How to Unclog a Drain Valve: 7 Ways to Get the Water Flowing
As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases. Learn more.If your water heater is not draining properly, the most likely culprit is a clogged drain valve. Learn more. This is usually the result of an excessive amount of silt accumulating within the tank. During the heating process, the minerals present in the water separate and settle to the bottom of the water heater. If the sediment in the tank is not removed on a regular basis, it will not only reduce the efficiency of the unit, but it will also clog the drain valve, causing the water to become trapped inside the water heater.
If left ignored, it will eventually need the purchase of a new water heater since the sediment will corrode the interior of your tank and cause an unrepairable leak.
7 Methods to Unclog a Drain Valve
Determine if your water heater drain valve is genuinely clogged by following these steps: 1. Open the water heater drain valve.
- Turn off the fuel supply for your water heater (electric: turn off the power to the water heater). Turn off the circuit breaker (in the case of gas, turn the on/off control knob to the off position)
- Drainage should be connected to the drain valve and the valve should be OPENED. DEPRESSURE IN THE TANK: OPEN a hot water faucet inside your home (and leave it open) to allow the negative pressure to escape
- It is unlikely that your valve is clogged if the water drains and turns clean. Clogged valves cause the water to dribble or not drain at all
- This indicates that the valve is clogged.
Caution is advised since there is a strong likelihood that the water in the tank is extremely hot. To avoid being burnt in this situation, you should take appropriate safety steps before proceeding. When attempting to drain a water heater, always use work gloves and safety eyewear to keep yourself safe. Additionally, the water should be allowed to cool before being drained. There are numerous techniques for cooling the water inside the tank, which are as follows:
- It is necessary to turn off the natural gas or electric supply to the water heater and let it sit for up to 24 hours. To check if your water heater is not entirely blocked, remove all of the water that you can from the drain valve while leaving the water inflow valve open. Cold water will be able to enter your tank and dilute the hot water as a result of this. It is necessary to cut off the fuel supply (gas or electricity). If your water heater is entirely blocked, you can draw hot water from the tank by opening the hot water taps in the kitchen and bathroom. Keep the cold water intake valve open to allow the hot water to cool down to a more comfortable temperature. It is necessary to cut off the fuel source (gas or electricity) in order to prevent the water from warming.
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How to Unclog a Water Heater Drain Valve
There are a variety of methods for draining a clogged water heater tank, and the degree of the blockage will play a significant factor in selecting which approach is most effective. Begin with the simplest item on the list and work your way down to the more difficult items. Take note that the water in the tank is most likely quite hot, so take precautions to avoid getting burned by following the safety guidelines stated above. Before you begin, make sure that the water heater’s power supply is turned off.
If your drain valve is clogged, the first thing you should do is to wait it out. Occasionally, the weight of the water within the tank will be sufficient to dislodge the blockage on its own. Here’s what you should do:
- Continue to leave the drain valve open while the hose is connected. Close all hot water faucets in the home except for one. Continue to wait for an hour or so to observe whether the tank begins to drain.
Wire Coat Hanger
If waiting doesn’t work to unclog your drain valve, the next step is to use a wire coat hanger to clear the obstruction.
- Close the drain valve and take the hose out of the system. Under the drain valve, a small pail or a couple towels are a good idea to keep the water from backing up. Make use of a sturdy wire, such as a wire coat hanger, for this project. Drain the tank by opening the drain valve and inserting the wire through the valve hole into the tank. Move the wire in a circular motion to try to dislodge any debris that has accumulated. If you are successful, the water will begin to flow out of the tank
- Otherwise, nothing will happen. Once you have a steady flow of water, you may close the valve and connect a hose to allow the tank to drain completely. Before your tank is totally empty, the valve may become clogged again
- However, you may just repeat the operation.
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Stomping on the hose may help if your drain valve is still not working properly.
- As soon as you have connected the hose to the drain valve, stand firmly onto the hose around 2 feet away from your water heater
- If the sediment is the source of the blockage, an air bubble will be blasted back into the tank, clearing the obstruction and unclogging the valve. You shouldn’t be surprised if the drain valve becomes clogged once more when you are attempting to drain the tank. Basically, you just have to keep repeating the process until the tank is totally emptied.
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If none of the procedures listed above were successful, it may be necessary to attempt back cleansing your water heater. Here’s how it’s done:
- Fill the hose with water from a washing machine. On both ends of these hoses, there is a female connector. DON’T forget to close the drain valve and attach one end of the wash machine hose to the valve. Use a garden hose to connect the other end of the hose to a nearby washtub faucet (washtub faucets are commonly threaded) or to an outside faucet (and connect the garden hose to an outside faucet)
- Turn the water supply to the faucet on. OPEN the water heater’s drain valve and allow the water to flow into the tank for 10 to 15 seconds
- OPEN the water heater’s drain valve and allow the water to flow into the tank
- In order to unclog the valve, water from the hose should be used to drive the silt away from the valve. Close the drain valve and turn OFF the water at the faucet to prevent a puddle from forming. Unplug the hose from the faucet (leave the line attached to the drain valve, or use a garden hose to drain the tank)
- OPEN the water heater drain valve and allow the water to drain from the tank. It’s possible that your blockage is too severe or that your drain valve is malfunctioning, in which case you’ll need to replace your drain valve.
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If backflushing does not resolve the issue, it may be necessary to replace the drain valve.
It IS feasible to change the drain valve while your tank is still full with water if the procedure is followed correctly. Here’s how it’s done:
- A replacement drain valve (preferably brass) should be purchased. Tape the threads of the replacement drain valve with Teflon tape. Check to make sure that ALL of the faucets in your home are closed. When this happens, your water heater will generate a vacuum, which will prevent the water from “pouring out.” Place a bucket and a few towels beneath the drain valve to catch the water. To open the drain valve, use an adjustable wrench to turn it. Remove the drain valve one turn at a time. Keep in mind that some water will be dripping from your tank. Even if your tank is completely clogged, you will almost certainly have some water escaping from it. If, on the other hand, the problem is a defective drain valve, you will almost surely have water. Insert the replacement drain valve as soon as possible. This shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. To drain your tank, just connect it to the new drain valve using a garden hose
- We propose that if you’re going to go to the trouble of changing your drain valve, you consider replacing it with a ball valve to save time and effort (see below). Your drain valve will never clog again, and you will never have to worry about it again.
Many water heaters are equipped with low-cost plastic drain valves. You should replace it with a high-quality brass valve, such as this one from Rheem, if you find yourself in this situation.
Replace the Drain Valve with a Ball Valve
It is substantially larger than a conventional drain valve to operate a ball valve. Replace your drain valve with a ball valve to not only clear your tank, but you’ll also prevent sediment from blocking it in the future as a result of the replacement. The following steps will show you how to replace your drain valve with a ball valve:
- Purchase a 3/4″ abrasive ball valve as well as two 3″ dielectric nipples. (The nipples have been covered with acrylic to keep them from rusting). Each nipple will be attached to one of the ball valve’s two halves. Make use of teflon tape on the threads of the nipples that screw into the ball valve
- And Keep in mind that the ball valve’s handle should be turned away from the tank when it is opened. Teflon tape should be applied to the second side of one of the nipples (just three of the four threads on each of the two nipples will be lined with teflon tape). Check to make sure that ALL of the faucets in the home are closed. When this happens, your water heater will generate a vacuum, which will prevent the water from “pouring out.” Place a bucket and a few towels beneath the drain valve to catch the water. Loosen the drain valve by turning it with an adjustable wrench. Remove the drain valve one turn at a time. Keep in mind that some water will be dripping from your tank. Even if your tank is completely blocked, you will very certainly have some water escaping from it. If the problem is caused by a defective drain valve, you will almost likely have water on your hands. Insert the new ball valve as soon as possible. This shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. Connect a garden hose to your tank and drain the contents
- You should either replace the ball valve with a conventional drain valve or remove the handle for the sake of safety once your tank has been drained completely. It is possible that the handle will be accidentally opened, resulting in the draining of your tank. This has the potential to cause water damage and/or significant burns.
Due to the fact that ball valves are bigger than drain valves, they are capable of draining the most obstinate obstructions.
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If you’re planning on replacing your water heater and don’t want to spend the time on the preceding techniques to clogged your drain valve, putting your tank outdoors to drain is the best step for you. What you need to do is as follows:
- Disconnect the water supply
- Disconnect the power supply. Make use of a hand truck to transport your water heater outside
- And To drain the water from the top of the tank, carefully turn your water heater on its side and allow it to drain.
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How To Drain A Clogged Water Heater
Knowing how to unclog a drain valve can rescue the day when you have 50+ gallons of hot water in your tank and it doesn’t want to drain! The most typical cause for a drain valve to become clogged is an accumulation of silt. Flushing sediment out of your water heater should be part of your normal water heater maintenance routine to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. This article will demonstrate a number of different techniques for unclogging a drain valve. Start at the beginning of the list and go on to the next way if the first one doesn’t work out for you.
The vast majority of the time, you’ll be able to unclog your drain valve at some point in time.
Is Your Drain Valve Clogged?
As a result of the incoming water supply, sediment might accumulate in your tank. It can also be left over from the interior of your tank, such as rust. Minerals separate and settle at the bottom of the tank as a result of heating water, resulting in lime scale over time. Sediment buildup is detrimental to the performance of water heaters. It affects the efficiency of the unit, breaks down the inside of the tank, and has the potential to build up to the point where it clogs the drain valve, among other things.
If you do not discover a means to drain your tank, you will ultimately have to purchase a new water heater because the interior of the tank will begin to deteriorate and an unrepairable leak will occur.
- Before you do anything else, switch off the fuel to your water heater. Turn the circuit breaker off for electric units, and the control knob to pilot OFF for gas units if applicable. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve and run the other end of the hose outdoors to collect the water (or to a drain). then turn the water heater’s drainage valve to “off.” Air must be allowed to enter the tank from a nearby hot water faucet. As the water drains from your tank, take note of any unusual odors. If it is clear, the valve is not clogged
- Otherwise, it is. You will need to unclog your drain valve if the water is not draining or is just partially draining
- Otherwise, you will need to replace your drain valve.
How to Cool Water within a Hot Water Heater Tank
You should always use caution while handling hot water from your hot water heater tank since the water will be quite hot in most circumstances, and you will want to avoid getting burned.
You should always use safety goggles and work gloves to assist protect your eyes and hands while you attempt to drain the tank. Always let the water within your tank to cool before attempting to empty it. Here are three options:
- Allow up to 24 hours after turning off the electricity for the water heater to cool before using it. Drain as much water down the drain valve as you possibly can. When the power is turned off, leave the water inlet valve open. Cool water will enter the tank when the water drains from it, diluting the hot water that was previously present. This procedure will only work if your drain valve is not fully clogged
- Otherwise, it will not work. When the drain valve is entirely jammed, turn on multiple hot water faucets throughout the home to flush the system. Cut power to the unit, but keep the cold water intake valve open to allow cold water to dilute the hot water.
How to Unclog a Drain Valve
The severity of the obstruction will decide which remedy is most effective for you. The first approach on this list is the simplest to implement. We propose that you start at the top and work your way down until you find a solution that is effective. Before you begin, keep in mind that anytime you empty your water heater, you should always switch off the electricity and shut off the incoming water supply. Check with your local plumber and get FREE estimates today.
Give it Time
Many mild blockages will clear themselves on their own. If the pressure from the water is high enough, the debris will be forced through the open drain valve if the chance presents itself. Take the following steps:
- Glue the other end of a garden hose to the drain valve and route the other end outside or to an interior drainage system. Close all hot water taps in the house. Drain the water by opening the drain valve. Wait to see if the water’s pressure will be enough to force through the obstruction. Allow for a couple of hours.
Use a Stiff Wire
It may be highly successful to use the “stiff wire” approach, especially if there is a little amount of debris stopping your tank from emptying, which may be causing your water heater to make strange noises. The way it works is as follows:
- Close the drain valve and remove the hose that connects to it before starting the job. Place a couple towels below the drain valve or a bucket beneath the valve to catch any leaking water. Open the drain valve and put a stiff wire or a wire coat hanger into the entrance of the drain valve to stop it from backing up. Rotate the wire in a circular motion to make it more flexible. This will aid in the loosening of the debris. If you were successful in unclogging the drain valve, water should begin to flow through the valve. Continue to insert the wire until you get a steady stream of water. After that, close the valve and connect the hose to it. During the process of draining the tank, it is not unusual for the drain valve to become clogged on many occasions. Continue until the tank is completely depleted.
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The ” stomp on the hose ” approach should be tried first if neither of the other two ways work.
Here’s What to Do:
- Stomping on the hose approximately 2-feet away from the water heater with the line attached and the drain valve open will cause an air bubble to be blown into the tank. This will frequently be sufficient to clear the drain valve. Prepare to repeat the operation because the seiment within the tank will most likely settle and block the valve once more
- Else, call for assistance.
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It is almost always necessary to use the ” reverse flow ” method to unclog a drain valve; however, when the clog is severe or when the drain valve no longer works, you will need to resort to one of the other methods instead.
Here’s What to Do:
- Connect one end of a washing machine hose to the drain valve and the other end to a garden hose when the drain valve is closed
- This will prevent the water from backing up. Reconnect the garden hose’s other end to a threaded faucet, such as a wash tub or an exterior faucet
- Turn on the water supply to the faucet and open the drain valve for about 10 to 15 seconds to flush the toilet. As water pours into the tank through the valve, it should unclog the drain valve
- Otherwise, the tank would overflow. Close the drain valve and turn off the water supply at the faucet if necessary. Disconnect the hose from the faucet and turn on the drain valve if necessary. The water should be able to drain. However, if it does not, it is most likely because the drain valve is malfunctioning or because the obstruction is too severe.
Hose from the washing machineConnecting a washing machine hose to your drain valve together with a garden hose will help you to clear any obstruction that has formed in your drain valve.
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Unless you are able to unclog the drain valve using one of the ways listed above, it may be necessary to replace the valve. It is feasible to do this task with a full tank of water, believe it or not.
Here’s What to Do:
- Teflon tape should be used to seal the threads of your new drain valve. We recommend that you purchase an abrasive drain valve. All of the hot water taps around the home should be turned off. Creating a vacuum when the faucets are closed will prevent the water from leaking out
- This will prevent the water from leaking out. Place towels and a pan under the drain valve to catch any leaks. Unscrew the drain valve using an adjustable wrench and rapidly replace it with your new valve
- While the operation is underway, some water will be released from your tank. Consider switching valves as quickly as possible and having towels on hand to quickly wipe up any water that may have gotten into the house. Installing the replacement valve is as simple as connecting a garden hose and draining the storage tank.
Consult with a Local PlumberGet FREE Estimates TodayIf you need to replace your drain valve, we highly recommend that you do so with a high-quality brass one.
Replace the Valve with a Ball Valve
Replacing your drain valve with a ball valve will not only solve your immediate problem, but it will also serve as a preventative measure, preventing your water heater from being clogged in the future as well. Ball valves are far bigger than normal drain valves, and as a result, they are more difficult to clog. Purchase a 3/4″ ball valve as well as two 3/4″ dielectric nipples for this project.
Here’s What to Do:
- Wrap teflon tape around one end of the dielectric nipple to keep it in place. Then screw the wrapped end into the ball valve
- This completes the process. Wrap both ends of the second nipple around the first nipple (3 of the 4 threaded ends of the nipples will be lined with Teflon tape). Decide which one will be wrapped around the wall valve handle. Wrap the nipple around the handle so that it opens away from the tank If you want to prevent water from spilling out of the drain valve hole, you should turn off all of the faucets in your house. Place towels and a pan or bucket beneath the drain valve to catch any water that comes out. Remove the drain valve with a wrench and replace it with your new ball valve as soon as possible. Prepare yourself since some water will be poured from the tank. Pour water into the tank by connecting a garden hose and turning on the ball valve. When the ball valve is not in use, it is a good idea to remove the handle from the valve. The majority of ball valves are equipped with a lengthy lever-style handle that can be accidentally opened. If this occurs, your tank may begin to leak without your notice. This has the potential to damage the tank, cause water damage, and even result in serious burns.
Ball Valve is a type of valve that has a ball in it. The majority of the time, replacing your drain valve with a ball valve will resolve your problem. Dielectric NipplesYou’ll need two nipples to replace the drain valve with a ball valve when replacing the drain valve with a ball valve.
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It’s quite reasonable to bring your tank outside and allow it to drain from the top from time to time. In the event that you intend on upgrading your water heater, you may not want to go through the bother of replacing your drain valve with a ball valve, and you may not be concerned about the state of your tank after it has already been emptied.
It seems reasonable to move your tank outside in this situation. However, you must use caution because your tank will be incredibly hefty. It is strongly recommended that you chill the water first.
Here’s What to Do:
- Unplug the power source (gas line or electrical connection) from the house. Ensure that all water lines, including incoming and outgoing, are disconnected. Then, using a hand truck, transport your water heater outside
- As soon as you are outdoors, carefully flip the heater on its side. Allow the water to flow out of the tank’s top, if possible.
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6 Ways to Unclog a Water Heater That Won’t Drain
Please keep in mind that this content may contain affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, we may gain a small profit on purchases made via our links. This issue is much more prevalent on older models, which do not have many of the additional anti-sediment features found on the most recent top-of-the-line heaters. Clogs can be avoided by emptying the system more frequently or by adding components to the system to assist filter incoming water. There are two techniques of unclogging the drain valve in the meanwhile, depending on whether the water is still hot or cold.
Hot Water Methods
These solutions will save you time by not requiring you to cool the tank first, but they may also raise your chances of getting burnt. When experimenting with these procedures, make sure to wear protective clothes and proceed with caution.
For this method, you’ll need a washer fill hose, which has female connectors on both ends and can be found at any hardware store. The drain valve should be on one end, and the other end should be connected to your washtub or another nearby faucet. Once this is completed, open the drain valve and turn on the water. It is anticipated that the water pressure will work its way up through the silt, dislodging the obstruction. After a few of minutes, turn off the water, seal the valve, and remove the hose to allow for regular draining to resume.
Despite the fact that you might not think of it that way, the drain is actually a two-way valve. Simply slamming your foot down on the hose can clear a clogged drain valve, whether it occurs before or during your drainage effort. This results in a blast of air entering the tank, which pushes debris to the side. The majority of the time, this is sufficient to restore water flow, and it is simple to repeat as necessary. Although this procedure may not be possible with kink-proof hoses, it can be quite useful when utilizing conventional garden hoses.
If your tank is emptying slowly, there is a good probability that your blockage will clear itself on its own. Just keep checking back every few minutes to make sure the water is still pouring out. It might take an hour or more (or if the clog was dislodged). It is important to note that this approach is the least effective and will not work against high accumulation since more sediment can easily fall into the blockage as a result.
Cold Water Methods
These procedures will frequently have you being in close proximity to the drain valve. As a result, we highly advise that you turn off your hot water tank for up to 24 hours. Using the hot water faucets in the home will assist in lowering the temperature of the tank water a little faster, since the hot water that has been used will be replaced by cold.
Coat Hanger Fishing
The ever-reliable wire coat hanger, how I love thee. This is a gadget that is almost as important as duct tape in any tool box. As a first step, lay down some towels because this might become a bit dirty. After that, open the drain valve and insert the wire, rotating it in a circular motion to remove any material that has accumulated.
Once the water begins to flow, turn off the drain valve for a short period of time to connect your hose. if the blockage reappears before you’ve completed draining, you may simply repeat the operation until it is completely gone.
Drain Valve Replacement
Sometimes the problem isn’t a blocked water heater at all, but rather a faulty valve that has to be replaced. Even though the tank is still full, you may resolve this condition by changing the drain valve. During your job, you’ll want to make sure that all of the faucets in the home are turned off to prevent air from getting into the tank. The ensuing vacuum may be sufficient to prevent the tank from leaking all over the ground. Thread the new drain valve with some teflon tape to keep it from leaking.
After that, carefully unscrew the faulty valve, keeping an eye out for any leaks.
After that, you can flush the toilet as you normally would.
It is possible to simply unscrew the drain valve from the floor drain next to your water heater and let the water to flood through it. While it is not the perfect option, it does allow you to have easier access to the clog, allowing you to make a more effective fishing effort with your coat hanger. Keep in mind that this approach is rather untidy, but it has the potential to be one of the most successful.
How to Drain a Water Heater With a Clogged Drain Valve
A drain valve on a water heater is a convenience feature that makes life easier. This product will only be used when draining for repairs, when it is being disposed of, or when flushing the lime scale out with a hose, among other things. A lack of lime, calcium, or iron accumulation in the water heater will result in easy drainage of the water through the drain valve. However, if there is a buildup of debris, pieces of material can become lodged in the hole and obstruct the flow of water to the point where it will no longer drain.
- Check to see if the valve is genuinely obstructed before proceeding. Disconnect the water heater from the circuit breaker panel. Alternative: Turn the gas valve till it is perpendicular to the gas line and then release the pressure. If the drain valve is not located in close proximity to a drain, a drain hose should be attached. Drain the tank by opening the drain valve and starting the draining process. Activate the pressure-relief valve located on the water heater’s exterior. Instead, switch on the hot water tap in your home. As a result, the negative pressure in the tank will be eliminated, and the tank will be able to drain. As soon as the drain begins to run clean and clear, it indicates that the problem has been resolved. It is possible that the valve is clogged if the water continues to drip out.
- Step firmly onto the drain hose, which should be about 2 feet away from the water storage tank. The air bubble created by this will be forced back into the tank, and it will help to temporarily unblock the valve if there is a clog caused by lime scale or other debris. If the tank is clogged with debris, the obstruction may reappear within a few minutes if the tank is empty. After each clogging incident, repeatedly stomping on the hose and forcing air back into the tank may finally drain the tank, but it may take more time than it is worth to do so.
- Reverse the flow of water via the water heater. Close the valve and attach a faucet to the drain hose to stop the flow of water. For this purpose, a two-sided female coupling washer hose should be used. A washer hose can be threaded onto the end of a drain hose, as well as onto the nozzle of a regular garden faucet or the faucet of a washtub. Once the washing hose has been connected to a faucet and a drain hose, turn on the faucet and let pressure to build up in the hose before turning off the faucet. Install a shut-off valve to enable water pressure from the hose to flow into the water tank and unclog any deposits that have accumulated in the valve. Remove the hose from the drain by turning off the valve and unscrewing it. To allow the water to drain, re-open the drain valve. If the water does not drain, it is possible that the lime buildup is too severe or that the valve is damaged.
- Drain the water heater by removing the drain valve from the water heater. Allow 24 hours for the tank to cool before doing this. Turn off the drain valve by inserting a pipe wrench into the valve body and turning carefully. It’s possible that the fixture may begin to leak abundantly as you remove it, but the leaks will rapidly become clogged with lime particles. You should expect a torrent of water to burst out the opening after the valve has been entirely shut off. It is possible that the water tank will continue to empty effectively in this manner. When lime deposits are significant and plug the drain hole, however, the draining may come to a grinding halt very soon
A screwdriver should be inserted into the drain hole that has been created by removing the valve. Pull the screwdriver out of the hole by swirling it around. The water will begin to drain, but it is possible that it could block up again shortly. Insert the screwdriver into the opening as many times as required to break up the obstruction before the tank has entirely drained.
Things You Will Need
- Wrench for removing pipes
- Hose for washing machines
- Leather-palm gloves
- When disconnecting the drain valve, put on a pair of leather-palm gloves to protect your hands from the hot water.
How to Flush or Drain a Water Heater
Remove mineral sediment and scale from your water heater tank twice a year by flushing it out. Your water heater will heat more effectively and last longer as a result of this improvement. This professional advise demonstrates how to flush and drain a water heater through the use of videos, pictures, and easy-to-understand language. What is the significance of flushing or partially emptying a water heater? For the simple reason that it reduces the accumulation of mineral deposits within the water heater.
- A very thick, crusty layer can grow at the base of a gas water heater, and the heating components of an electric water heater can be completely covered by these sediments.
- It eventually results in rusting as well.
- They can also block the valve that is used to flush or drain a water heater tank, causing it to not function properly.
- The hypothesis goes like follows: A small crack in the base may have filled with silt, which can assist prevent leaks, especially in a gas water heater where the flame has been roasting the steel bottom.
- In the event that your water heater has not been cleaned in several years, it would behoove you to consult with a few of plumbers in your neighborhood for their recommendations.
- Flushing or partly draining a water heater at least once a year from the time it was initially installed is the most prudent approach to follow in this situation.
- If you decide not to undertake the repair yourself, you could expect to pay a plumber between $80 and $100.
- Diagrams of Electric and Natural Gas Water Heaters It is necessary to drain a water heater tank in order to replace or repair it, as well as to remove mineral deposits from the tank, through the drain valve located at the bottom of the water heater.
The drain valve looks like a little outdoor faucet. If you use this valve, keep in mind that the water will be hot until the water has had time to cool before the water is released. In a nutshell, here’s how to flush or empty a water heater on your own:
- The water heater’s gas or electricity should be turned off. Close the cold water intake valve and turn it off. Connect a hose to the water heater’s drain valve and route it to the location where the water will be drained
- Open a hot water faucet in a convenient location around the house. Open the water heater drain valve (caution: hot water will be released! )
- Close the valve after flushing 3 to 4 gallons (if emptying, continue until the tank is empty)
Please continue reading for additional information on these processes.
How to Flush or Drain a Water Heater Tank
Listed below are the procedures to be followed while flushing or emptying a water heater. This video provides a wonderful summary of the subject: To turn off the gas or electrical power to the water heater, depending on whether it is a gas or an electric water heater, follow these steps: The “Pilot” setting on a gas water heater is as simple as turning the gas control to “Pilot.” 2 Turn off the cold water inlet valve, which is responsible for regulating the supply of water into the tank.
- Make certain that this is the incoming cold water valve and not a valve for the outgoing hot water supply (the pipe should be cold).
- The supply to this water heater is controlled by a lever valve.
- 3 Using a hose, connect it to the tank drain valve, which is located in the bottom of the water heater, and direct it to a drain, the outdoors, or a large bucket.
- Fill the tank with water by connecting a hose to the water heater’s drain valve.
- As the water drains, this prevents a vacuum from building in the system.
- To avoid scorching, exercise extreme caution.
- 5Depress the drain valve on the water heater.
Once this is done, close both the drain valve and the PT valve.
In the event that you are totally draining the water heater, leave the drain valve open until the tank is completely empty.
7Refill the water heater with fresh water.
Return the water supply valve to its original position to re-fill the tank.
Then, reopen the hot water faucet to allow any remaining air to escape from the tank and pipes.
Allow the water to clear for a few minutes before turning off the faucet. 8Restart the water heater if necessary. If you have a gas water heater, relight the pilot light, or switch on the electric circuit if you have an electric water heater.
Water Heater Won’t Drain
If your water heater is draining slowly or not at all when you open the drain valve, you should try opening the pressure-relief valve to see if it helps (see the illustration at the top of this page). This has the potential to dislodge the vacuum that is keeping the water from leaving. In most cases, if the water heater won’t drain or drains slowly, the problem is most likely due to an excessive amount of sediment building up in the water heater. The drain valve of a water heater can become clogged with sediment.
First Steps in Breaking a Drain Valve Clog
1Detach the water heater from the mains. Depending on whether the water heater is gas or electric, switch off the gas valve or the circuit breaker that supplies electricity to the water heater. Secondly, connect an outside hose to the drain valve and run it outside, making sure that the hose’s end is below the level of the water heater. Turn on a hot water faucet someplace in the home or open the pressure-relief valve on the water heater to dislodge the vacuum that has built up inside the tank.
If the water flows freely, the valve is functional.
4 In the event you believe that the drain valve has become clogged, you can attempt to shoot water and air bubbles back into the tank by repeatedly walking on the hose a few feet away from the tank.
If it does not, continue reading.
How to Back-Flush a Water Heater
A hose is connected between the drain valve and an outdoor faucet, and water is squirted back into the water heater through the drain valve in order to backflush it. For this project, you’ll need two male threads connected together with a double-female garden hose coupler (which can be purchased online for approximately $8).
How to Flush a Water Heater Video
Take a look at this video, which demonstrates the procedure of cleansing your hot water heater.
Back-Flushing a Water Heater Step-by-Step
1First, perform the steps outlined above for preparation. 2Close the drain valve on the water heater by twisting it in the clockwise direction. 3Connect the male end of the garden hose to an outdoor hose faucet or a washtub faucet by means of the female hose coupler that was previously installed. Hose Coupler with a Double Female EndBosch4 Turn on the faucet to fill the hose with water pressure and fill the hose with water. 5Depress the drain valve on the water heater. A torrent of water should be forced into the water heater, forcing deposits away from the water heater’s valve.
7Remove the hose from the water faucet and attempt cleansing the tank once again with the hose. If the water heater’s drain valve is still not functioning properly, the next step is to either replace the drain valve or to replace the water heater.
How to Replace a Water Heater Drain Valve
As previously noted, flushing a water heater is a vital element of doing basic DIY water heater maintenance. Unfortunately, the drain valve on a water heater can get blocked with mineral deposits to the point where it must be completely replaced. Step-by-step instructions on how to replace it may be found here. Valve for the drain of a water heaterB K Water heater drain valves are available for purchase at most hardware stores and on the internet for around $8 per valve, depending on the model.
- Water heaters have a drain valve that is positioned at the bottom of the tank.
- Having a helper use buckets to collect and dump water that is flowing from the water heater while you remove and replace the valve will be the norm in most circumstances, but it may be necessary in other cases.
- Expect to be drenched as a result.
- This will take some time.
- To do this, switch off the cold-water supply to the water heater and ensure sure no one comes into contact with any of the hot water fixtures or appliances in the house while the valve is being changed.
- After that, turn off the circuit breaker on an electric water heater or the gas valve on a gas water heater to prevent the water from reheating further.
- Allow for the water in the water heater to drop down to a safe temperature before using it once more.
Before you begin the task, make sure you have two buckets, a pipe wrench, a screwdriver, and the new valve on hand to make the job easier.
Wear leather-palm gloves and have a helper as well as lots of rags on hand before you begin.
The water will begin to seep as the seal loosens, then spray, and ultimately pour warm (or hot) water!
Remove the valve completely from the system.
Insert a screwdriver into the hole and move it around to break up any deposits that have accumulated.
Disconnect the tank’s water supply with a hose until the water begins to flow clean of sediments.
In addition, if you’ve opened the water heater’s pressure-release valve or any hot water taps, make sure you close those as well.
8 In order to restart an electric water heater, turn the circuit breaker back on, or open the gas valve and ignite the pilot (or use the electronic ignition) in order to restart a gas water heater, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
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How to Drain a Clogged Water Heater? [7 Super Ways]
TanklessWaterHeaterExpress is sponsored entirely by its readers. Because I am an Amazon Associate, I receive money when people make eligible purchases. Every day, we consume over 50 litres of hot water in the shower and in the kitchen, which is a significant amount. However, if you are hosting a family gathering and expect a large number of guests, maintaining the Water Heater operational is one of the most crucial things to consider! Things can become worse if you have a clogged water heater, as you may have heard.
- There are a variety of reasons why a water heater may get blocked, with sediments being the most prevalent cause.
- Water can be contaminated at any moment, and the likelihood of sediment entering the tank increases if you live in a region with high levels of pollution.
- Rust and other particles may also be present in the interior of your tanks, as well as other contaminants.
- Sediment development may be extremely detrimental in any situation.
Is Your Drain Valve Clogged?
The most important thing to remember while dealing with a clogged drain valve is that you must remain calm and focused. Yes, it might be a simple necessity at times, but it can also become far too large for you to handle at other times. Unclogging the heater will be impossible until you discover a means to replace it, which would cost you more money. In reality, the severity of the crisis and the state of the valve determine the extent of the hard work required to repair it. If you have previously determined that there is a problem with the drain valve, you may quickly assess whether or not it is clogged by following these simple steps.
- Put simply, switch off the fuel and take the necessary precautions. Simply turn off all of the electrical connections that are available, as well as the circuit breaker! Also, if you have a control knob to pilot the gas, make sure to turn it off as well. You will now need to connect a garden hose to the drain valve to complete the process. Run the opposite end of the drain to complete the cycle. Following that, you must open the drain valve on the heater. After you are finished with this, you will need to open a faucet that will allow air to flow into the tank. This indicates that the valve is in full working order and in good shape. Once that is completed, you must check to see if any drain water is flowing out of the tank. It is free of obstructions
- The valve is in excellent working order and is not obstructed If you discover that no water is flowing out of the heater, you may need to replace it or even unclog the heater water tank
- However, this is not always the case.
One of your primary concerns is ensuring that you have taken appropriate safety precautions before proceeding. Before you attempt to unclog the water heater or even conduct any sort of research with it, you should be aware of the safety precautions that must be observed. Here are some suggestions that you may easily implement.
- Start by donning safety goggles, which will keep your eyes protected even if hot water flows out of the faucet. In addition to this, if you are attempting to drain the tank, you may try out using gloves
- Try to chill the water before attempting to clean the water first. Whatever your motivation for cleaning the water from within, you must be aware that cold water must be used to do this task. You may simply chill the water by using one of the three ways listed below: Make sure you leave the hot water in the tank for at least 24 hours after you have turned off the electricity. This implies that you must first adjust the temperature to a cool and comfortable level below the normal room temperature before turning on the heater
- Try to drain as much water as possible before turning on the heater. Maintaining the drain valve open, even if it is not functioning correctly, is recommended. Aside from that, you must keep the water intake open at all times. Check to see that the power has been turned off. This is due to the fact that the colder the water that you can obtain, the better the water’s ability to dilute the hot water will be. However, this procedure will only work if the drain valve is not fully clogged
- Otherwise, it will not function. It is necessary to open all of the hot water faucets in your room if the drain water faucet has become fully blocked. To do this, you must first open the cold water intake on the water heater and then close it. The remaining hot water from the water heater will be diluted as a result.
How to Unclog a Drain Valve?
In order to clear the water blockage, you must start from the beginning. But first and foremost, you must determine the severity of the clog’s presence. There are several methods for unclogging a clogged toilet, and the method used depends determine how bad the clog is.
You can experiment with the strategies listed below, starting with the simplest and progressing to the more sophisticated procedures as you progress. But, before you begin, be certain that you have followed all of the safety procedures in place.
1. Give it Time
If you have a little blockage in your geyser, try to be patient and wait a while. In the event that you are staying in a polluted region, it is inevitable that little rust may occur. However, you may not have to be concerned about it too much. You may just provide a small amount of nominal pressure to the drain valve, which will allow the blockage to flow out of the valve. However, you may simply achieve good outcomes by following these few procedures.
- It is necessary to tie a garden hose to the drain valve as soon as possible after turning on the water. You may now connect the other end of the pipe to an exterior drain or an inside drainage system. Closing all of the hot water taps and opening the drain valve will enable the blockage to migrate out of the pipe and past the debris. The next step is to turn on the water heater to allow it to create pressure. You just need to let this process a couple of hours to thoroughly clear the blockage
- Otherwise, it will take longer.
2. Stiff Wire
In the event that there is not only a blockage but also a tiny bit of debris in the tank, this procedure is quite successful. The material is preventing the tank’s outflow from emptying properly. In fact, as a result of this procedure, you may hear some strange noises as well. However, if you want to learn more, you may simply follow the steps below:
- The first step is to stop the drain valve and then to detach the hose from the drain valve. You may lay a small tub or a towel right below the drain valve to keep it from overflowing. After that, open the drain valve and insert a stiff wire or a wire coat hanger into the opening mouth of the valve, which will aid in catching the water that has leaked from the valve. Now attempt to gently rotate the wire in a circular motion
- If you have done it correctly, the water should begin to flow through the valve shortly after you have finished. However, if this is not done, you will need to continue the operation until the water drains completely. Once the water has been released, you must turn off the valve and reconnect the hose to the faucet. The heater is now operational, which means it is ready for use.
Do you have any questions regarding how long it takes to drain a water heater? Then we believe that this page contains the answers to all of your queries.
3. Stomp the Hose
If you believe that the two procedures described above are ineffective, you might attempt the Stomp the Hose approach. The following are the stages that you must complete.
- Maintain the connection between the hose and the valve while leaving the valve open. Water will be able to stomp on the hose as a result of this. You must raise the range to 2 feet away from the water heater
- Otherwise, an air bubble will enter the water heater and cause it to malfunction. This may be sufficient to unclog the drain
- Due to the pressure created by the water, the blockage will immediately flow out of the sink and into the sewer. You will need to reset the blocked valve if it does not flow out the first time you did it.
4. Reverse Flow
It is one of the most unusual methods for clearing a clog from the water heater, and it is also one of the most effective. In most cases, this procedure is effective when the drain valve is entirely blocked and does not function at all. Take the following steps:
- Drain valve should be kept shut. Then connect the drain valve to the other end of a separate hose, which should be connected to the garden hose. You may achieve excellent results by turning on the water faucet for around 10 to 15 seconds
- Flowing water can clogged the drain valve in no time if you let it to get to it in the first place. As soon as you’re finished, just unhook the hose and let the water to run away. If the blockage is not too serious, this will also help to clear it out.
5. Replace the Drain Valve
If you are unable to physically remove the blockage, you may easily replace the drain valve, which is a simple procedure. To find out more, follow the steps outlined below.
- Teflon Tape is used to seal the threads of the new brass drain valve, which is made of brass. To prevent the water from flowing out, close all of the hot water taps and turn off the heater. This will create a vacuum and prevent the water from pouring out. Alternatively, you may position a towel or a bucket beneath the drain valve to catch the water. Then, using an adjustable wrench, remove the old drain valve. Attempt to replace the old drain valve with the new one as soon as possible throughout this operation. Connect the valve to a garden hose to ensure that you obtain the best possible outcome
6. Replace with a Ball Valve
The ball valve is just as crucial as the drain valve when it comes to any type of water heater. Because of the mechanism, the drain valve tends to clog more quickly than a ball valve of any other type. As a result, a ball valve may be readily installed in place of the drain valve. The following are the procedures to be followed:
- Take the ball valve and wrap both ends with Teflon tape to prevent leakage. It is necessary to screw one of the wrapped ends of the valve to the dielectric nipple
- Otherwise, the valve will not work. Wrap both ends of the other nipple with the same Teflon Tape that you used for the first. Make certain that there is enough room for the handle to move around. The handle should be moved away from the tank, and all of the faucets in the house should be closed in order to prevent water from gushing out of the valve when it is opened accidentally. To empty the tank, you must now attach a garden hose to the ball valve
- Otherwise, the tank will overflow.
7. Move Your Tank
Try using the standard method of moving or shaking the tank if the inventive methods aren’t yielding the results you desire. The following are the procedures to be followed.
- Ensure that all of the water heater’s power sources are turned off, as well as all of the incoming and exiting water lines. Pull the water heater away from the wall and start gently shaking the heater to loosen it up. It should be moved outdoors using a hand truck. Once you’re finished, reattach it to its original spot on the wall. To drain the tank, just open the drain valve and let the water to pour out. In this way, the obstruction will be cleared.
Should You Drain a Water Heater When Not in Use?
Draining your water heater is just as vital as cleaning any filters or water purifiers in your house, and it should be done on a regular basis. The creation of sediments and contaminants in your environment on a regular basis may have an effect on the internal components of the heater at any moment. If you leave the cold water to remain within the heater for an extended period of time, it will begin to corrode the interior of the appliance. As a result, you must ensure that the input pipe is closed and that the whole drainage system is turned off.
The procedures described above may always be followed in order to learn everything about How to Drain a Clogged Water Heater. You may, however, experience a variety of issues if these approaches do not work for your heater. Consider consulting with an expert, or else look into purchasing a new water heater in this situation. There are other options for removing the blockage from your water heater, which you should consider as well. If you are staying in an area with high levels of pollution, we recommend that you have your plumbing system checked on a regular basis to avoid any form of permanent obstruction.
However, if you are still experiencing issues after attempting the solutions listed above, please let us know in the comments section below.