Draining a water heater may seem like a big task, but it can be easier than it seems. It’s recommended to drain your water heater every six to twelve months, and if you’re having trouble, After Hour Plumbing & Drain has all the resources you may need.
Not only can we help drain your water heater, but we also help by sharing the information you need to understand how to drain a water heater without having to call a professional!
Why Should You Drain Your Water Heater?
A water heater can collect buildup or sediment at the bottom of the machine. This causes your water heater to work harder to get its job done, which uses more energy and makes your system less efficient. By cleaning out your water heater, you can save on energy costs and preserve the longevity of the heater.
What Tools And Materials Are Needed To Flush A Water Heater?
In order to drain your water heater, you’ll need certain equipment. Before starting, make sure you have all of the following:
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Adjustable wrench
- Garden hose
- Drain valve
- Threaded hose cap
A drain valve and a threaded hose cap is not needed for every water heater, but it is a good idea to have them handy just in case!
Safety Precautions Before Beginning
Now that you have your equipment ready, you should be aware of what could happen during the upcoming job. It’s very important to know where the main water shutoff valve in your home is. Although you shouldn’t need to use this valve, it is always smart to know where it is in case you do need to shut off any water.
Working with a water heater means working with hot water. A few hours before you begin, turn off your hot water so you won’t have to worry about extremely hot water. If you are unable to do this, it’s a good idea to wear rubber gloves and safety goggles!
Draining a water heater usually takes one or two hours, so be prepared for that approximate amount of time. If you have trouble during the process or don’t feel like you can complete it safely, feel free to call the professional plumbers at After Hour for help!
Steps to Drain A Water Heater
The team at After Hour is here to help you drain your water heater successfully! To do so, follow the steps outlined below.
Step 1: Flush Your Water Heater
You’ll need your garden hose for the first step. You’ll also want to make sure your hose leads to a bucket or another place to catch the water and excess sediment.
Before turning off your water, connect your hose to the drain valve. While the water pressure is still on, flush the water heater tank. You can do this by opening the drain valve for a few seconds before closing it again. This pressure will get rid of buildup in the tank, which will help it to drain faster. If a lot of sediment comes out, flush your heater a few more times.
Step 2: Turn Off Your Water Heater
Whether you have a gas or electric water heater, make sure the power source is turned off. After that, shut off the water. It is a good idea to check and make sure your water pressure is off — you can do this by checking your hot water faucets in the house. If water gushes out of the faucet quickly at first and then slows down to a trickle, you’ve done it right!
In order to alleviate any pressure in the system, make sure to leave the hot water tap open in the sink nearest your water heater.
Step 3: Open Your Drain Valve
When you open your drain valve, you may need your flat-headed screwdriver. Once it’s open, water will gush out of the drain valve. The hose will transfer the water from your system into the bucket, preventing spills and slippery situations.
A lot of water will need to be drained. As your bucket fills, turn off the valve so that you can empty the bucket. Repeat this process to avoid a mess and until your water runs clear.
Step 4: Clean The Sediment And Buildup
Repeat step three until your water runs clear — that is how you’ll know you’ve cleaned the buildup in your water heater. This will usually take at least a few buckets full of water.
Step 5: Turn On Your Water Heater
Turn off your drain valve then disconnect the garden hose. After this, make sure all your hot water taps are closed except for one — the hot water tap in a bathtub closest to the water heater will be the best tap to keep open.
After this, you may turn the water back on to your water heater. Partially open the valve — this will allow the system to slowly return to its full operation. Once it is fully energized and operating, you can turn the valve to be completely open.
Afterward, monitor the water coming out of the hot water tap you left open. Once nothing but clear water is coming out, you may turn it back off.
Step 6: Relight Your Water Heater
If you have a gas water heater, relight your pilot. If you have an electric water heater, turn it back on. In about an hour, you should have hot water again!
Step 7: Check Your Drain Valve
You can make sure your water heater is closed completely by checking for leaks at the spout. If it is not closed completely, you can either replace the valve entirely or put a threaded hose cap over the hose thread of the outlet.
Now You Have A Drained Water Heater!
Draining your own water heater can be easy. Many water heaters don’t get drained as often as they should, resulting in more energy being used for it to operate effectively. If you have questions or concerns about draining your water heater or any other Monterey plumbing needs, feel free to contact After Hour Plumbing & Drain for assistance.