How to Drain a Water Heater

by raleigh plumbers on May 22, 2013

how-to-drain-a-water-heater

Proper maintenance and draining of your water heater can significantly extend its life and also help you avoid a damaging water leak that can affect the interior of your home. Additionally, in an emergency your water heater can offer gallons of fresh water, but such an emergency water supply will only be useful if the water in your tank has been previously attended to. When draining, you will want to:

  1. Consider your type of water heater. Switch the thermostat on a gas heater to the “pilot” setting to prepare for drainage, or simply turn the heater’s power off at the breaker box if you own an electric unit.  Remember to practice caution when tripping breakers, and bear in mind you may want to allow the water inside the heater to cool before proceeding to the drain valve next. This can take as long as two hours depending on your water heater model.
  2. Find the drain valve on your water heater and connect a hose to it. Switch off the cold water supply to the heater but refrain from opening the valve at this time.
  3. Prevent a vacuum from appearing in your lines by turning on the hot water in a tub or sink somewhere in your house before continuing.
  4. Open the drain valve on your water heater and allow all the water to drain from the tank. This will likely take thirty minutes to an hour.
  5. Turn the water supply to your water tank back on following the draining of its tank.  Wait until the water runs out of the drain valve’s hose that you connected earlier, then close the drain valve back up again. Check the instructions that come with your particular tank before acting further. Some water heaters will only need their tanks partially refilled with water before further troubleshooting, but others may require the tank to be completely full in order to avoid potential device damage.
  6. Turn the hot water faucet in your sink or tub back off, then restore power to your gas or electric water heater via the thermostat or breaker box, respectively.
  7. Test your water heater’s pressure relief valve after water temperature has been restored. This valve prevents overheating. Refer to your specific manufacturer instructions regarding the pressure relief valve in order to complete your repair.

 Other Resources

Flush a Water Heater Video

How to flush a water heater with pictures

 

Poole’s Plumbing, Inc. is a fully licensed and insured residential and commercial full service Raleigh plumbing contracting company and a Certified tankless water heater Installer. Call us today to talk with one of our Certified Plumbing Specialists.