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.
GET A HOME QUOTE.
A high level of protection for your house makes all the difference when it comes to keeping your family safe. Allstate home insurance can assist you in protecting what is important to you. Request a quote Locate a representative. When it comes to draining a water heater, the DIY Network recommends the following measures. The owner’s handbook for your water heater will provide you with particular information on your water heater. For those who are uncomfortable completing this sort of maintenance on their water heater, contact a plumber to arrange for a professional draining to be performed.
- A water line and a shutdown valve leading into the water heater may be found at the very top of the water heater’s tank.
- Step 2: Disconnect the water heater’s power supply line.
- Alternatively, if you have an electric water heater, turn off the electricity at your home’s electrical panel.
- If you have a gas water heater, according to the DIY Network, you may change the water heater’s thermostat to “pilot” to complete this procedure.
- Check your water heater’s owner’s handbook and follow the directions that are provided for your particular water heater.
- Because your water heater is running at a high temperature, it is incredibly hot.
- (According to BobVila.com, you should at the very least wait a few hours.) In addition, taking a hot shower can assist to accelerate the cooling process.) Step 4: Connect a hose to the drain valve.
Connect the other end of the hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of your water heater.
The hot water tap, such as a sink faucet, that is closest to the water heater should be opened.
According to the DIY Network, it is preferable to use a tap that is located on the floor above the water heater.
As soon as you turn on this valve, the water will begin to drain out of the storage tank.
Step 7: Reconnect the water supply to the tank and flush it with fresh, clean water to finish the job.
It is necessary to repeat this process until the water flows clean.
Step 8: Refill the tank with water.
Return the water supply to its original setting to begin replenishing the tank. Once the tank is full, turn on the electricity or gas supply to the water heater to re-energize it. While draining the tank, remember to turn off the faucet that you had previously turned on.
How Often Should You Drain Your Water Heater?
According to both BobVila.com and The Family Handyman, it’s a good idea to empty your water heater at least once a year in general. If you reside in a hard water area, on the other hand, according to Angie’s List, you may need to empty your water more often. Always remember to consult your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer suggests before making any changes. Water heaters are relatively low-maintenance appliances, but it’s important to remember to drain yours on a regular basis. If you do this, you may be able to keep it working effectively and the hot water going.
Please keep in mind that a certain precaution may not be suitable or effective in every situation, and that adopting preventative steps does not ensure a positive outcome.
How Often Should I Drain My Water Heater?
Although water heater manufacturers may offer precise guidelines on how often a water heater should be emptied, the general rule of thumb is that your water heater should be drained once per year. Generally speaking, the goal of emptying your water heater is to remove any hard water or sediment that may have accumulated over the course of its operation. In addition to reducing the lifespan and effectiveness of your home’s water heater, removing deposits from the tank through water heater draining is an excellent preventative maintenance practice that is quite easy to perform.
- Remove the re-circulation pump from the system in step 1.
- Before proceeding on to the following step, be sure you hear the pump shut off completely.
- Step 2: Shut down your water heater and let it cool.
- While you are working on the water heater, this will prevent the flame from igniting accidentally.
- Shut down the water supply to the water heater in Step 3.
- While you are emptying the system, this will prevent any extra water from entering the water heater and causing it to malfunction.
- Locate the drain valve at the bottom of your water heater tank and connect a hose to it with a rubber band or zip tie.
Before you open the drain valve, double-check that the water is draining to a suitable location in your residence.
The valve opener, which should be located on the side of the valve at the bottom of your tank, should be used to open the valve.
Some water heater tanks are equipped with pressure release valves on the exterior, which make it simple to add air into the system as necessary.
In any case, you should be able to hear the water being put into the system, and the water will begin to drain shortly thereafter.
Allow ample time for the tank to drain entirely, especially if you’re using a bucket as advised.
The discoloration of the water may indicate that it is time to update your water heating system.
Whatever technique you chose in Step 6, it is now time to seal the system and prevent air from entering by closing the pressure release valve or tightening the bolts located on top of your tank.
This will allow water to flow into the tank, flushing any more deposits out of the system as it does so.
Keep in mind to verify all connections at least twice and maybe three times.
Immediately after removing your pump in step 1, open all of the hot water faucets and fixtures in your house and allow them to flush for a few minutes before reconnecting your pump.
Finally, switch your gas tank from ‘pilot’ to ‘on,’ or re-plug your electric tank into the wall, whichever is applicable.
Have you been experiencing troubles with your water heater?
It’s only one of the numerous services that we’re pleased to provide. Feel free to contact us if you need assistance with your problems; we would be pleased to assist you.
How Often to Drain a Hot Water Heater
In most circumstances, you will need to empty your water heater once a year, although the frequency may vary depending on the type of water you use and other variables. Get quotations from as many as three professionals! Enter your zip code below to get matched with top-rated professionals in your area. What is the recommended frequency of draining and flushing your water heater? When taking a shower, no one enjoys having to wait several minutes for hot water to come through. Keeping your water heater clean and free of obstructions on a regular basis will help to reduce the likelihood of this happening.
Do I Need to Drain and Flush My Hot Water Heater?
Yes. Water heater cleaning and draining should be done on a regular basis as part of your normal water heater maintenance program to improve the quality of the water in your house. It may also save you money in the long run because regular maintenance may help you extend the life of your tank. However, in certain cases, you may find that you need to empty or flush your hot water heater more frequently than is advised by the manufacturer. The sort of water heater you possess is important, but you also need to examine the type of water that is delivered to your home.
It’ll take something in the neighborhood of an hour to finish, with much of that time spent just allowing the tank to cool and drain.
Why Is It Important to Flush and Drain Your Water Heater?
Different forms of sediment, such as limestone, chalk, and gypsum, get deposited in your water heater over time. Those are naturally occurring minerals that may be found in water and that, over time, accumulate in the bottom of your tank. Heat loss, longer heating periods, and leakages are all possible consequences of sediment building in a system. This is due to silt deposits accumulating on the burner plate at the bottom of your water heater, which prevents heat from flowing through the system.
- Reduce your energy expenditures
- Prolong the life of your hot water heater (which typically lasts 12 years)
- It lowers the level of noise. Improvements in the heating speed
- Removes odorous and/or stale water from your storage tank
- Allows you to check for symptoms that your water heater is malfunctioning, and
- The possibility of leaks developing if it has been a long time since you have cleansed your water heater
How Often Should You Drain or Flush Your Hot Water Heater?
Not sure how often you should flush or dump your hot water heater? Here’s what you should know. Most water heaters should be drained once a year, or more frequently depending on the circumstances. In contrast, if you reside in a region with hard water (high mineral content), it is recommended that you do it every six months or so. The majority of the time, however, a yearly cleaning will assist to extend the life of your water heater and guarantee that hot water is distributed throughout your home.
/ E+ / Getty Images / Hispanolistic / Hispanolistic
Finding Information About Your Water Supply
To find out how often you should clean and empty your water heaters, see your water supply report from the previous year. On or before July 1, water companies send you an annual report that contains information on your water supply. This page contains information about where it originates from, what minerals it contains, and other pertinent information.
Keep in mind that if you have hard water (water with a high mineral content), your water heater should be emptied and cleansed more frequently than once a year. The report is usually included with water bills or made accessible for download on the internet.
What to Expect When You Flush and Drain a Water Heater
Depending on the size of your water heater, you’ll need to set aside anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes to flush and drain it. Also, if you’re not sure how big your tank is, a 50- to 60 gallon tank is often large enough to accommodate two or three individuals. You’ll also need to do the following:
- Recognize if your water heater is powered by natural gas or electricity
- You should wait at least 20 to 30 minutes for the water in your tank to cool before flushing it. Make sure you’re prepared for a rapid outflow of water when you restart the water supply—and that you do so carefully.
Recognize if your water heater is powered by natural gas or by electricity. Wait at least 20 to 30 minutes before flushing to allow the water in your tank to cool. Keep in mind that when you turn on the water supply again, it will start to flow at a quick pace; use caution.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Pro to Drain or Flush My Water Heater?
Determine whether your water heater is powered by gas or by electricity. Wait at least 20 to 30 minutes before flushing to allow the water in your tank to cool; When you reopen the water supply, be prepared for water to rush out at a quick rate—use caution;
Water Heater Flush
Every day, from taking a shower in the morning to running the dishwasher after supper, homeowners rely on having a consistent supply of hot water available. Most of us, on the other hand, hardly give our water heaters any consideration until something goes wrong with them. Our discussion in this post will cover why this strategy has to change and why a water heater flush as well as regular maintenance of your home’s water heater are so important.
How do you flush a water heater?
The video below walks you through the process of flushing sediment from your home’s water heater step by step. If you have any problems, or if you need a plumbing specialist to assist you, don’t hesitate to contact Wagner!
Should you drain your hot water heater every year?
Yes, but it’s really just the bare minimum in terms of what has to be done. You should drain and clean your water heater at least twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall, depending on how often you use it. The explanation for this may be traced back to the minerals and sediment that a water heater removes from the water. As tap water is pumped into your water heater tank, it transports with it the naturally occurring minerals found in hard water. These minerals sink to the bottom of the tank, where they begin to aggregate and form a deposit.
The greater the amount of sediment and mineralization that accumulates between the heating element and the water, the less efficient and effective your water heater is going to be.
When considering the quantity of silt that may accumulate in a tank in a very short period of time, you’d be amazed.
What happens if you don’t flush your water heater?
Yes, but it’s really just the very minimum in terms of what you can expect. You should drain and cleanse your water heater at least twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall, depending on how much water you use. The answer may be traced back to the minerals and silt that a water heater removes from water. Hard water’s inherent mineral content is transferred into your water heater tank as the water is drawn from the faucet. All of these minerals sink to the bottom of the tank, where they begin to build up.
The greater the amount of sediment and mineralization that accumulates between the heating element and the water, the less efficient and effective your water heater is likely to be.
For those who live in hard water areas, you should drain and clean away the mineral buildup in your plumbing system at least once every 4-6 months. In a very short period of time, you’d be astonished at how much silt may accumulate in a fish tank.
- Reduced Efficiency: As scaling accumulates at the bottom of the tank, your water heater’s ability to heat the water in the tank will be diminished. Corrosion: If your water heater is left unflushed for an extended period of time, corrosion may begin to attack the tank itself, compromising its structural integrity and causing it to malfunction. According to the section below, your water heater is equipped with a critical pressure-relief valve, which keeps the tank from being too pressurized when the water is turned on. Scaling can cause this valve to become clogged.
Finally, here’s the bottom line: you should be draining and cleansing your water heater on a consistent basis. However, this is only the beginning.
Do hot water heaters need maintenance?
Yes. In addition to draining and cleaning your water heater on a regular basis, you should examine the pressure relief valve on your water heater at least once a year.
What is the pressure-relief valve?
It is likely that you have experienced the sensation of boiling water in a covered pot on the stove. Heating water produces steam and pressure. It is possible to observe the pot lid leap up and down as the pressure (and steam) escape from the confined region if it is not sufficiently hefty. This same fundamental activity is taking on inside of your water heater as well. The majority of the time, this extra pressure is discharged through the pipes in your home. There is no harm, no foul. Pressure relief valves (also known as T P valves) are used when the pressure in the system rises to dangerous levels, however they are not always necessary.
That’s a respectable amount of pressure, especially considering that your car’s tires are most likely filled to 30-35 psi at any one moment.
Your T P valve has most likely been opened if you detect a pool of water on the ground below its discharge pipe, which indicates that it has been opened.
Checking your T P valve
This valve may experience difficulties from time to time. It can become stuck, or, as previously described, internal scaling can cause it to become blocked. You should check the T P valve once a year to verify that it is in proper operating order. Place a bucket beneath the discharge pipe and turn the valve to the open position. Make sure you have water flowing through the valve and down into the pipe and into the bucket. If this is not the case, there is something wrong with your valve, and you should contact a plumbing specialist immediately.
What is the lifespan of a hot water heater?
How long it will last depends on the sort of water heater you have and how well you keep it in good working order. Let’s talk about the first portion, and then we’ll talk about the variations in lifetime between gas, electric, and tankless systems.
Lifespan of gas and electric water heaters
Electric water heaters, on average, survive a few years longer than their gas counterparts:
- Electric water heaters have a lifespan of 10-15 years, whereas gas water heaters have a lifespan of 8-12 years.
Electric water heaters have a life expectancy of 10-15 years, whereas gas water heaters have a life expectancy of 8-12 years
Lifespan of tankless water heaters
There is another type of water heater that deserves to be discussed: tankless water heaters. These wall-mounted water heaters, often known as “demand-type” water heaters, heat water on demand by passing tap water through a succession of heating elements as it is required. Tankless systems are more energy efficient, more convenient, and have a lifespan of 20-30 years, which is almost twice as long as a regular system.
However, the trade-off is that they are more expensive to install. If, on the other hand, you’re wanting to make a long-term investment in your house, you should speak with your plumber about tankless systems and whether or not they’re a suitable fit for your particular situation.
How do I make my hot water heater last longer?
Age, as they say, is only a number. The water heater, on the other hand, is likely to finally catch up with your system because of the high quantity. If you consider what water heaters are fundamentally comprised of—water, metal, heat, and pressure—you’ll likely understand why even high-quality water heater tanks have a lifespan of only 15-20 years at the most. However, you may extend the life of your water heater by doing the following maintenance tasks:— Flushing and emptying your water heater at least once a year, if not twice a year.
- — Calling a plumber as soon as there is a problem is recommended.
- A plumbing specialist should be called out to your home immediately if you notice anything unusual, whether it’s strange sounds or leaks on the tank’s surface.
- The Wagner crew is the one to call if you live in Albuquerque or Santa Fe.
- We can assist you with the maintenance, repair, or replacement of your water heater.
- We’ll work with you to guarantee that your water heater continues to operate at peak performance for many years to come.
How Often Does My Hot Water Heater Tank Need Flushing?
You are aware that frequent hot water heater maintenance is essential to ensuring the long life of the device in question. In order to maximize the efficiency of your water heater while minimizing damage to the water heater, it is necessary to empty and clean the tank on a regular basis. Here’s when you should go ahead and do it.
Why Does My Water Tank Need Cleaning?
Knowing that frequent hot water heater maintenance is essential to the appliance’s long-term performance is second nature to you. Draining and cleaning your water heater tank on a regular basis can help to maximize its efficiency while reducing the likelihood of damaging it. The following are the appropriate times to do so.
When Do I Know My Water Heater Needs aFlush?
To your advantage, the water that goes into your hot water heater has been filtered to some extent before it gets to your house. If this were not the case, your hot water heatertank would quickly become clogged with silt. It is possible that you will not notice the accumulation because it may take years. Over time, you will notice that the amount of hot water you receive from the tank diminishes as the tank nears its capacity. The sediment pouring out of the drain valve, if you are handy, can usually be seen quite plainly, except in cases where the silt has already jammed the valve.
This helps to guarantee that your house receives the most amount of hot water possible while also preventing debris from corroding the water heater’s internal components.
How Is a Water Heater Tank Flushed?
Flushing a hot water heater tank is not very difficult, but it does need the use of a steady hand to ensure that it is done properly and correctly. You should have your Sacramento plumbers switch off the electricity and fuel to the water heater. Running water from a faucet aids in the removal of part of the water from the tank as well as the reduction of its water temperature. The drain valve, which is placed at the bottom of the tank, is used by the plumbers to drain the water that is currently in the tank.
The last procedures involve refueling the tank and restoring power and gasoline to the vehicle.
Flushing the tank at least once a year ensures that your home has more hot water and that the tank does not become clogged with silt.
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.
Check to see where the main water shutoff valve is situated in your home before you begin any work there. 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 running through your pipes in an emergency.
- Before you begin, be certain that you are aware of the location of your home’s main water shutdown valve. 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 stop all water running through your pipes.
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
- Using a garden hose connected to the drain valve, attempt to flush the water heater tank a little bit while the water pressure is still on before shutting off the water supply completely. In order to accomplish this, first open the drain valve for a few seconds, and then close it. When the tank drains quicker, the pressure will blow away any silt that has been lodged in the valve. Repeat this process a couple more times if a significant amount of sediment is extracted. Make certain that you’ve connected your garden hose to an outdoor area or into a bucket in order to collect the water and sediment that will be expelled from the toilet. Kevin Norris’s novel The Spruce
Open the Drain Valve
- Before you turn off the water, attach a garden hose to the drain valve and use the water pressure to try to clean the water heater tank a little bit. To accomplish this, first open the drain valve for a few seconds before closing it again. The pressure will force any silt lodged in the valve out, allowing the tank to empty more quickly. If a lot of sediment comes out, you may need to repeat the process a number more times. Make certain that you have connected your garden hose to an outdoor position or to a bucket in order to collect the water and sediment that will be emitted. 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. Remove the water from the water heater by closing all but one of the hot water taps in your home (the one in your bathtub closest to it is the best). Now you may turn the water back on to the water heater. As soon as you have done so, 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
Relight the Water Heater
- Re-ignite the water heater’s pilot light, or if it’s an electric heater, re-energize the circuit breaker. You should be able to use hot water after an hour or so. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
- The Spruce / Kevin Norris
Check the Drain Valve
- Check for leaks at the spout of your water heater to see if the drain on the heater has completely closed. If the outlet does not completely close, you can stop the leak by placing a threaded hose cap over the hose thread of the outlet. Alternatively, you can replace the valve entirely. The Spruce / Kevin Norris
- The Spruce / Kevin Norris
Flushing a Water Heater: Why Should I Flush My Water Heater?
Regular maintenance is required for your water heater, just as it is for other devices such as your automobile. Water heaters accumulate sediment, calcium, and minerals over time, which settles to the bottom of the tank and causes it to get clogged. It is at the bottom of the tank where the water heater’s heating element is located. The water heater will have to work harder to heat the water if the heat is being blocked by silt and other foreign objects.
There aren’t any negative consequences to flushing a water heater. Sediment buildup causes harm, and leaving it in place is more expensive than just flushing it out on a regular basis.
How Often Should I get My Water Heater Flushed?
It is advised that you clean your water heater at least once a year to keep it running efficiently. This will aid in the prevention of the possible difficulties that silt might cause over time if left unchecked.
What Happens if I don’t Flush My Water Heater?
It is possible that leaving sediment buildup in your water heater would not only make it work harder, but it may also result in some major complications. For example, if the sediment builds up to a significant level, you may see it coming out of your faucets and drains. Sediment, on the other hand, can produce much more significant problems over time. Things like a ruptured pipe, a lack of water pressure, or even the failure of the tank itself are all possibilities. These issues often manifest themselves over a period of two to five years.
Do I Need to Flush a Tankless Water Heater?
Yes. Tankless water heaters, despite the fact that they do not store as much water as traditional tanks, can nevertheless accumulate sediment, necessitating regular cleaning and maintenance.
How do I Flush My Water Heater?
- Shut down the gas or electricity if you have a gas water heater, or the electricity if you have an electric water heater. Allow the water heater to cool for a short period of time
- Turn off the water supply. Start by turning on the hot water from a nearby faucet to avoid a vacuum from building and to make it easier for the tank to drain
- To drain the water, connect an empty bucket or drain hose to the valve and run the hose down to the drain. During this procedure, you may need to empty a bucket numerous times. Drain the water heater tank by opening the drain valve and allowing the water to run until the tank is completely drained. If you haven’t allowed the water heater to cool down properly, the water can get quite hot at this point
- Proceed with caution. Remove any remaining sediment by restoring the cold water supply and allowing it to drain. Carry on like this for a couple of times to get rid of all the silt
- Drain the water by closing the drain valve. Reopening the water supply valve will allow you to refill the water heater tank. Start the water heater by turning it on.
In the home, removing the water heater’s tank is possible, but it might be hazardous. If you are unsure about flushing your water heater yourself or want to ensure that it is done correctly, call a professional expert to have your water heater cleansed in no time at all.
How to Drain Your Hot Water Tank (And Why You Should!) — Multi Trade Building Services
The capacity of hot water tanks is meant to last for many years, but cleaning them should be included in your normal home maintenance program. Following our step-by-step directions outlined below, this is an easy DIY project that you can complete on your own.
Why should I flush my water tank?
Hot water tanks are built to store water for an extended period of time, but cleaning them should be included in your normal home maintenance routine. This is an easy DIY project that you can complete on your own if you follow our directions stated below.
What about my gas hot water tank?
In addition, sediment can reduce the effectiveness of the burner in a gas water heater. Have you ever experienced cracking and popping noises when your furnace was heating up? This is due to the silt that has accumulated in your tank. Sediment builds up in a gas hot water tank, forming a thick, crusty layer on the surface. This reduces the amount of heat that is transferred from the burner to the water in the tank. This is a waste of energy and, more importantly, of your money! In the long run, this can create corrosion in the tank, which may produce a major problem if your tank begins to leak all over your floor.
This will guarantee that your water heater performs at its best.
Can sediment affect my plumbing pipes or water?
Fortunately, the quick answer is “yes!” The sediment or crusty stuff that collects at the bottom of your tank has the potential to break loose and become caught in the pipes that distribute water throughout your home.
This might cause the flow of water via your pipes and faucets to become more difficult to control. It also has the potential to clog the drain valve on your hot water tank, making it hard to drain the tank without a major plumbing repair job.
An important word of advice:
If you haven’t cleansed your hot water tank in a number of years, it may be in your best interests to hire a Licensed Plumber to take care of the job on your behalf. You run the danger of causing leaks to be activated. It’s conceivable that the silt that has been accumulating in the tank for years has developed fractures in the bottom of the vessel. The existing sediment is clogging those cracks, however draining and flushing the hot water tank may be able to remove the sediment that is “sealing” the leaks and allowing them to reopen.
The fact that you hired a Licensed Plumber to complete the operation ensures that if it does leak, you’ll be prepared to deal with it immediately.
Speaking from experience.
The reason I warn you with the word of advise above is that we had exactly that scenario occur with a client of ours and we wanted to share our experience with you. Approximately 7 years ago, I published a simple advice to draining your hot water tank in a newsletter that I had written. After eight years in his house, my client realized that he had never drained the tank and decided that it would be a good idea to do so now that the weather was getting warmer. He diligently followed all of my directions before calling me in a panic because there was water coming out into his basement floor and he needed me to come immediately.
He, on the other hand, had not anticipated such a problem as a result of following my detailed directions.
It was clear that they had been there for a long time, and the sediment itself was preventing the leak from occurring again.
Our customer ended up needing to purchase a new hot water tank, but he ended up saving a significant amount of money over the long run since his new tank was far more energy efficient.
One important first step
The first step is to identify where the drain valve is located on your tank. It has the appearance of a little outside faucet. Before draining your hot water tank, we highly advise that you cut off the gas or electricity to the tank and let the water drop to room temperature before draining it. It will take several hours to complete this task. This is not required in order to drain your tank, however it is recommended as a safety measure.
If you do not want to wait the appropriate amount of time for all of the water in your water heater to cool, just keep in mind that the water that comes out of the drain valve will be extremely hot when it does.
Steps to Draining Your Hot Water Tank
- Turn off the gas or electrical power to your hot water tank if it is connected. The “pilot” setting on a gas water heater is what you’ll want to use. If the water heater is electric, turn off the breaker or unplug the fuse located at the electrical panel
- Turn off the cold water supply valve located at the top of the water heater
- And turn off the gas supply valve located at the water heater. When you touch this pipe, it should be ice cold. If the valve feels warm to the touch, you’ve got the incorrect valve. Locate the tank drain valve, which should be towards the bottom of the tank, and connect a regular garden hose to the drain valve. Keep in mind that certain models may have a cover over the valve opening
- The other end of the hose should be placed in a floor drain or on a driveway where it may safely drain. Buckets can be used if required, but take care not to be burnt by the hot water while you’re doing your task. To prevent this from happening, make sure the hose’s end is lower than the water tank’s valve. Locate the hottest water tap that is closest to the water heater, preferably on the second or third story above. Opening the drain valve and allowing the water to flow from the tank can relieve pressure in the system, similar to withdrawing your finger from the top of a drinking straw loaded with liquid
- Close the drain valve and let the water to drain from the tank. Once again, if you haven’t allowed the water to cool before using it, proceed with caution. Once all of the water has been emptied from the tank, switch on the cold water supply to the tank for a limited period of time. This will help to stir up any silt that has accumulated. It is necessary to repeat this procedure until the water flows clean
- Disconnect the drain line and switch on the cold water supply valve after closing the drain valve. The tank will begin to fill as soon as possible. Return to the hot water faucet that was previously opened. Once cold water begins to flow from the faucet, cut off the water supply. Return the gas valve to the on position from the pilot position, or reconnect the power to the tank. It is important to double-check the valve opening once it has been closed to ensure there are no water leaks.
What if my tank won’t drain?
If your hot water tank is draining slowly or not at all, open the temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve on the hot water tank to see if it helps. In the hot water tank, it’s at the top where you’ll find it. A pipe goes from the top of the tank to the bottom of the tank, and it’s normally operated by a lever that may be raised or lowered as needed. Opening the TPR valve may allow water to drain from the tank if there is a possible vacuum inside the tank that has been preventing it from doing so.
The most prudent course of action is to contact a Licensed Plumber in this situation.
To sum things up.
Despite the fact that it is one of the most often used items in your home, the hot water tank is also one of the most ignored. If you follow the methods outlined above, maintaining your hot water tank will be a simple chore. If you prefer that our Licensed Plumbers handle the maintenance on your hot water tank, please contact us at 905-259-3344 to make arrangements.
How to Drain a Water Heater (& When You Shouldn’t!)
Homeowners in Birmingham who have classic tank-style water heaters need to know how to empty a water heater properly. This is a vital step in the maintenance of a water heater. You will receive step-by-step instructions on how to do this work yourself from our plumbing pros, as well as information on when you should call a professional and when you should refrain from draining your tank.
How to Drain a Water Heater Tank
Tank water heaters should be emptied about every six months by performing the following steps:
- Make sure that your unit’s electricity or gas is turned off. The cold water supply valve (the valve that delivers chilly water into the tank) should be closed on the unit. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve on the water heater, which is situated towards the bottom of the tank
- Drain the water from the garden hose outside or into a bathtub for drainage. The drain valve should be opened once the line has been fastened and sent outside or to a drain Open the pressure release valve, which is located at the top of the machine. Allow enough time for the water heater to drain completely. When your water heater tank is completely depleted, reopen the cold water valve and allow the water to flow for a few minutes to flush out any remaining particles. Close the drain valve and pressure release valve, then disconnect and empty your garden hose
- To restart the system, turn on the power or relight the pilot light on your water heater.
Why Drain Your Water Heater Tank?
On average, a tank-style water heater sees a large amount of water pass through its tank over the course of a year. While softened water is used in many houses today, certain minerals and sediment are still carried into the water heater — and if you have hard water, your water heater is more adversely affected by higher concentrations of these pollutants. During the storage of water in the tank, silt and minerals fall to the bottom of the tank where they gather. Water passing through them leads them to accumulate over the course of a year, causing troubles for your tank.
- Corrosion of the tank, resulting in both large and tiny leaks
- A reduction in the amount of hot water available
- Popping sounds caused by air trapped in the sediment
- It’s difficult to get water to boil
- Utility bills that are higher
When Not to Drain Your Water Heater Tank
While learning how to drain a water heater isn’t a common home maintenance activity, there are specific situations in which you may not want to do so. The first situation is simply if you are not confident in your ability to carry out this maintenance operation on your own. Leaving water heater repair to a professional is always a wise decision in this circumstance since you don’t want to chance causing any damage to your water heater or causing any water damage to your property. Next, if you’ve never done it before, refrain from draining your water heater!
When sediment accumulates in the water heater tank, hot spots along the bottom metal are frequently created, causing the metal to corrode and eventually fail completely.
If your tank is full of sediment, it’s possible that the sediment has actually closed these little leaks over the course of several years. If you drain the water heater and remove the sediment all at once, you will almost certainly end up with a leaking water heater.
Get Water Heater Help from Plumbing Experts
Plumbing Experts, a KS Services Company, will assist you with the upkeep and repair of your Birmingham water heater. Contact us now. Our professional plumbers do complete maintenance on your water heater in order to increase the performance and durability of the unit. Schedule your servicing appointment as soon as possible! prev
Frozen Hose Bib: How to ThawPrevent Major Water Damage
Plumbing Experts, a KS Services Company, will assist you with the upkeep and repair of your Birmingham water heater. In order to assist your water heater’s performance and lifetime increase, our professional plumbers do extensive maintenance. Make an appointment for servicing right now. prev
Why drain your water heater?
Sulfur, iron, scale, and other deposits can cause damage to the inside walls of the water heater as well as the water pipelines. Additionally, these deposits might impair the performance of your appliance, in addition to lowering the quality of the water.
How to drain a water heater in 10 steps:
First and foremost, make certain that cleansing your electric water heater is essential before you get started! As previously said, emptying an electric water heater is rarely necessary and is only necessary in particular circumstances. You should consult with a medical expert if you have any concerns regarding the need or safety of the operation you are considering. In order to flush your water heater manually, attempt to use as much hot water as possible before flushing your water heater. This includes bathing, showering, washing dishes, and other activities.
Then follow the instructions outlined below, always remembering to maintain a safe environment:
- Disconnect the power supply to the water heater. Turn the circuit breaker to the “OFF” position. Open and shut off the cold water supply valve (which is located towards the top of the appliance)
- Allow air to enter the tank by turning on a hot water faucet someplace in your home. This will also allow you to test the water once you have finished the operation and turned on the water heater once more, as previously mentioned. If your water heater does not have a floor drain at the base, attach a garden hose to the drain valve and let it drain (at the bottom of the tank). The end of the hose should be directed to a floor drain, bathtub, shower, or the exterior
- Slowly open the drain valve to prevent scorching yourself, and then allow the tank to completely empty itself. Turn on the cold water supply valve and allow the water to run at full pressure for several minutes after it has been turned on. In order to ensure that any sediments are thoroughly flushed from the tank, follow these steps: Once the water has flowed totally clear, close the drain valve and leave it closed. Allow time for your water tank to full. When your water tank is full, you’ll be able to tell because the hot water tap, which you switched on earlier, will run regularly and without any leftover air coming out
- Turn off the water supply
- Restart the water heater by turning the power back on.
When should you drain a water heater and how often?
If your circumstance necessitates frequent flushing, it is critical that you do it from the beginning of the installation. Depending on the quality of your water, it may be necessary to repeat the treatment every one to three years. In the event that you decide to drain your water heater after a few years without doing any prior maintenance, you may cause more harm than good. As the heavily encrusted sediments release, the inner tank will become weak and corrosive, increasing the likelihood that your water heater may rust early as a result of corrosion.
Because the method is more complicated than that for electric water heaters, we recommend that you consult with a skilled professional.
Find the water heater that’s right for you
If your circumstance necessitates frequent flushing, it is critical that you do it from the beginning of the installation process. Depending on the quality of your water, the treatment may be advised every one to three years. Draining your water heater after a few years without doing any preventative maintenance may cause more harm than good to your system. In time, the heavily encrusted sediments may loosen, causing the inner tank to become weak and corrosive, potentially causing your water heater to rust before its time.
If you use propane or natural gas water heaters, you should cleanse them at least once each year. We recommend that you contact a certified technician because the operation is more complicated than with electric water heaters.
How Often Does My Water Heater Need to Be Drained?
When it comes to water heater maintenance, one of the most often asked questions by homeowners is, “How frequently do I need to empty my water heater?” I think this is an excellent question, and the solution will vary based on the quality of the water in your home. The reason of emptying your water heater and how frequently you should do this job on your unit will be discussed today!
What is the purpose of draining your water heater?
Calcium and magnesium ions, together referred to as “hardness minerals,” are found in tap water. As water travels in and out of your water heater, the minerals in the water settle to the bottom of the tank of your appliance. As a result of the accumulation of minerals in your water heater’s heating elements and the real water contained within the device, the heat transmission process between the two becomes slowed or completely stopped. This has the potential to significantly reduce the efficiency of your water heater.
This is an important preventative maintenance activity that will significantly increase the efficiency and lifetime of a water heater.
How often should your water heater be drained?
After all, we now understand why a water heater must be emptied, but how frequently should this be done? The hardness of your water has a significant impact on this. In general, the harder your water is, the higher the calcium and magnesium content will be, and the faster sediment will accumulate in your tank. It is recommended that you clean your water heater’s tank at least once every year. As long as you have scheduled yearly water heater tune-ups with Cabrillo, you won’t have to worry about draining your tank on your own because the service is covered as part of the package!
Install a water softener to prevent sediment buildup
Installing a water softener in your house if you have hard water will significantly reduce the amount of sediment that builds up in your water heater over time. Using a water softener to remove hardness minerals from your water can significantly enhance the efficiency of your water heater as well as reduce all of the other issues connected with hard water in your house. To find out how frequently you should drain your water heater or if you’d want your plumbing system repaired or installed in your house, call Cabrillo, your Bay Area plumber who also provides heating and air conditioning installation services.
To Drain or Not to Drain-Your Hot Water Heater
We are officially in the midst of spring cleaning, as Phoenix residents prepare to spend the summer months hunkered down in our air-conditioned homes. “Do I really need to dump my hot water heater tank every year?” is a topic we are asked rather frequently. (The use of a whiny voice is entirely optional.) In all seriousness, it is dependent. Each hot water tank is unique, dependent on a variety of circumstances that include not just where you reside in the Valley, but also whether or not your tank is equipped with a hydro-jet to decrease silt accumulation.
The availability and quality of these services are highly dependent on where you reside.
Conclusion: You will not know how often to drain your hot water tank unless you actually do it in order to determine how much sediment has accumulated in the meantime.
In the same period of time, other tanks can build several inches of silt, which is sufficient to clog the spigot.
Some hot water heater manufacturers advocate removing just approximately a gallon of water once a month, while others recommend draining it more frequently.
What exactly happens?
It might be a small amount or a large amount. The silt interferes with the tank’s capacity to heat the water, causing it to work harder to heat the water as a result. The following is a broad outline of how to go about it. Specifics can be found in your hot water heater’s owner’s manual:
- Get yourself a hose. It is preferable to have one with a rubber gasket in it, since this will aid to prevent leakage at the hose connection. Turn off the electricity to the hot water heater if it is not already off. The fact that you must turn off your hot water heater is not optional since you risk destroying your hot water heater. The water supply to the hot water heater should be shut off. Otherwise, it will have to be refilled on a regular basis as it drains. Allow time for the tank to cool. Your tank’s size, insulation level, and water temperature when you first started all influence how long it will take to complete this process. Some people simply need to wait a few hours while others require many days. Others will have to wait until the next day. Connect the hose to the drain valve, which is a spigot located at the bottom of the hot water tank, and run the other end to a location where it is appropriate to allow the water to flow out. You would be better off not emptying the water into your garden or any other area where you could have plant material that is sensitive to calcium because the water will contain sediment. Start by turning on a hot water tap anywhere in your residence. It will serve as a relief valve, allowing the water to flow more quickly from the drain spigot
- And Open the drain spigot by turning it on. Allow it to run until the tank is completely depleted. It’s important to note that the hot water tank manufacturers, who are far more concerned with sales than with proper hot water heater maintenance, built the majority of these spigots to be angled and poorly constructed to remove the silt. Turn the water back on to the tank while keeping the drain spigot open to remove any leftover silt from the system. It is OK to close the valve to enable for the tank to heat up once all water has been removed from its end of the line. Removing your hands from the hot water faucet (the one you opened in your home)
- The water heater should be turned back on after the tank is completely filled.
This easy procedure can extend the life of your hot water heater by several years. If you find a leak or any other sort of problem while draining your hot water heater, please let us know. Alternatively, if you’d like a professional to drain the tank for you, please contact us. We’ll be pleased to set a time to meet with you. If you enjoyed this content, please share it by clicking the the3 button below!