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Draining The Hot Water Heater

Eliminates Water Heater Noises

How to drain a water heater

Tired of your water heater waking you up in the middle of the night? Not only is this sound distracting to your sleep, but it also is a signal that your water heater is not working properly. The noise elevation is indicative of scale buildup that may or may not go away on its own. Once the minerals solidify, the circulation of warm water will be negatively impacted. Flushing the tank will promote good heat circulation and will stop the noise sooner rather than later.

Begin To Flush The Tank

After you open each and every hot water facet located in your home, go ahead and open the water heater drain valve. If you have a pump, its time to turn on that as well. Allow the tank to completely drain, then switch on the water supply.

It helps if there are shorts bursts of water as it will shift the sediment and help remove it. Although if you see that the sediment is starting to slow down or block the flow of water, try to get it out the way. You can do so by removing the drain valve so that sediment can be removed faster.

You can even get a long screwdriver to help you dislodge the big pieces of sediment. Just remember to keep a couple of buckets nearby as theyll catch the outflow.

How Do I Know If My Water Heater Element Is Bad

Touch a probe on the multitester to each screw on the element. If you get no reading, or a maximum reading, the element is bad. Elements do have some resistance, so a reading of 10-16 ohms is normal, with higher ohm readings for 3,500 watt elements and lower readings for 5,500 watt elements…. see more

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Stop The Water Heater

When you are ready to drain your water heater, the first thing to do is cut is power to avoid any injury. Turn the heater off regardless of whether its a gas or electric water heater.

For a gas water heater, simply shut off the gas.

If its an electric heater, turn off the power .

The water will only cool down when the power is off. Draining the water heater while the machine runs may get the water to dangerous heat levels, damaging the heating elements.

Using A Remote Sump Pump

How to Drain a Water Heater

Gravity will do the heavy lifting as you drain. It depends on where your geyser is, its size, and where the nearest floor drain is located.

A remote sump pump is required to fetch the water from the heater drain pump, by using a hose. You can look online or ask your local hardware store if you can rent one for the project.

Take two sections of hose. Attach one hose to the water heater floor drain and the sump pump, and then the other section will go from the sump pump into the floor drain.Many homeowners do not want to handle anything plumbing-related issues. Even if you do not have drains, you can always hire a professional plumber to do this service.

The plumber uses a remote sump pump to drain your heater.

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Replace The Water Heater

How old is your water heater? A typical water heater will last anywhere between 6 and 13 years. But to be honest, once you get into double digits, its all a bit touch and go. If your water heater is more than 13 years old, it might be a better idea for you to replace it than to try patching it up. Heres why.

  • The warranty on a typical water heater is about 5 to 6 years. So if you need any repair work after that time youll have to fund it yourself.
  • Replacement parts and maintenance work are expensive
  • Replacement parts for older water heaters may be difficult to find
  • Once an old water heater stops working properly, the problems it develops begin to snowball. It will be one thing after the next until youve practically replaced the whole thing.

Now, I know that replacing a water heater is an expensive job. But it is better to replace it than to keep doing pricey, mini repairs on your old one that will throw in the towel soon.

Take a look at this video that explains more about how you can tell if it is time you replace your water heater.

Drain Water Heater Liquid

  • Shut off the gas or electricity to the water heater.
  • Open a hot water faucet and let it run full blast for about 10 minutes to reduce the water temperature in the tank.
  • Shut off the cold water valve at the top of the tank and attach a garden hose to the existing drain valve and route it to a floor drain.
  • Pro tip: Use a kitchen colander to catch the sediment so it doesn’t clog the floor drain.
  • Open a hot water faucet on an upper floor and the water heater drain valve.
  • Let the tank drain until sediment clogs the valve and reduces the flow.
  • Close the upstairs hot water faucet and water heater drain valve.
  • Remove the temperature-pressure release valve and screw in the vacuum adapter.
  • Attach the shop vacuum hose and fire up the vacuum.
  • Note: This applies suction to the tank so you won’t get soaked when you yank the old drain valve.
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    Things You Need For This Tutorial

    Draining a water heater does not require many tools or materials.

    • Water Hose

    Emptying a water heater as quickly as possible requires no more than a garden hose to convey the water from the hot water tank to the drainage area. You can use any flexible pipe for this procedure, as long as you can connect it to the tanks drain valve and run it to a floor drain or into your backyard.

    • Hand Tools

    Unfortunately, some valves can be challenging to turn by hand. Hence, you might want to prepare a vise grip to create an improvised lever for opening and closing the valve. Using a flat-tipped screwdriver also helps.

    • Old Towels

    Having old towels or pieces of rags can help minimize mess. You can place these materials underneath the drain valve and the garden hoses entire length. It should prevent puddles from forming and reduce the amount of cleanup after the process.

    • T& P valve

    If you intend to replace a defective temperature and pressure relief valve, it would be best to have the replacement on hand before you drain the water heater.

    • A pan

    Stage : Water Heater Draining Preparation

    How To Drain and Fill a Hot Water Heater

    Turn off the main power supply of your water heater.

    The first and most important thing you need to do in every maintenance is to ensure that your water heater is off. Go to the electric panel of your home and find the dedicated circuit breaker for your water heater, and flick it off.

    For gas units, look for the thermostat dial at the bottom of the tank. Twist it from pilot to off position.

    Pro Tip: I recommend wearing safety rubber gloves and shock-resistant shoes before touching the circuit breaker for electrical safety.

    Cut off the cold water supply from your water heater.

    You can find the cold water valve on the top right corner of your water heater This valve may be in the form of a lever or a circular handle.

    If you see a lever, turn it 90 degrees to open the water For the circular valve, rotate it clockwise to close it completely.

    Pro Tip: Allow your water heater tank to cool down for about an hour as a safety precaution to prevent scalding incidents while draining water.

    Open the nearest hot water faucet to alleviate the pressure.

    It will prevent vacuum conditions leading to the back-siphonage of your water heater.

    Mount the hoses to the water pump.

    Once its done, connect the first hose from the pump to the water heater, then the second hose from the pump, and run the other end into the large bucket .

    Pro Tip: You may use an adjustable spanner to tighten the connections.

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    Turning The Water Heater Back On

  • 1Close the drain valve and pressure relief valve. Turn the valve to close the drain where the hose is connected. Make sure its fully closed. Then, close the pressure relief valve on the water heater and tighten the nut on top if you loosened it.XResearch source
  • Its important that the valves are closed tight so they dont leak when you turn the water heater back on and allow it to fill up.
  • 2Disconnect the garden hose from the drain valve. Unscrew the garden hose from where its connected to the drain valve. Bring it outside and dump out any water contained inside of it so it doesnt develop mold or mildew that can damage it.XResearch source
  • Wrap up the hose and store it when youre finished using it.
  • 3Flip the breaker to turn the electricity back on. If you have an electric water heater, turn the power back on by flipping the breaker that controls the electricity to it. Close the circuit breaker box up when youre finished.XResearch source
  • If power isnt immediately restored to the water heater, try flipping the breaker off and back on again.
  • 4Turn the pilot light to the “On” position if its a gas water heater. To turn a gas water heater back on, you need to restore the flow of gas into the water heater. Flip the pilot light switch back into the on position.XResearch source

    Tip:Relight the pilot light if it was extinguished by turning the valve to the “Pilot” position and using the ignitor switch on the valve or a long lighter if there isnt an igniter.

  • Basic Water Heater Maintenance Draining The Tank

    Its ok, you can admit it and in fact, I will start I have not drained my water heater in a few years. Fortunately, for me the water is not that hard where I am. Hard water is simply sand, minerals, and other solids found in water. Now, if I still happened to live in Phoenix, I would be running into some serious issues. While small amounts of sediment that settle to the bottom the tank are not that big of an issue, over time they can start building up. In both gas & electric water heaters this can result in a loss of available water, can block the transfer of heat to the water and potentially clog the drain line making it almost impossible to drain.

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    How Long Does It Take To Drain A Water Heater

    This can take 20 to 60 minutes, depending on how big the tank is. Be careful not to damage or break the drain valve when you open and close it. Never force the valve open or closed. When all the water has drained from the tank, turn on the cold water valve at the top of the tank 3 times…. read more

    Water Heater Above The Ground Floor

    Draining your hot water heater

    If your heater is above the ground floor, it is important to install the drain pan. If a leak occurs and there is no drain pan under the heater, it will damage your building.

    In a multi-level building, make sure that the water damage does not affect walls due to leakage. Failure to do this could damage these walls, resulting in a collapse of your house.

    In such cases, you must place your heater in the basement.

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    Run Hot Water And Open The Drain Valve

    Run hot water from a nearby tap, upstairs if possible. This allows hot water to drain from the tank and relieves pressure in the system. Open the drain valve and make sure the water is flowing out of the tank. When the hot water is out, turn the cold water supply to the tank back on to loosen any remaining sediment and repeat until the tank and water is clear.

    Always Flush The Water Heater To Remove Sediment

    If you have a sediment blockage in your water heater, the best way to stop it is by flushing the water heater. If you do not know where the leak is coming from, this method will be less effective.

    Mineral deposits accumulate as silt and scale in a water heater tank over time. These deposits can build up to create a thick, crusty layer at the base of a gas water heater or cover the components of an electric water heater. This coating reduces heat transfer from the burner or heating sources to the tank water, wasting energy and money. It eventually causes rusting.

    When determining how severe of a clog there is, try one or all of these methods: first use a pipe snake and see if it works next use a vacuum cleaner to remove any remaining debris finally turn off power to the unit for 60 seconds and then back on again.

    Although newer water heaters are less prone to rusting than older models, they still require regular maintenance. If a new model is installed, it should be drained and flushed out every so often.

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    Turn The Cold Water Valve Off

    Turn the cold water valve off. A water heater moves hot water through your home when cold water is brought into the tank, displacing the hot water. Without the cold water coming into your tank, you can completely drain the tank of water. If you miss this step, you’ll end up having water continually move into the tank and drain, which could cost you a pretty penny on your water bill.

    Open The Drainage Valves

    Electric Water Heater Maintenance: Draining the Tank

    Cautiously open the drain valve to avoid the hot water. Once the water heater is drained, turn on the cold water supply to loosen remaining minerals from the water tank. Drain the water and repeat the process until all the sediment is removed. If the drain valve is completely blocked by sediment, you will need to contact a licensed plumber.

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    Change Your Water Heater

    The water heater warranty is about 5 to 6 years. Replacing old water heaters with new ones can be costly and maintenance work is expensive.

    Once a water heater stops working properly, it starts developing more problems. Its best to replace the old unit right away so that you dont have to worry about the snowballing of problems later on. Replace and not keep doing pricey repairs.

    Monitor And Keep Up On Maintenance

    Monitoring and keeping up on routine maintenance is the best way to ensure optimal water heater performance.

    There are many things that you can do to improve the lifespan of your water heater.

    One of the best ways to prevent issues from arising is by placing your water heater in an empty area. Surrounding it with too many items can run the risk of cutting off airflow and even starting a fire.

    Another way to maintain your water heater is to adjust the temperature if you are leaving town for some time. You can either put the temperature on the lowest setting or completely turn it off until you come home.

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    How To Unclog A Water Heater Drain Valve

    There are a number of different ways to drain a clogged water heater tank, and of course, the severity of the clog plays a big role in determining which method works. We recommend starting with the easiest and working your way down the list.

    Remember, the water in the tank is most likely HOT, so to prevent burns, follow the safety recommendations outlined above.

    Before starting, turn the power source to your water heater OFF. Electric water heaters: Turn off the circuit breaker – Gas water heaters: Turn the on/off control knob to off).

    Turn Off The Power To The Water Heater

    How do you drain a hot water heater fast?

    It’s important to shut off the power to your water heater before draining it, or you could potentially burn out the heating elements. If you have an electric water heater, shut the power off from your home’s electrical panel. The correct fuse or circuit breaker should be labeled as being connected to the water heater.

    If it’s a gas water heater, the DIY Network says you can turn the water heater’s thermostat to “pilot” for this step. Or, The Family Handyman says to shut off the gas supply to the heater. Check your owner’s manual and follow the instructions provided for your specific water heater.

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    Why Would A Water Heater Leak From The Bottom

    All hot water heaters come with a drain thats close to the bottom of the unit so the tank can be fully vacated for performing routine clean-ups, or prior to removing the tank. A leaky drain valve can be detected by dripping water or moisture, either around the valve itself or out of the drain opening.

    Turn Off The Water Heater And Water Supply

    First youll need to switch off the cold water supply valve on your water heater. If your water heater is gas, put the thermostat on pilot. If your water heater is electric, youll need to turn off the breaker that goes to the water heater. Make sure that no electricity is going to your electric water heater while you flush it or the heating elements can be damaged.

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    How To Drain Hot Water Heater

    Your hot water heater manual will suggest that you drain your water heater every six to twelve months. Draining a water heater isnt difficult and should be something youre able to do without an issue. Doing this to your water heater helps remove the sediment that builds up the bottom of your tank. This sediment can cause your water heater to work harder, which will increase your energy bills and cause you not to have enough hot water.

    Proper maintenance on your water heater, including draining it, will ensure that it lasts for many years. You will want to ensure that you follow all instructions to ensure that your water heater is adequately drained. If you are not sure of doing it yourself, call a professional plumber to do this for you. Proper maintenance is essential to make sure that your water heater is working the best that it possibly can, keeping your water hot.

    In this article, well walk you though a step by step guide on how to drain your water heat in 5 easy steps.


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