How to Drain a Waterheater

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Water heaters use an insulated holding tank to ensure there’s lots of warm water on hand at all times for various purposes through the home. With time, collecting minerals from the water, as well as grit and sand flushed from water lines, can settle at the bottom of the tank. This sediment build-up can reduce the efficacy and capacity of your water heater. It may also plug the drain and interfere with ongoing maintenance, leading to early failure.

Sediment can interfere with burner efficacy in a gas water heater and may cause cracking and popping noises during heating cycles. Based on your water supply and the nutrient content, both gas and electrical water heaters should be flushed to ensure the greatest functionality. Dave Moody, plumbing pro with Service Pros, suggests, “You may have to drain your water heater more if your water supply is a or if your municipal water has greater than normal sediment content. ”


Turn Off the Water Supply Turn off the cold water supply valve on top of the water heater.


Turn Off the Water Heater For a gas water heater, turn the thermostat to the placing.

For an electrical tater heater, switch off the power at the breaker box.
Note: Electric water heaters have to be turned completely off during flushing. Heating elements can burn out whether the level of water from the tank falls beneath the level of the hot elements.

Most electric water heaters are wired to their very own circuit breaker. Find the water heater’s breaker button in the key panel.

Moody cautions, “Even with the gas burner or electrical heating elements turned off, water at a water heater tank may remain scalding hot for hours. Either wait overnight for the water to cool before moving or take extreme caution to drain the tepid to water. ”


Attach Hose to Display Valve Close to the bottom of the tank, then locate the tank drain valve and attach a standard garden hose to the drain valve. Be aware that some models may have a cover over the valve opening. Put the other end of the hose at a floor drain or on a driveway where it could drain. If required, buckets may be used, but be careful not to be burnt by the warm water as you work.


Open Hot Water Faucet Open a water tap nearest to the water heater, on the ground above. This alleviates pressure in the system, allowing the water to drain from the tank, so much like removing your finger from the crest of a drinking straw full of liquid.

Open Drain Valve

Open the drain valve and allow the water to drain from the tank. Again, the water will be hot, so use caution. Once all water has drained from the tank, briefly turn the cold water supply on to the tank. This will stir up any remaining sediment. Repeat this process until the water runs clear. Dave Moody has seen some severe cases of sediment build up and says this: “In some cases, sediment may block the opening of the drain valve, limiting the flow of water. If this happens it’s best to call in an expert for assistance.”


Close Drain Valve, Refill Tank, Turn Water Heater Back On

Close the drain valve, remove the hose, and turn on the cold water supply. The tank will begin to fill. Go back to the hot water tap opened earlier. Once cold water begins to flow from the tap, turn it off. Turn the gas valve back on from the pilot position or turn electricity back on to the tank. Be sure to check the valve opening once it’s closed to ensure there are no water leaks.

Caution: Some tanks must be completely full to avoid damage to the gas burner or heating elements. Always read and follow all manufacturer’s directions and warnings for your particular water heater.

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