Why You Should Periodically Drain Your Water Heater – And How to Do It

August 14 2019

Water Heater Making NoiseHow often do you floss? We’re using this as an example of things you know you should do, but it doesn’t happen as often as the professional recommends. Another task to add to that list? Draining your water heater.

If you ever read the manual for your water heater, you’ll notice that it’s recommended to drain the tank every 6-12 months to remove mineral deposits and other sediment that may have collected at the bottom of the tank. Leaving the sediment in tank forces your water heater to use more energy and puts more wear and tear on the unit, reducing its expected service life.

So if you like spending extra money, then don’t worry about performing maintenance on your water heater. But if you want to learn how to drain the tank, then we invite you to read on.

Steps for draining a water heater tank

  1. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve of the water heater. Run the other end of the house outside or discharge it in a drain. Open the drain valve for a few seconds, then close it. What this does is flush some water out of the tank and loosen up sediment on the bottom of the tank. If it’s been a long time since you’ve drained the tank, you may want to repeat this step a few times.
  2. Completely shut down the water heater by turning off the power source (gas or electric) and the water supply. To double-check the pressure, turn on the hot water faucet at a sink.
  3. Open the drain and release the vacuum by pulling the pressure release valve or removing the hot water pipe coming out of the tank and moving it slightly to the slide. Once air enters the tank, you’ll notice water coming out of the drain valve. Let the entire tank drain unit’s empty.
  4. Briefly turn on the water supply (just for a few seconds) to let new water enter the tank and loosen any remaining sediment. Let this water drain out of the tank, too.
  5. Reconnect the hot water pipe to the tank and disconnect the hose from the drain valve. Check to make sure all fittings are tight.
  6. Turn on the water supply to refill the tank.
  7. Go into a bathroom and turn on the hot water faucet in the shower or bathtub. This will help push the air out of the tank. Once the water is flowing like normal, turn the faucet off.
  8. Turn the water heater back on or relight the pilot light, if it’s a gas unit.
  9. Check the drain valve for any leaks.
  10.  Wait about an hour until the water in the tank is heated and ready to use.

Draining a water heater tank isn’t a difficult task or a job that takes a long time. But it can be a smart way to prolong the life of your water heater and saving you money on your energy bills.

If you have any issues with your water heater, or it’s time for a replacement, don’t hesitate to call Emergency Plumbing & Solar. We offer quality plumbing service at reasonable prices in Oahu and Maui Islands. Reach us today at (808) 691-9309 or fill out an appointment request form.