Draining a hot water heater isn’t that hard. Once you’ve gathered all your supplies — water hose, buckets and a mop — you’re ready to tackle this home maintenance job. However after reading this article you feel that this is a little above your pay grade you may want to call in a plumber.
Here are the basic steps you’ll need to follow for draining the hot water heater.
- Turn off the power. Whether your hot water heater is electric or gas, you must turn off the power source anytime you plan to do any work on the system. For electric systems, simply flip the breaker. For a gas heater, turn the valve to the lowest setting. It’s best to let the water inside the tank cool down before draining especially if you plan to reuse the water in your garden. Also, remember to turn off the tank’s cold water supply and relieve the pressure inside the tank by opening a faucet near the system.
- Drainage set up. Find an old yet sturdy garden hose that will reach from the hot water heater to wherever you plan to drain the water. Attach one end to the tank’s drain cock. Extend the hose to your chosen drainage location. Remember, if you let the water cool overnight you can drain into buckets or straight onto your yard. You’ll also want to open the release valve to relieve pressure inside the tank.
- Start draining. Once you’ve got everything set up, slowly turn the valve on the drain cock. Make sure the water doesn’t drain too quickly or you’ll stir up the sediment and slow down the draining process.
- Complete the process. Once the tank has finished draining, close the drain cock and carefully remove the hose. Make sure to hold that end of the hose upright or else you’ll have a mess to clean up. Drag the hose outside and let it drain. Close the pressure valve, turn the water back on and let the tank refill. Once filled, open the pressure valve to bleed off trapped air. Turn the system back on and allow the water to heat.
After 20 or 30 minutes, turn on a tub’s hot water to check for correct water temperature. You might even want to take a relaxing shower as a reward for a job well done.