One may think that once the number one installer of water heaters in the Triangle area, Poole’s Plumbing, has set you up with a new unit that its all smooth sailing from there on in. However, proper maintenance and knowing How to Drain a 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 knowing How to Drain a Water Heater can help in other ways, as it 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.

Several easy steps, pointers, and reminders we can offer up on How to Drain a Water Heater can make all the difference and are as follows:

  1. Consider your type of water heater. Switch the thermostat on a gas heaterto 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.


As simple of a process as any of these steps are in helping you know How to Drain a Water Heater, as you can see, can make a huge difference, whether it is to avoid a bad situation or to simply extend the life of your unit. With the assistance and reminders here from your friends at the number one installer of water heaters in the Triangle area at Poole’s Plumbing, these are all do-at-home- easy ways to minimize or not run into any issues at all.

The Raleigh water heater specialists at Poole’s Plumbing specialize in an array of services, with one being installation and servicing of your water heater. With a wide selection of both Tankless Water Heaters and conventional model water heaters from all of the most trusted name in plumbing products at your disposal with our Raleigh water heater specialists at Poole’s, deciding whether or not  Tankless Water Heaters are the right fit for you is one that should be weighed out carefully.

The website, recently did an in depth analysis that can help you to properly analyze whether Tankless Water Heaters would be the most cost effective and best fit in your home or place of business, detailing both the benefits and drawbacks as follows:


  • Most Tankless Water Heaters come with a federal tax rebate of $300.
  • They never run out of hot water.
  • They last five to 10 years longer than tank heaters.
  • They’re more efficient with no standby heat loss.
  • Tankless Water Heaters take up less space and can even be installed on walls or outdoors with an anti-freeze kit.
  • Smaller units can be installed under cabinets or in a closet, closer to the point of use.
  • They only need enough power to heat the amount of water necessary at any given moment.
  • You can shave as much as 20 percent from your water heating bill.
  • Electric models don’t produce greenhouse gases.
  • Most units are operated by remote control and have up to four separate settings available.
  • There’s no possibility of flooding due to a ruptured tank.


  • They cost up to three times as much as a tank water heater.
  • Your hot water output is split among all your household fixtures.
  • You may need to add a larger natural gas line to supply the unit with enough fuel.
  • Venting gas and propane units requires expensive stainless steel tubing.
  • Electric models may require an additional circuit.
  • Gas-powered units produce greenhouse gases.
  • Gas units require the additional expense of an annual servicing.
  • Electric models require a lot of energy.
  • They need a minimum flow rate of .5 GPM in order to activate the heat exchanger.
  • Lag time can require you to run your water in order to get to the hot water, increasing water waste.

Other Considerations:

  • Water heating accounts for about 20 percent of your home energy budget.
  • A whole-house electric model costs $500-$700.
  • A whole-house gas model costs $1,000-$2,000.
  • Electric models are generally cheaper to install than gas.
  • Natural gas is less expensive now, but expected to surpass electricity in the coming years.
  • A standard bathtub holds about 35 gallons, soaking tubs hold between 45-80 gallons.

The decision to “go tankless,” or to “go conventional,” when it comes to your selection in  a water heater is all yours, but hopefully with  some of the pros and cons here provided by us, your trusted Raleigh professional plumbers at Poole’s Plumbing, your decision can be one a bit more educated and as always, we would be happy to assist not only in the installation, but also in giving any final advice on last minute questions you may have when it comes replacement time.

Our third and final installment of the “winter plumbing tutorial” articles will give you a reminder to help you to conserve water and energy even in the cold months of winter. With these handy tips from the Raleigh plumbing professionals at Poole’s Plumbing, you can tackle these all important conservation issues and be just as efficient in the trying winter months and avoid any unwanted and unnecessary castastrophes in the process.

The first tip from the Raleigh plumbing professionals at Pooles’ is one that may seem obivious, yet is certainly worth a reminder, and that is to attend to your thermostat regularly. Keeping the temperature set as low as your are comfortable with, and remembering to turn the thermostat down when you are out of the house for any extended period of time are both easy ways to conserve energy and cash. It has been noted at the website, that turning your thermostat down at least 10 degrees for eight hours during the winter months (while at work, for instance) can save as much as 10% a year on your heating bills.

Adjusting your windows is another easy way to save that the Raleigh plumbing professionals at Poole’s Plumbing recommend. Doing this on top of making certain any curtains on south-facing windows in your home are wide open during the cooler winter months in order to encourage sunlight to come in and heat your home. Additionally, insulating all windows to prevent drafts by applying clear plastic film to the inside of window frames and insulating drapes can also be simple saving measures that can be done by any homeowner.

The prevention of fireplace heat loss by always keeping your fireplace damper closed unless it is in use is another saving measure that the Raleigh plumbing professionals suggest to help save in the winter months. If you simply make sure to close the damper, you will have the warm air trapped within your house, while leaving it open is effectively the same as leaving a window open in winter. Also, when using the fireplace, close all the doors leading into the room in which the fireplace is located and keep a windownear the fireplace open to maximize the heat off the fire. This allows for you to lower your thermostat and heatthe room with the warmth off the fire.

Lastly, to conserve water, Pooles’ Raleigh plumbing professionals remind you to always manage your water heating costs. Water heating is a big deal and can turn into big costs as it accounts for as much as 25% of the energy used by your home. Remember to adjust your water heater to its warm setting (120 degrees F) and keeping up with regular servicing of your heater will also ensure it runs at an optimal level, saving you from high energy costs. Basically, regularly draining your water heater’s tank every few months will aid in keeping costs down, particularly in the winter when the temperature drops.

The Raleigh plumbing professionals at Poole’s Plumbing know that many fear the possibility ofa plumbing disaster once the thermometer starts to drop, but by following these simple do-at-home-tips, you can ease your mind, and in some cases your wallet as well during the cold months of the season.