The tank type water heaters come with a hefty storage tank required to store water where it is kept hot and ready for use.
The storage tanks of these water heaters require care and maintenance on a regular basis to ensure their durability for longer periods. Draining a hot water heater is very important as water on the bottom of the tank can cause sediment buildup, clogging, and even corrosion, ultimately hindering the performance of the water heater.
Draining your water heater is considered to be a very important task in order to ensure the flow of water in the tank and keep it in good working condition. As sand and mineral settle on the base of the tank after some time, they cause a jam in the water supply.
Most people don’t consider this advice and wait until the tank is completely out of order. However, draining a water heater tank is highly recommended after every six months so the life of the water heater can be extended.
It is also recommended when you are planning a long vacation. Stagnant water usually has a terrible smell. It can also cause clogging, so it is better to flush the tank and refill when you get back. These small measures, if taken from time to time, can increase the life expectancy of your water heater to a great extent.
Plumbers are of the view that if the water supply is good, flushing the tank once in a while is not a big problem. It doesn’t take much work or time, and it doesn’t require any professional assistance.
The step by step guide is given here.
Draining a Hot Water Heater
Step 1: Switch off the Power Supply
The first and foremost step for draining your water heater is to turn off the power supply. This prevents the water from getting heated in the storage tank and to avoid the waste of energy.
The water in the tank can be very hot and cause damage when draining. Keeping this in mind, the drainage should be done a few hours after turning the power off. You do not want to end up doing more harm than good.
Step 2: Turn off the Water Supply
The water supply valve transfers cold water into the tank. Turn the water supply off to prevent more water from getting in so that you can easily start the draining process.
The tank needs to be emptied completely and this will not be possible if it keeps filling up.
Step 3: Attach Hose with Drain Valve
To proceed with draining a hot water heater, you need to find the drain valve present near the surface of the storage tank. The valve needs to be attached to a garden hose in order to drain the water. This is why it is so important to allow the water a few hours to cool (Step 1). Hot water would damage the garden hose.
Some tanks have a cover for the opening of the valve.
After you tightly attach one end of the drain to the storage tank, make sure the other end is in a place where the water can be drained safely. If the hose is somewhere near your garden and plants, make sure the water is not too hot as it might harm the plants.
Step 4: Open Hot Water Faucet
Open a hot water tap to ease the pressure. This will also drain the hot water heater quicker. You do not want the tank to take forever to empty.
Step 5: Open Drain Valve
Open the drain valve and allow the water to drain from the tank. Be careful if the water is still not at a normal temperature.
After the water is flushed, turn the cold water supply on again. Wait until some extra sediment is drained off before closing the water supply again. Hopefully most, if not all, of the sediment will have been removed from the tank.
Step 6: Close Drain Valve
Close the valve after all the water has been drained and turn on the water supply again to refill the tank.
Step 7: Turn Water Heater Back On
When the tank is completely filled with water, turn the water heater back on again and start heating the water.
Draining a hot water heater is very easy and can be done without any special assistance if you are careful enough. However, you need to read the manuals properly to start with as every model comes with a different instructions.
Follow the above the steps and take the necessary precautions. Remember, the water in the tank will be hot. Thus, you will need to allow it at least a few hours to cool down. Even then, it may still be a bit hot so make sure that the hose is put a safe distance away from you.
For more articles on learning more about Hot Water Heaters, visit our Maintenance Articles page.