How To Drain a Water Heater Tank
One of the best ways to extend the life of your water heater and ensure it operates efficiently is to flush the tank annually to remove sediment buildup. The process is straightforward, here are the steps:
- Shut off the water supply. Locate the cold water supply valve at the top of the water heater and turn it to the off position.
- Turn off the water heater. If you have a gas water heater, simply turn the thermostat knob to the “pilot” setting. If the water heater is electric, turn off the power at the breaker panel.
- Attach a garden hose to the drain valve located near the bottom of the tank. Place the other end of the hose near a floor drain, in a bucket (have several large buckets to empty into and rotate them if needed) or outside the home. CAUTION: Even though a water heater may be off for hours, the water in the tank may still be hot enough to scald.
- Open a hot water tap. Open a hot water tap on a floor above that is nearest the water heater. This will relieve pressure in the system, helping the water drain from the tank.
- Open the drain valve. After all the water has drained from the tank, turn the cold water supply at the top of the tank back on for a moment. This will clear out any remaining sediment. Repeat this step until the water runs clear.
When you’re finished draining the tank, return it to operating condition by following these steps:
- Close the drain valve
- Remove the hose
- Turn on the cold water supply and refill the tank.
- Return to the hot water tap you opened earlier. Once cold water begins to flow from the tap, turn it off.
- Turn the gas valve back on from the pilot position or turn electricity back on to the tank.
- Check the valve opening to ensure it’s not leaking.
IMPORTANT: Always read and follow all manufacturer’s directions and warnings for your particular water heater. Some water heater tanks need to be completely filled to avoid damage to the gas burner or heating elements.
Need help maintaining your water heater? Call ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric. We can help with all your home plumbing needs.
Neighbors Are Saying About ABC
“Have never had such an excellent technician to evaluate our furnace problem. If he hadn't been so thorough, it possibly could have resulted in a carbon monoxide disaster. A true professional!”–
“After a long day on a Friday (first snow of the year - lots of customers without heat), Dion L came to perform routine furnace inspection and filter change. Dion was courteous, efficient, informed us of all that he was doing, showed us an area of concern and how we…”–
“Ron S., fixed an electrical short in the attic, which prevented a fire. He rewired the attic thru the bedroom ceiling light. He replaced an outside electrical connection, and repaired my ceiling fan. The attic wiring was very crazy. He did an outstanding job figuring it out and fixing the…”–
“I called other before I call ABC and was giving long wait and schedule time to come out and check the heating system. So I received a message on the web about ABC Plumbing and Heating. So I called the company right away and they said what time would you…”–
“I am so impressed with Chris and ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling. His friendliness honest approach to his Job is remarkable. Thanks Chris for making my day and believing that they are still great honorable people out there.”–
“Paul B. serviced my furnace yesterday with an inspection and cleaning. He didn't stop there though, I had purchased a new filter for my humidifier on the furnace and he replaced that for me, showed me how to do it in the future and explained how to adjust the humidity…”–