How Do I Drain My Electric Water Heater

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.


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

Drain the Tank

  • It is now time to remove the water from the tank, having followed all safety procedures. Some drain valves are equipped with a handle. The stems of several of these tools are short and handleless, with a groove for a flathead screwdriver. For a partial flush, turn the valve counter-clockwise so that a few litres of water are released into a bucket or hose. You should let the tank drain until it’s completely empty if you’re conducting a complete drain using a hose. It is recommended that you use rubber gloves when flushing the toilet with a bucket to avoid getting scalded. To empty the tank, fill the bucket halfway with water and open and close the valve as many times as necessary. 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

  1. You will be able to do any necessary maintenance once the tank has been drained. Reconnect the electricity and water supply to the water heater once the repair is complete or if this was merely a maintenance flush.

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

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

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

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


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

  • 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, you should at the very least wait a few hours.) In addition, taking a hot shower can assist to accelerate the cooling process.) Step 4: Connect a hose to the drain valve.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 8: Refill the tank with water.

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

How Often Should You Drain Your Water Heater?

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

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

How to Drain a Water Heater

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

How to Flush a Water Heater:

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

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

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

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

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

How to Flush or Drain a Water Heater

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

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

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

  1. The water heater’s gas or electricity should be turned off. Close the cold water intake valve and turn it off. Connect a hose to the water heater’s drain valve and route it to the location where the water will be drained
  2. Open a hot water faucet in a convenient location around the house. Open the water heater drain valve (caution: hot water will be released! )
  3. Close the valve after flushing 3 to 4 gallons (if emptying, continue until the tank is empty)
See also:  How Hot Does A Water Heater Get

Please continue reading for additional information on these processes.

How to Flush or Drain a Water Heater Tank

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

  1. 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).
  2. The supply to this water heater is controlled by a lever valve.
  3. 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.
  4. Fill the tank with water by connecting a hose to the water heater’s drain valve.
  5. As the water drains, this prevents a vacuum from building in the system.
  6. To avoid scorching, exercise extreme caution.
  7. 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.

Now is the time to request free quotes from area professionals: 1-866-342-3263

How to Drain a Water Heater

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

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

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

Further Reading

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

How to Drain a Hot Water Heater

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

Draining Your Hot Water Heater

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

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

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

  1. 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.

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Professional Plumbing Services

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

You may get assistance from the appliance professionals at Mr.



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

How to Drain Your Hot Water Tank (And Why You Should!) — Multi Trade Building Services

The capacity of hot water tanks is meant to last for many years, but cleaning them should be included in your normal home maintenance program. Following our step-by-step directions outlined below, this is an easy DIY project that you can complete on your own.

Why should I flush my water tank?

The majority of hot water tanks feature a large holding tank, which guarantees that there is always sufficient of hot water available when it is needed. Nonetheless, because the water is left to stay in the tank on a continuous basis for an extended period of time, naturally occurring minerals in the water, as well as sand and grit discharged from municipal water pipes, can accumulate in the tank’s bottom. The accumulation of silt in your hot water tank may make it more difficult for it to perform its function.

Hot water tanks should have a life lifetime of at least 10-12 years, however failing to remove the sediment from the tank on a regular basis can dramatically shorten that life term.

What about my gas hot water tank?

In addition, sediment can reduce the effectiveness of the burner in a gas water heater. Have you ever experienced cracking and popping noises when your furnace was heating up? This is due to the silt that has accumulated in your tank. Sediment builds up in a gas hot water tank, forming a thick, crusty layer on the surface. This reduces the amount of heat that is transferred from the burner to the water in the tank. This is a waste of energy and, more importantly, of your money! In the long run, this can create corrosion in the tank, which may produce a major problem if your tank begins to leak all over your floor.

This will guarantee that your water heater performs at its best.

Can sediment affect my plumbing pipes or water?

Fortunately, the quick answer is “yes!” The sediment or crusty stuff that collects at the bottom of your tank has the potential to break loose and become caught in the pipes that distribute water throughout your home. This might cause the flow of water via your pipes and faucets to become more difficult to control. It also has the potential to clog the drain valve on your hot water tank, making it hard to drain the tank without a major plumbing repair job.

An important word of advice:

If you haven’t cleansed your hot water tank in a number of years, it may be in your best interests to hire a Licensed Plumber to take care of the job on your behalf. You run the risk of causing leaks to be activated. It’s conceivable that the silt that has been accumulating in the tank for years has developed fractures in the bottom of the vessel. The existing sediment is clogging those cracks, however draining and flushing the hot water tank may be able to remove the sediment that is “sealing” the leaks and allowing them to reopen.

The fact that you hired a Licensed Plumber to complete the operation ensures that if it does leak, you’ll be prepared to deal with it immediately.

Speaking from experience.

The reason I warn you with the word of advise above is that we had exactly that scenario occur with a client of ours and we wanted to share our experience with you. Approximately 7 years ago, I published a simple advice to draining your hot water tank in a newsletter that I had written. After eight years in his house, my client realized that he had never drained the tank and decided that it would be a good idea to do so now that the weather was getting warmer. He diligently followed all of my directions before calling me in a panic because there was water coming out into his basement floor and he needed me to come immediately.

He, on the other hand, had not anticipated such a problem as a result of following my detailed directions.

It was clear that they had been there for a long time, and the sediment itself was preventing the leak from occurring again.

Our customer ended up needing to purchase a new hot water tank, but he ended up saving a significant amount of money over the long run since his new tank was far more energy efficient.

One important first step

The first step is to identify where the drain valve is located on your tank. It has the appearance of a little outside faucet. Before draining your hot water tank, we highly advise that you cut off the gas or electricity to the tank and let the water drop to room temperature before draining it. It will take several hours to complete this task. This is not required in order to drain your tank, however it is recommended as a safety measure. If you do not want to wait the appropriate amount of time for all of the water in your water heater to cool, just keep in mind that the water that comes out of the drain valve will be extremely hot when it does.

Steps to Draining Your Hot Water Tank

  1. Turn off the gas or electrical power to your hot water tank if it is connected. The “pilot” setting on a gas water heater is what you’ll want to use. If the water heater is electric, turn off the breaker or unplug the fuse located at the electrical panel
  2. Turn off the cold water supply valve located at the top of the water heater
  3. And turn off the gas supply valve located at the water heater. When you touch this pipe, it should be ice cold. If the valve feels warm to the touch, you’ve got the incorrect valve. Locate the tank drain valve, which should be towards the bottom of the tank, and connect a regular garden hose to the drain valve. Keep in mind that certain models may have a cover over the valve opening
  4. The other end of the hose should be placed in a floor drain or on a driveway where it may safely drain. Buckets can be used if required, but take care not to be burnt by the hot water while you’re doing your task. To prevent this from happening, make sure the hose’s end is lower than the water tank’s valve. Locate the hottest water tap that is closest to the water heater, preferably on the second or third story above. Opening the drain valve and allowing the water to flow from the tank can relieve pressure in the system, similar to withdrawing your finger from the top of a drinking straw loaded with liquid
  5. Close the drain valve and let the water to drain from the tank. Once again, if you haven’t allowed the water to cool before using it, proceed with caution. Once all of the water has been emptied from the tank, switch on the cold water supply to the tank for a limited period of time. This will help to stir up any silt that has accumulated. It is necessary to repeat this procedure until the water flows clean
  6. Disconnect the drain line and switch on the cold water supply valve after closing the drain valve. The tank will begin to fill as soon as possible. Return to the hot water faucet that was previously opened. Once cold water begins to flow from the faucet, cut off the water supply. Return the gas valve to the on position from the pilot position, or reconnect the power to the tank. It is important to double-check the valve opening once it has been closed to ensure there are no water leaks.

What if my tank won’t drain?

If your hot water tank is draining slowly or not at all, open the temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve on the hot water tank to see if it helps. In the hot water tank, it’s at the top where you’ll find it. A pipe goes from the top of the tank to the bottom of the tank, and it’s normally operated by a lever that may be raised or lowered as needed. Opening the TPR valve may allow water to drain from the tank if there is a possible vacuum inside the tank that has been preventing it from doing so.

The most prudent course of action is to contact a Licensed Plumber in this situation.

To sum things up.

Despite the fact that it is one of the most often used items in your home, the hot water tank is also one of the most ignored.

If you follow the methods outlined above, maintaining your hot water tank will be a simple chore. If you prefer that our Licensed Plumbers handle the maintenance on your hot water tank, please contact us at 905-259-3344 to make arrangements.

What Would Bob Do? Draining a Water Heater

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

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

STEP 1: Check the pressure-relief valve.

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

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

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

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.

Using a long screwdriver or dowel to dislodge silt after the valve has been removed may be beneficial. Keep a number of big buckets on standby to catch any excess water. –

STEP 4: Finish up.

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

See also:  How Long Does A Refrigerator Water Filter Last

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.

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. When it comes to electric heaters, scaling might cause the bottom heating element to burn out. 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

You must first figure out how to switch off your gas water heater before you can begin draining the tank. It’s possible that a vacation location will do the trick. It’s also a good idea to find out whether the pilot light has to be turned on manually. In this case, the original owner’s handbook is the greatest source of information, because pilot lighting processes differ from one model to another. If you don’t have a handbook, search on the water heater’s label for the manufacturer’s name and model number, and then try to get the manual online using those details.

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 Often Should I Drain My Water Heater?

Although water heater manufacturers may offer precise guidelines on how often a water heater should be emptied, the general rule of thumb is that your water heater should be drained once per year. Generally speaking, the goal of emptying your water heater is to remove any hard water or sediment that may have accumulated over the course of its operation. In addition to reducing the lifespan and effectiveness of your home’s water heater, removing deposits from the tank through water heater draining is an excellent preventative maintenance practice that is quite easy to perform.

Remove the re-circulation pump from the system in step 1.

Before proceeding on to the following step, be sure you hear the pump shut off completely.

Step 2: Shut down your water heater and let it cool.

While you are working on the water heater, this will prevent the flame from igniting accidentally.

Shut down the water supply to the water heater in Step 3.

While you are emptying the system, this will prevent any extra water from entering the water heater and causing it to malfunction.

Locate the drain valve at the bottom of your water heater tank and connect a hose to it with a rubber band or zip tie.

Before you open the drain valve, double-check that the water is draining to a suitable location in your residence.

The valve opener, which should be located on the side of the valve at the bottom of your tank, should be used to open the valve.

Some water heater tanks are equipped with pressure release valves on the exterior, which make it simple to add air into the system as necessary.

In any case, you should be able to hear the water being put into the system, and the water will begin to drain shortly thereafter.

Allow ample time for the tank to drain entirely, especially if you’re using a bucket as advised.

The discoloration of the water may indicate that it is time to update your water heating system.

Whatever technique you chose in Step 6, it is now time to seal the system and prevent air from entering by closing the pressure release valve or tightening the bolts located on top of your tank.

This will allow water to flow into the tank, flushing any more deposits out of the system as it does so.

Keep in mind to verify all connections at least twice and maybe three times.

Immediately after removing your pump in step 1, open all of the hot water faucets and fixtures in your house and allow them to flush for a few minutes before reconnecting your pump.

Finally, switch your gas tank from ‘pilot’ to ‘on,’ or re-plug your electric tank into the wall, whichever is applicable.

Have you been experiencing troubles with your water heater?

It’s only one of the numerous services that we’re pleased to provide. Feel free to contact us if you need assistance with your problems; we would be pleased to assist you.

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