulating. Don’t be startled if you notice rust or sediment coming out of the drain in the beginning. It will be safe to turn off the faucets once the water has cleared, which will normally take around a minute. Step 9: Adjust the water heater’s thermostat to the temperature you want it to be. You should also restart the pilot light on your gas water heater if it is equipped with one. To do so, reopen your gas supply valve and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to do so. The time it takes to fill the tank should be between 15 and 20 minutes, while the actual time depends on the size of your water heater, its overall efficiency and whether it’s powered by natural gas or electricity.
How Do I Drain My Tankless Water Heater?
However, tankless water heaters are equally subject to harm from mineral silt, as stated above for traditional tank water heaters. To flush tankless water heater technology, an entirely separate procedure must be followed, and a pump is necessary to circulate water throughout the system. Tankless water heater flush kits with thorough instructions can be found at most hardware stores for a reasonable price. With an electricity plan from Direct Energy, you can see how your do-it-yourself home renovation tasks may help you save money on your energy bills.
In some regions, you may even be able to obtain free power every weekend!
How to Drain a Hot Water Heater
The technique described above pertains to typical tank water heaters; however, tankless water heaters are equally subject to harm from mineral silt. For tankless water heater technology, a completely new procedure is followed, and a pump is used to circulate the water throughout the system. In most hardware stores, you can purchase a tankless water heater flush kit that includes full instructions. With an electricity plan from Direct Energy, you can see how your do-it-yourself home renovation tasks may help you save money on your utility bills.
Here you will find all of the information and tools you need to measure your energy consumption and determine your overall energy efficiency. Select states may even provide you with free power on weekends!
Draining Your Hot Water Heater
If you want to empty your hot water heater, you’ll need a length of garden hose that’s 3 to 4 feet long and has a connection that can connect to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Many times, this is the same sort of fitting that you use on your water supply line. Plan to direct the flow of the hose into either a bucket or a floor drain, depending on which is most convenient for you and your situation. Turn off the gas and extinguish the pilot light if you’re working with a gas water heater to start the repair process.
Occasionally, it is not essential to completely drain the hot water tank.
Homeowners will also be prevented from accidentally harming their hot water heater by turning it on while there is no water.
- Deactivate the water supply valve that feeds into the hot water tank. Inspect the water heater’s drain valve, which is located at the bottom of the unit. Open the same valve you used before. Make sure that the pressure release valve is open. Allow the water to drain completely. If you aren’t utilizing a floor drain, make sure you empty the bucket on a regular basis. Turn on the water supply valve when the tank is completely depleted. Ensure that the water continues to flow through the tank and through the drain valve until it is clear. Close the drain valve as well as the pressure release valve to allow the tank to fill. In the case of an electric water heater, reset the circuit breaker or reconnect the device. To relight the pilot light on a gas water heater, turn on the gas and relight the pilot light.
While this may appear to be a straightforward procedure, there is the possibility of flooding in your basement if you do not proceed with caution. Plastic hot water heater valves, as well as valves that have not been used in a long time, are susceptible to leaking. Continue to keep an eye on the valve after it has been shut in order to verify that it is not malfunctioning. Even a little trickle might quickly escalate into a major issue.
Professional Plumbing Services
Draining a hot water heater is a simple maintenance chore that many homeowners are capable of performing on their own. In the event that you are not comfortable doing this or would rather to spend your time in other ways, just call your local Mr. Rooter or get a work quote online. Alternatively, If this is an emergency, we are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 855-591-0128. Whether or not your hot water heater is in good working order, no matter how clean the tank may be, it may be time to consider replacing it.
- You may get assistance from the appliance professionals at Mr.
- In no way can this blog be considered a substitute for the services of a licensed plumbing professional in your state or region.
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Why Draining Your Hot Water Heater Might Be a Mistake
This is a common occurrence in the DIY blogosphere. Eventually, someone goes up on YouTube and provides a lesson on how to remove the silt out of your water heater. Several publications on the internet, all on reputable-looking websites, have informed you of the need to empty your water heater in order to wash out the sediment. Do you believe them? One key caveat, however, is left out of the discussion: Taking the time to flush your tank water heater is a really good thing, but if you haven’t done it in years, draining your water heater may produce difficulties you didn’t anticipate.
It is recommended to flush your fire hydrants a few days after they have been flushed, according to Woodbridge Environmental, a contractor and house inspection.
Water displacement is what occurs as a result of this.
Because of this, hot patches appear on the bottom of the tank.
After several years, this breakdown becomes a tiny hole that is filled with debris, which in many cases prevents the leak from occurring.” However, if you decide to drain your heater after many years of not doing so, or if you suddenly begin to use the heater more than usual, the sediment that has been clogging that little hole is pushed out, which frequently results in a leak within a few days.” Thus, the lesson is to flush once a year, but not to touch it if you haven’t done so in a long time, lest you wind up with a leak.” There are two additional values that we might take away from this story: 2) If you want assistance with water heater maintenance, please contact a certified plumber.
1) Sorry to burst your bubble of optimism, but you should not believe everything you read on the Internet. 2) Chaya Kurtz is a writer for the website Networx.com. The most recent update was made on February 14, 2018.