At some point, every homeowner will need to know how to drain their water heater properly. Perhaps you’re moving and need to empty it before transport. Maybe you’re replacing your old water heater with a new one and need to get rid of the old water. Or, perhaps you’re simply performing routine maintenance.
Whatever the reason, draining your water heater is a relatively simple task that any homeowner can do with just a few tools.
Shut Off the Electricity or Gas
The first step is to shut off the electricity or gas to your water heater. If your water heater is electric, you’ll need to switch off the power at the breaker box. If your water heater is gas, you’ll need to turn off the gas valve.
Attach a Garden Hose
Next, you’ll need to attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of your water heater. Ensure that the other end of the hose is positioned where the water can drain without causing any damage.
Open the Drain Valve
Once the hose is in place, you can open the drain valve and allow the water to begin draining from your water heater. Depending on the size of your water heater, this process could take several minutes or even an hour or two.
Flush the Tank
Once the water has drained from your tank, you can close the drain valve and turn on the cold water supply valve. This will allow fresh water to enter your tank and flush out accumulated sediment. Allow the fresh water to run through your tank for several minutes before turning off the cold water supply valve and disconnecting your garden hose.
Turn On The Electricity or Gas
Once your tank has been flushed, you can turn on the electricity or gas and allow your water heater to refill with fresh water. Depending on your water heater model, all the freshwater may take some time to enter your tank.
Test Your Water Heater
After your tank has been refilled with fresh water, it’s a good idea to test your water heater to ensure it’s working correctly. You can do this by turning on one of your hot water faucets and allowing the hot water to run for several minutes. If everything is working correctly, you should have hot water within a few minutes.
Repeat as Necessary
It’s a good idea to drain and flush your water heater every year to keep it operating efficiently and prevent sediment buildup
Hear, while you work?
Draining your water heater is a relatively simple task that any homeowner can do with just a few tools. By following these steps, you can quickly empty your water heater so that you can transport it, replace it, or perform routine maintenance without any problems.
Just be sure to keep an eye on your tank as it drains and stops before all of the water is gone—leaving some sediment at the bottom is necessary for proper function.
Also, if your water heater is over 8 years old, be aware that even routine maintenance might not be enough—it may be time for an upgrade.
Check our all Water Heater Guide