How To Open Drain Valve On Water Heater

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

You Can Drain Water Heater – 4 Easy Steps

If you need assistance draining a water heater, the instructions provided below should be sufficient. If you don’t run into any complications, all you’ll need is a garden hose and maybe a screwdriver to get started. Simply follow the instructions below, and I’ll do my best to address any issues you may have. The drain valve will be situated at the bottom of the tank and will be either plastic or brass in material composition. More information about water heater drain valves may be found here.

  • In this case, a flat screwdriver is used to open and close it, as you can see.
  • This plastic drain valve is simple to switch on and off; nevertheless, while attaching the drain line, these valves are simple to cross thread.
  • These valves are quite difficult to operate.
  • It is possible for one to come loose from the nipple to which it is attached, causing burns and/or flooding your home.
  • This valve should be opened just enough to allow water to drain from the tank.
  • If you open it too far, you will increase the likelihood of it falling off.

Drain Water Heater

Step one: Turn off the gas water heater by turning the control knob to the off position. Electric water heater: Disconnect the electricity at the circuit breaker panel. Make very certain that you have turned off the correct breaker. If the power is turned off while the tank is being emptied, the heating elements will blow and will need to be repaired or replaced. If you are unable to locate the water heater breaker, turn off all of the double breakers in the house. In your house, turn on a hot water faucet and leave it running until the water becomes cold.

  1. In addition, hot water will destroy your grass and other plants.
  2. Step Three Remove any kinks from the hose and position it outside.
  3. This will clear the valve of any silt that may have accumulated inside it.
  4. The water shut-off valve should be situated above the water heater on the cold water line, and it should be easily accessible.
  5. Open your faucet’s hot water side by turning it on.
  6. Using an earlier model pressure relief valve to allow air into the tank is a good idea if your system is equipped with one.
  7. Relief valves that are more recent in design will not lock open.
  8. Ca calcium deposits accumulate in the tanks of most water heaters as a result of hard water.
  9. The deposits can travel through the water lines and block the faucets, appliances (dishwasher, clothes washer), and under sink shut off valves when the tank is disturbed, such as when it is drained and refilled.
  10. If there is an issue, unclogging this faucet is a straightforward process.
  11. If you’re having trouble getting the water to drain, turn off the hotwater side of your kitchen faucet and try again.

Replacing your water heater’s water supply while leaving the drain valve open is the correct procedure. When the water is gushing down the drain hose, turn off the water and open the hot side of your kitchen faucet to let it out.

Water Heater Draining Problems

What should I do if my water heater drains for a time but then stops and I know the tank is not empty? Check to see if somebody switched off the hot water side of your kitchen faucet while you were away from the sink. 2. It must be able to drain with air. 2. Debris, rust, and calcium deposits may have accumulated in your drain valve. Refill the tank while leaving the drain open and the faucet closed if the tank has only emptied a little amount. This should be accomplished by the water pressure pushing the particles out of the drain pipe.

  • If a significant amount of water has been drained from the tank, you can attempt the measures listed below instead of replenishing the tank.
  • Place a small bucket under the drain to catch any spills.
  • Be prepared to switch off the drain valve until the hose has been reattached.
  • If you are attempting to drain a water heater and it becomes clogged, you may use the fill/supply line from a washing machine to force the debris out of the drain.
  • Connect one end of the hose to the water heater drain valve and the other end to a garden hose for drainage.
  • Make certain that your drain valve is open.
  • Firstly, disconnect the hose from the faucet and allow the tank to empty.

My drain valve keeps becoming clogged, and I’m unable to dump my tank.

With a set of hand trucks, you could disconnect the plumbing, gas, and electricity, and then roll the water heater to the outside.

When you use a ball valve, you can empty the water heater.

Even if you are replacing your old water heater, you may still remove the tank and put it on your new water heater after the old tank is completely empty.

It will continue for many more years.

Use These Tips to Drain a Water Heater Properly

Most water heater maintenance instructions recommend that you drain a water heater every six to twelve months, depending on how much use it gets. The reason for this is that it will aid in the removal of any sediment or buildup that may have accumulated on the bottom of the water heater tank as a result of the presence of minerals and other particles in the water. As a result of the accumulation, the water heater will have to work harder to heat the water, consuming more energy and increasing its operating costs.

Before You Begin

Before you begin, make sure you understand where the main water shutdown valve is situated in your home.

While you won’t necessarily need it during this procedure, it’s always a good idea to be familiar with this valve whenever you’re dealing with any type of plumbing fixtures in your house in case something goes wrong and you need to shut off all water coming through your pipes.

Safety Considerations

When doing this procedure, you will be working with water that can be quite hot. It is possible that you will need to switch off your hot water heater many hours before you begin in order to allow the water in the tank to calm down before you begin. If you are unable to do so, use heavy-duty rubber work gloves to protect your hands from any splashes and safety glasses to protect your eyes from any hot water droplets that may fall over them.


  • Drain valve (if necessary)
  • Threaded hose cap (if necessary)
  • Drain valve (if necessary)

Kevin Norris’s The Spruce is a novel about a young man who grows up in the woods.

Perform a Quick Flush

  • Using a garden hose connected to the drain valve, attempt to clean the water heater tank a little bit while the water pressure is still on before shutting off the water supply. In order to accomplish this, first open the drain valve for a few seconds before closing it again. The pressure will blast away any silt that has become lodged in the valve, allowing the tank to empty more quickly. If a significant amount of sediment is expelled, you may need to repeat the process several times. Make certain that you’ve connected your garden hose to an outdoor place or into a bucket in order to collect the water and sediment that will be emitted from the faucet. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
  • The Spruce / Kevin Norris

Turn Off the Water Heater

  • Turn off the gas to your water heater, or turn off the electricity if you have an electric water heater. Remove water by shutting off the valve on the cold-water pipe above the water heater or the main water supply valve to the home, whichever is most convenient. Test the hot water faucets around the home by turning them on and checking for water to ensure that the pressure has been released. Water may flood out at first, but if the water has been cut off properly, it should rapidly decrease to a trickle and then stop. It is important to leave a hot water faucet open in the sink closest to your hot water heater in order to relieve pressure in the entire system. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
  • The Spruce / Kevin Norris

Open the Drain Valve

  • Open the drain valve while holding your garden hose in one hand. Normally, you may complete this task by hand, but you may need to employ your flat-head screwdriver in this instance. Once the valve is opened, water will begin to rush out of the drain, so make sure your hose is either connected to the outside or to a bucket to catch the water. You should switch off the drain valve as soon as the bucket is full so that you may empty it. Repeat the operation as many times as necessary to completely empty the tank. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
  • The Spruce / Kevin Norris

Flush the Tank With Water

  • Once the tank has been completely drained, you may flush it with a few gallons at a time by turning on the water for a few seconds and then allowing it to drain out again until it is completely empty. When the outflow is clean, you’ll know that you’ve successfully eliminated the sediment and may proceed to the following phase in the process. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
  • The Spruce / Kevin Norris

Refill the Water Heater

  • Close the drain valve and remove the garden hose from the system. Make certain that all but one of your home’s hot water faucets are turned off (the one in the bathtub closest to the water heater is best). You may now re-start the water heater by turning the water back on. After that, keep an eye on the faucet you left open and, as soon as you notice that you are receiving nothing but water out of it, turn it off. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
  • The Spruce / Kevin Norris

Relight the Water Heater

  • Re-ignite the water heater’s pilot light, or if it’s an electric heater, re-energize the circuit breaker. You should be able to use hot water after an hour or so. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
  • The Spruce / Kevin Norris

Check the Drain Valve

  1. Check for leaks at the spout of your water heater to see if the drain on the heater has completely closed. If the outlet does not completely close, you can stop the leak by placing a threaded hose cap over the hose thread of the outlet. Alternatively, you can replace the valve entirely. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
  2. The Spruce / Kevin Norris

Draining and Flushing Your Water Heater

Using a flashlight, check the spout of your water heater to see if the drain is entirely closed. The leak can be stopped by placing a threaded hose cap over the hose thread of an outlet that did not entirely close. It’s also possible to entirely replace the valve. Kevin Norris’s novel The Spruce

Step1:Tools and Supplies

  • Toolkit: Garden hose, non-contact circuit tester, flat-blade screwdriver, bucket (if desired)

Step2:Turn Power OFF

  • Toolkit: Garden hose, non-contact circuit tester, flat-blade screwdriver, bucket (optional).
See also:  How To Protect Tankless Water Heater From Freezing

Step3:Run the Hot Water Until it’s Cool

(This might take up to 10 minutes or more).”>

  • Start by opening a hot water faucet and allowing the hot water to flow until it is cold (this may take 10 minutes or longer)
  • Then close the faucet. WARNING! As a precaution, make sure the water is running cool before emptying the old water heater to avoid burning yourself.

Step4:Turn Cold Water Supply OFF

  • Connect a garden hose to the drain valve on the water heater and place the other end of the hose in a drain, outside, or in a bucket

Step6:Open Drain Valve

  • Drain the water from the old water heater by opening the drain valve. Some drain valves may be opened with a handle, while others require the use of a flat-bladed screwdriver to be opened. Make sure that the water heater is totally draining

Step7:Open a Hot Water Faucet

Drain the old water heater by opening the drain valve. A flat-blade screwdriver is required to open some drain valves since they do not have a handle. Make sure to thoroughly empty the water heater.

  • Opening the hot water faucet will assist in draining the tank more quickly.

Step8:Sediment May Cause Water Heater to Drain Slowly

A build-up of sediment at the bottom of the tank may jam the drain valve, making it impossible for the tank to drain correctly. If you are unable to drain the tank, seek assistance from a skilled individual. “>

  • A build-up of sediment at the bottom of the tank may jam the drain valve, making it impossible for the tank to drain correctly. If you are unable to get the tank to drain, seek assistance from a competent professional.

Step9:Turn the Cold Water Supply ON

  • A build-up of sediment at the bottom of the tank may jam the drain valve, making it impossible for the tank to drain completely and effectively. Contact a trained individual for assistance if you are unable to drain the tank

Step10:Close Drain Valve

  • When you’re finished, turn off the water and disconnect the garden hose.

Step11:Remove the Aerator

NOTICE: Do not switch on the electrical power until you are certain that all of the air has been removed from the tank and that the tank is entirely filled with water. Using electricity before the tank is entirely filled with water will result in a dry fire in the upper element.

  • NOTICE: Do not switch on the electrical power until you are certain that all of the air has been removed from the tank and that the tank is entirely filled with water. It is possible that the upper element will burn out (dry fire) if power is introduced before the tank is entirely filled with water. Follow these procedures to remove all air from the tank and let the tank to entirely fill with water: Remove the aerator from the hot water faucet that is closest to you. All junk in the plumbing system is cleaned out of the pipes as a result of this.

Step12:Open a Hot Water Faucet

  • Open a hot water faucet and let the water to flow continuously until it reaches its maximum flow
  • Allow the water to run at full stream for THREE MINUTES in order to flush out all of the air from the tank. Before attaching electrical power to the tank, you must first remove all of the air from the tank and allow the tank to completely fill with water.

Step13:Close the Hot Water Faucet and Replace the Aerator

  • Close the hot water faucet and reinstall the aerator when all of the air has been removed from the tank.

Step14:Turn Power Back ON

  • Circuit breakers should be reset, or fuses should be replaced, if necessary.

Can’t open drain valve on hot water heater

More than 680,000 posts that are solely devoted to plumbing Welcome to, formerly known as the Plumbing advice, aid, do-it-yourself, instructional, and informational plumbing forums may be found nowhere else online (strictly speaking). The following topics are covered in depth: toilets and sinks; faucets; drainage; venting; water heating; showers and pumps; and other topics that are entirely PLUMBING related. It is requested that you abstain from asking or discussing legal questions, price, where to acquire a product, or other business-related difficulties, or requesting contractor references, or from asking or discussing any other questions or issues that are not particular to plumbing.

Our website is 100% free, and there are no advertisements or pop-ups.

We are made possible by the following:

Can’t open drain valve on hot water heater
Author:jbranson (CO)Please help! I am trying to replace our gas water heater. I have attached hose, turned all hot water faucets in the house on, but the drain valve will not open. It takes a regular screwdriver to open, and is starting to break the more i try to open it. Any suggestions?
Post Reply
Re: Can’t open drain valve on hot water heater
Author:steve (CA)Did you try to turn it the opposite direction? Is it a ¼ turn valve?
Post Reply
Re: Can’t open drain valve on hot water heater
Author:North Carolina Plumber (NC)If you loosen the large nut thats around the screwdriver slot stem, it’ll make it easier to open.
Post Reply
Re: Can’t open drain valve on hot water heater
Author:RWP (SD)Be careful and just loosen the nut a little.Put the screw driver in the slot and hit the screw driver handle a few times with a hammer but not too hard.The object is to jar the valve a little to help loosen it.-Retired after 50 years of plumbing and heating.
Post Reply
Re: Can’t open drain valve on hot water heater
Author:waukeshaplumbing (WI)ive had them be completely plugged, but never stuck unable to openyou can unthread the valve and let it pour out like a fire hose.i end up doing that a couple times a year.
Post Reply
Re: Can’t open drain valve on hot water heater
Author:hj (AZ)the stem should project above the packing nut, and if so grab it with a pair of pliers to turn it.I assume this isa brass valve and if so, you can unscrew it an put a new one in.
Post Reply
Re: Can’t open drain valve on hot water heater
Author:mpscheiner (CA)Try closing all your faucets and opening the drain valve with the house water pressure turned on. The point is to try to use the house water pressure to blow the sediment out through your drain valve.
Post Reply
  • Messages that are inappropriate or that are obvious advertisements will be removed. Unfortunately, we cannot be held liable for incorrect or insufficient advise
  • Furthermore, has no control over external content that may be linked to from messages placed on this site. Please use caution when clicking on external links
  • is strictly for the exchange of plumbing-related advice and NOT for questions about pricing or costs, where to find a product (try Google), how to operate or promote a business, or questions about ethics (law) and the like
  • is also not a place to ask questions about radiant heating (try, electrical, or even general construction type questions
  • is strictly for the exchange of plumbing-related advice and NOT We are only here to answer plumbing-related questions.

On our sponsor’s website, you may look for plumbing parts: Thank you so much to our sponsor:

How to Remove a Water Heater’s Drain Valve

Mineral buildup or inadvertent damage to the drain valve of a water heater might cause the valve to cease functioning correctly. Regardless of the cause, removing this valve is a straightforward task provided you follow the right safety procedures before grabbing a wrench.

Failure to take these precautions might result in damage to your heater, flooding of your property, or just give your spouse yet more cause to remark, “I told you so.”

  1. Turn off the water heater if it is on. At the service panel, turn off the electricity to an electric water heater if it is on. Turn the temperature dial to the pilot, or lowest setting, on a natural gas or propane heater, and then turn the pilot light knob to the off position on the same heater. Turn off the cold water supply valve. The cold water shut-off valve is typically situated slightly above the tank on the cold water line in the majority of water heater systems. If there is no shut-off valve on or near your heater, you may need to cut off the water supply to the entire home
  2. However, this is not always necessary. Open a hot water faucet in a bathroom or laundry room to start the process. Air can enter the plumbing supply through a fully open hot water faucet, which prevents a vacuum from forming inside the heater’s reservoir tank. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve to drain the water. Drain valves are threaded expressly for this function and are available in various sizes. Extend the free end of the hose either outside or into a sink or tub after tightening the hose around the valve
  3. Drain the water by opening the drain valve. Allow the tank to empty entirely before using it. Disconnect the hose from the drain valve
  4. And Make sure the wrench or pliers are tightly wrapped around the faceted base of the valve. For drain valves made of plastic or nylon, proper placement is essential. When handled incorrectly, these valves are susceptible to harm. By rotating the valve counterclockwise, you may loosen and remove it.

How to Flush or Drain a Water Heater

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

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

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.
See also:  How Does A Water Heater Thermostat Work

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

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.

How to Drain a Water Heater: Proper Maintenance of Your Unit Can Make all the Difference

If you get a new water heater installed by Poole’s Plumbing, the area’s leading water heater installation, you might assume the rest of the process will be simple and straightforward. However, with appropriate care and knowledge of How to Drain a Water Heater, you may considerably extend the life of your water heater while also avoiding a potentially disastrous water leak that can damage the interior of your house. Additionally, understanding How to Drain a Water Heater may be beneficial in other ways, such as providing liters of fresh water in an emergency situation.

When it comes to How to Drain a Water Heater, there are several simple actions, recommendations, and reminders that may make all the difference.

  1. Take into consideration the sort of water heater you have. To prepare for draining, put the thermostat on a gas heater to the “pilot” position, or simply turn the heater’s electricity off at the breaker box if you have an electric one. Remember to use caution while tripping breakers, and keep in mind that you may want to wait until the water within the heater has cooled before going to the drain valve. Depending on the model of your water heater, this might take up to two hours to complete. Locate the drain valve on your water heater and attach a hose to it to remove the water. At this point, turn off the cold water supply to the heater, but do not open the water supply valve. Prior to starting, turn on the hot water in a bathtub or sink anywhere in your home to prevent a vacuum from forming in your lines. Drain the water heater by opening the flow valve and allowing all of the water to drain from the tank. We anticipate that this will take between thirty minutes and an hour. Draining your water tank should be followed by re-establishing the water supply to your water tank. Continue to wait until all of the water has been drained from the drain valve’s hose that you attached previously, and then seal the drain valve once again. Before doing anything further, double-check the instructions that came with your particular tank. Some water heaters will just require a partial filling of their tanks with water before proceeding to the next step in the troubleshooting process, but others may require the tank to be entirely filled in order to avoid any device damage. After turning off the hot water faucet in your sink or tub, reconnect the electricity to your gas or electric water heater by resetting the thermostat or resetting the breaker box, as appropriate. After the temperature of the water has been restored, check the pressure relief valve on your water heater. This valve keeps the engine from overheating. In order to perform your repair, you must refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the pressure relief valve that you have purchased.
See also:  How To Vent A Tankless Water Heater

As straightforward a procedure as each of these procedures is in terms of assisting you in determining As you can see, knowing how to drain a water heater may make a significant impact, whether it is to prevent a horrible scenario from occurring or to just extend the life of your unit. With the guidance and reminders provided here by your friends at Poole’s Plumbing, the number one installation of water heaters in the Triangle region, these are all do-at-home-easy strategies to reduce or avoid any troubles altogether.

Learn how to drain a water heater properly.

How to Drain Your Water Heater

Draining your water heater at least once a year is a crucial aspect of keeping your house in good working order. Over time, settlement can build up within your machine, causing damage to internal components such as the heating elements and other components. As a result, settlement might adhere to the heating components, reducing heat transfer and decreasing the effectiveness of your unit.

What you will need:

  • The following items are optional: flat blade screw driver
  • Garden hose
  • Knee-high stockings (optional)
  • Rubber band or wire tie

Step 1: Turn off the power to the water heater at the circuit breaker.

Water heaters should be protected by a dedicated circuit breaker located within the electrical panel. To switch off the breaker, just slide it to the “off” position on the circuit breaker. Turn off the gas feed to the water heater if it is powered by gas.

Step 2: Fasten a garden hose to the drain valve.

Drain the water heater by connecting a garden hose to the drain valve, which is situated at the bottom of the water heater. Extend the other end of the hose to the outside or to the nearest floor drain to complete the installation.

Step 3: Close the shut off valve at the cold water inlet line or main water supply.

Cold water inflow shutoff valves are normally situated just above the water heater, on the right side of the tank.

It is also possible to turn off the water supply at the main water line. Closing these valves will prevent the water heater from being refilled with water while you are draining the water heater.

Step 4: Open a hot water faucet somewhere in the home.

It is possible to relieve the system pressure inside the tank by opening a hot water faucet in the house. It makes no difference where the hot water faucet is located; any hot water faucet will function properly.

Step 5: Open the drain valve and allow the water to drain.

Turning the drain valve counterclockwise with a flat head screwdriver will allow you to drain the water. Make certain that no one will be exposed to the hot water emitted by the drain valve before turning it on. Caution: The water within the tank may reach temperatures of more than 125 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in serious burns, particularly in small children. Optional: Tie a knee-high stocking to the end of the garden hose to evaluate the quantity of silt that has been caught in the stocking.

If you observe a significant amount of sediment, you might try emptying your water heater more frequently.

Step 6: When the water stops, remove the garden hose, open a hot water faucet, and open the shut off valve located at the cold water inlet line or main water supply.

As soon as the water stops draining, unplug the garden hose that was connected to the drain valve. Open a hot water faucet somewhere in the house, and then turn on the cold water supply valve to complete the process. You should be able to hear the water heater filling up with water at this point. Close the hot water faucet when you see a constant stream of water flowing from the faucet after it has been opened.

Step 7: Turn the electric power back on at the circuit breaker.

Finding the water heater breaker and switching it to the “on” position will restore power to the system. Reconnect the gas line to the water heater if it is powered by gas. After that, double-check that the drain valve is securely closed. Draining your water heater is easy if you follow these basic procedures. In order to schedule an inspection, please contact us at 813-261-0002 or visit our website at

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Step 2: Disconnect the water heater’s power supply line.
  3. Alternatively, if you have an electric water heater, turn off the electricity at your home’s electrical panel.
  4. 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.
  5. Check your water heater’s owner’s handbook and follow the directions that are provided for your particular water heater.
  6. Because your water heater is running at a high temperature, it is incredibly hot.
  7. (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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.