Both an electric water heater and a gas water heater need to be drained from time to time. In fact, you need to do so on a regular basis, as part of its standard maintenance. Most water heater maintenance manuals suggest that you drain a water heater at intervals ranging from every six to 12 months.
Table of Contents
- Why Your Hot Water Heater Needs This
- How to Drain a Hot Water Heater
- Step 1: Perform a Quick Flush
- Step 2: Turn Off the Water Heater
- Step 3: Open the Drain Valve
- Step 4: Clean the Sediment
- Step 5: Turn on the Water Heater
- Professional Hot Water Tank Services in Birmingham
Why Your Hot Water Heater Needs This
The Family Handyman tells us that over time, sediment builds up in the bottom of a water heater, which can lead to clogs. This sediment buildup will eventually require the water heater to work harder to heat the water in the tank, requiring more energy for the heating elements to do their job and costing you more money to run.
How to Drain a Hot Water Heater
When you need to drain your hot water heater, it is essential to do so correctly. We encourage you to turn off the water heater several hours before you begin draining the tank in order to let the water in the tank cool off.
Step 1: Perform a Quick Flush
Before you shut off the water, connect a garden hose to the drain valve. Flush the water heater tank while the water pressure is on. Open the drain valve for a few seconds and then close it again. The pressure will blow out any sediment stuck in the valve and help the tank drain faster. If quite a bit of sediment comes out, repeat this several times.
Step 2: Turn Off the Water Heater
Once you have flushed your water heater, you can turn off the cold water. You can do so via the circuit breaker if this is an electric unit. Then, shut off the water using either the valve in the cold-water pipe above the water heater or the main water supply valve to the house.
Check that the pressure is off by testing the hot water faucets in the house. When you turn them on, water runs out at first, but it should quickly slow to a trickle.
Step 3: Open the Drain Valve
With your hose attached, open up the floor drain. Doing so will drain the water. Be sure your hose either leads outside or into your bucket because once the valve at the bottom is open, water will begin to gush out of the drain.
Step 4: Clean the Sediment
When the water is finally running clear, you’ll know that you’ve removed all of the sediment. It can take a few buckets of water to remove any sediment that accumulates at the bottom of the tank, so don’t rush it.
Step 5: Turn on the Water Heater
Shut off the drain valve and disconnect the garden hose. Turn the water back on to the water heater and slowly re-energize the system by partially opening the valve. Once the system is fully energized, you can open the valve to a fully open position.
Professional Hot Water Tank Services in Birmingham
Knowing how to drain a hot water heater is not so simple. If you don’t want to worry about draining a water heater or how to close the drain valve, you can always hire the professional plumbers at Drainblaster Plumbing to handle this task for you. We handle all residential plumbing issues, from draining a hot water heater to unclogging a drain and more. Give us a call today!