How to Drain Water Heater
In order to keep your water heater running in tip top shape, you must drain water heater every six to twelve months.
Draining your water heater at least once or twice a year is recommended to remove any possible sediment or build-up that collects at the bottom of the tank. This sediment buildup can cause your water heater to need to work harder to heat the water, which would also use more energy and cost you more money.
To drain water heater is quite simple, but here is some steps to follow and things to expect before you start the process.
- You must be prepared for the chance of a leak. The drain valve may not fully close after you open it up to drain water heater. The drain valve has been closed for six months to a year, or possibly longer, and the longer it stays shut the more likely it is that it won’t close completely the next time. If this problem does occur you can put a cap over the drain valve or purchase a new drain valve entirely. If your water heater currently uses a cheap plastic valve it would be a good idea to make an upgrade.
Here are the steps that you should follow to drain water heater:
Before you get shut off the water perform a quick flush. You can do this by connecting a garden hose to your drain valve and try to flush the water tank while the water pressure is still on. To flush the water tank you should open the drain valve for a few seconds and then close it again. This should result in the pressure to blow out any of the sediment stuck in the valve and will help the tank to drain faster. If there is a lot of sediment coming out, repeat this process as many times as you see necessary.
The second step is shutting off your water heater. Shut off the gas to your water heater, or if it is an electric heater then turn off the power. Now you can shut off the water, which is done by either using the valve located in the cold water pipe above your water heater or the main water supply valve to your home. To make sure that the pressure is off you should test the water faucets around the house, checking if hot water is still running.
Now, with your drain hose attached, open the drain valve. Not much water will drain until the vacuum in the tank is released. To release the tank you should remove one end of the hot water pipe above the water heater and move it just a bit to the side. This allows for air to enter the tank, and now water will start to come out of the drain.
When the tank is fully drained you should flush it using a few gallons of water at a time by turning the water on, but only for a few second, and then letting it to drain out again. Leave the hot side water pump disconnected until the flushing is finished, then reconnect the pipe before refilling the water.
Now you can refill the water heater. Start by disconnecting the drain hose and turning off the drain valve. Reconnect the hot water pipe above the water heater and make sure that it’s tightened well. Now turn the water back on for the water heater. You should now open the hot side of a fixture in your home, such as the sink or a bathtub. Leave it running until all the air has completely left and you are getting only water coming out from the fixture. Now turn the water off.
Now it’s time to relight the water heater. You should relight the water heater pilot, or if it is an electric water heater, turn on the power. Within about an hour’s time, your home should have hot water.
The last step to drain water heater is to check the drain valve. Check if your water heater’s drain is completely closed by looking for any leaks at the spout. If the valve did not completely close, you can place a cap over the hose thread of the outlet to stop the leak from persisting. Another option is to replace the drain valve entirely.
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