Wednesday, December 6, 2023
HomeHeatWater Heater Won't Drain

Water Heater Won’t Drain

How To Flush Your Water Heater

Water Heater Will Not Drain? Fix It With These 3 Easy Steps

So it seems our tank is empty. The water has stopped draining. Now it’s time to flush our tank. Depending on how long it’s been since you last did this and what you see coming out into your bowl, you may have to do this a few times. If it’s pretty bad this time, you’ll know why you should drain the tank on a yearly basis and next time won’t likely take you as long.

  • Open the cold water valve. Let the cold water run into the tank for about 15 – 20 seconds and then shut it back off. This will stir up any leftover sediment in the bottom of our tank. Go to where your hose is draining with your bowl and take a sample of what is coming out. If the water is dirty, you will want to let it drain and repeat the flushing process until you are satisfied with what is coming out of your sample. If the water is clean, we’re ready to wrap up and get on with our day.
  • Shut off the drain valve. Now that the water is clean we can shut off the drain valve, turn on the cold water, disconnect our hose and let the tank begin to refill.
  • Open up the hot water faucets in the house. We have probably gotten some air in the water lines while we drained out the tank. By opening all the hot water faucets in the house, we can quickly “bleed” the air out through the faucets. Once all the faucets have a steady stream and pressure, you can shut them off. There is no need to do this to the cold water lines.
  • This blue panel is protecting the burner assembly.

    Power Vent Water Heater

    If you are unable to light the main burner to your Richmond power vent water heater, it may be due to the following issues:

    • Air in gas line- Contact a qualified service technician to purge the air from the gas line.
    • Blocked vent system- Have a qualified service technician evaluate vent system for blockage.
    • Blocked combustion air-inlet system- Have the combustion air-inlet system evaluated by a qualified service technician.
    • Pressure switches- Make sure the pressure switches are not kinked.
    • Wire connection are not fully secured- Confirm the wire connections or have a service technician confirm the connections for you.
    • Combustion shutoff device tripped- Combustion shutoff device should be inspected by a qualified service technician.
    • Gas control problem-Contact a qualified service technician to inspect and fix the issue.

    Why Should I Flush My Water Tank

    Most hot water tanks have a significant holding tank that ensures there’s plenty of hot water available when it’s needed. However, because water is sitting in the tank continuously over time, naturally occurring minerals in the water, as well as sand and grit flushed from municipal water lines, can settle in the bottom of the tank.

    The sediment build-up can potentially make it harder for your hot water tank to do its job. This puts your water heater at risk of failing sooner than it should. Hot water tanks should have a life span of 10-12 years at least, but not annually draining the sediment can reduce that life span significantly.

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    Inspecting Your Hot Water Tank

    This is also a good time to inspect your water tank. You’ve already checked your T& P valve and we know that the drain valve and burner controls are working. What about the body of the tank?

    Take a good look over the body of the water tank particularly the bottom. Do you see any “blisters” where it looks as though it’s beginning to rust? Is there any water dripping from anywhere or wet spots underneath that may be signs of your tank leaking? If so, you may want to begin preparations for getting a new tank. When the tank finally goes, it can be messy, inconvenient, and even cost more if you have to pay for emergency service or don’t have time to shop around.

    “Foilback” insulation is one type of insulation that can be used though the “R” factor is a little lower than some others.

    Back Flush The Water Heater

    6 Ways to Unclog a Water Heater That Won

    Back-flushing the water heater should help you solve the clogged drain valve issue if neither the stiff wire method nor the stomp-on-the-hose trick works.

    You will need a washing machine fill hose for this step. Close the hot water tank drain valve and connect it to one end of the washer fill hose. Next, extend the washer piping and secure its other end to a nearby faucet. You can also secure the second washer port to a garden hose running from a backyard tap.

    Ensure the connections are water-tight to create sufficient water pressure before opening the faucet. Then, open the tank drain valve for about 15 seconds to push the obstruction away from the drain valve.

    Close the faucet and the drain valve and disconnect the washer fill hose from the water faucet. Open the drain valve, and continue draining.

    Here is a video by ehowathomechannel showing how to backflush a water heater.

    Recommended Reading: Home Depot Dishwasher Drain Hose

    S To Drain A Tankless Water Heater

  • Turn off the tankless water heater power source.
  • For gas, shut off the main gas valve. For electric, turn off the dedicated circuit breaker.
  • Close and turn off the water valves connected to your tankless water heater. There should be three.
  • There should be a) a blue cold water valve, b) a red hot water valve and c) the main valve which runs water into your house.
  • This prevents hot water from coming out during the task and prevents cold water from moving into the water heater.
  • On each of the cold and hot water valves youll see purge valves. Remove the purge port valve caps.
  • Identify purge valves by their small T-shaped handles
  • This step relieves any pressure inside the valves and prevents burns from hot water spraying out.
  • CAUTION: make sure the hot water valve is completely shut off for safety. There is often pressure released when removing purge port valve caps.
  • Be sure caps and rubber washer sealing discs remain in place. Without these washers, the valves wont work right.
  • Attach the hosing lines to each water valve.
  • Your tankless water heater may have included hosing lines from the manufacturer. If not, these are available from hardware or home repair stores. Just be sure theyre long enough to connect the water heater and your bucket.
  • Some manufacturers have extra or specific instructions for this step. Consult your owners manual if necessary.
  • Twist purge port valves perpendicularly to the position of the hot and cold valves. This opens the purge port valves.
  • Turn On The Water Heater

    Shut off the drain valve and disconnect the garden hose. Be sure all but one of the hot water taps in your home are closed .

    Now you can turn the water back on to the water heater. Re-energize the system slowly by partially opening the valve. Once the system is fully energized, open the valve to a fully open position.After doing so, monitor the tap you left open and, once you are getting nothing but water out of the fixture, turn it off.

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

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    How To Cool Water Within A Hot Water Heater Tank

    In most cases the water within your hot water heater tank will be hot and you’ll need to take safety precautions to prevent being burned. You should always wear safety goggles and work gloves to help protect your eyes and hands when you attempt to drain the tank.

    Before attempting to drain your tank, always cool the water inside. Here are 3 methods:

  • Allow the water heater to sit for up to 24-hours after shutting off the power.
  • Drain as much water as possible thru the drain valve. Leave the water inlet valve open with the power off. As the water drains from the tank, cool water will enter and dilute the hot water. This method only works if your drain valve is not completely clogged.
  • When the drain valve is completely clogged, open several hot water faucets in the house. Turn off the power to the unit and leave the cold water inlet valve open so that cold water will dilute the hot water.
  • Common Water Heater Problems Before You Start

    Water wont drain from hot water heater

    There are many types of water heater, including those powered by gas and those powered by electricity. Electric water heaters are high-voltage appliances, which means you should take full precautions when working with one.

    Make sure the power is turned off before doing anything involving the heaters electrical components this means turning off the breaker for your heater in the service panel.

    Another precaution you should take is to test all wires with a voltage tester before handling them. Failure to do so can result in a serious injury or even death.

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    Common Water Heater Problems

    Modern water heaters are built to last. Many come with long warranties, and you hope to be able to use them trouble-free for many years to come. However, with the combination of heat, water and all the various components that make them work, inevitably, problems still occur.

    Many issues are not fatal for your heater, and the key to repairing them is correctly identifying whats wrong. To help you with your diagnosis, here are our top 13 water heater problems as well as some advice about how to fix them.

    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.

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    Draining A Water Heater

    Water heaters do benefit from periodic preventative maintenance. There arent many things worse than an unexpected cold shower. A little bit of upkeep such as draining your water heater can ensure efficient and safe operation of your tank and extend its life span. Please refer to the maintenance section of your installation and operation manual which can be found here.

    Water Heater Pilot Doesnt Light

    Help Please, Water Heater Wont Drain...

    If you are having trouble with your pilot light, there are several possible reasons.

    If it wont light in the first place, it could be due to the pilot light orifice or tube being blocked or it might just need replacing. Another possibility is that the thermocouple is loose or faulty. You could also have air in the gas line, or the gas valve could be faulty.

    Connecting A Hose To The Drain Valve

  • 1Turn off the power if you have an electric water heater.Find your fuse box or circuit breaker box and check the diagram on the inside of the panel to identify the breaker that controls the power to your water heater. Flip the switch to shut off power to the water heater so you dont shock yourself.XResearch source
  • Use a flashlight or set up a lamp near the water heater so you can see while youre working.
  • 2Flip the pilot light switch to “Pilot” if you have a gas water heater. Near the pilot light is a switch that controls the flow of gas into the water heater. Move the switch to the “pilot” setting to prevent heating an empty heater and so gas doesnt leak out while youre working on it.XResearch source
  • The pilot light will not actually go out, but the gas will be cut off from the water heater.
  • 3Turn the water supply valve off at the top of the water heater. On the top right side of the water heater is a valve that controls the flow of water into the water heater. Turn the knob or move the switch to shut off the water supply.XResearch source
  • If you cant locate your water supply valve, check the owners manual or look up the make and model of your water heater online to find it.
  • 4Attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. At the base of the water heater is a small valve called the drain valve. Take a standard garden hose and align it with the threads on the drain valve. Screw the garden hose onto the valve to connect it.XResearch source
  • Materials For Unclogging The Water Heater

    A wire coat hanger or any stiff wire can help unclog the drain valve. If using this item fails, you might want to back-flush the water heater using a washer fill hose. If it still fails, you can replace the drain valve with a new one for your drain valve replacement, prepare some Teflon tape and a wrench.

    Low Water Pressure In Water Heater

    Low water pressure is often caused by not having wide enough pipes. Older homes mostly have ½ pipes while modern homes usually use ¾ pipes.

    If you live in an older home and you are suffering from low water pressure, the problem may not lie with the boiler at all you may need to consider fitting wider pipes in your home to resolve this issue.

    How To Unclog A Water Heater That Wont Drain In 4 Simple Steps

    Water Heater Tank Won’t Drain : Water Heaters

    27th May 2022

    If you find yourself working on a water heater that will not drain, it may be due to a large build-up of minerals and sediment within the tank. This is a common problem with most homeowners, so luckily there are a few ways to help unclog a water heater that will not flush water out. To stop this from occurring in the first place, we at NuvoH2O have created effective water softening systems that help reduce hard mineral build-up, which is often the culprit for clogged drains. Visit our website to learn more!

    Can I Unclog The Bathtub Drain Myself

    Some do-it-yourself solutions may offer temporary results for a clogged bathtub drain.

    First, you can try to use a sink plunger over the drain to unclog it. This creates a vacuum of air that can dislodge whatever is clogging the pipe, such as a wad of hair. You can also try your hand at using a drain snake, which is a long piece of silicone or wire cable that you weave down into the pipe. As you pull the drain snake back up, it will attach to items and unclog the drain.

    Both of these items are found in most home improvement stores and are relatively easy to use.

    Another at-home trick to try when your bathtub wont drain is to pour boiling water. This will help to melt soap scum and hair build-up to unclog the drain. But this tactic will only work if the boiling water can be poured directly into the drain opening.

    You can also try a baking soda and vinegar mixture to clean out clogged bathtub drains. First, pour boiling water down the pipe. Then pour in about half a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of white vinegar into the drain. When baking soda and vinegar are mixed, they create a chemical reaction that foams up. This creates pressure within the pipes, which can push the clog further down so it does not block the drain.

    How To Troubleshoot A Leaky Water Heater

    Aaron Stickley is a licensed plumber with 15 years of experience in commercial, new residential plumbing, and residential service and repair. He started his own residential service and repair plumbing business. Aaron’s articles about plumbing on The Spruce span four years.

    • Working Time: 15 – 30 mins
    • Total Time: 15 – 30 mins
    • Skill Level: Beginner
    • Estimated Cost: $0 to $500+, depending on the issue

    The methods for fixing a leaking water heater can range from very easy to highly challenging. At the first sign of leaking, many people leap to the conclusion that the water heater must be replaced, but that’s not always necessary. Many potential fixes are actually rather simple and inexpensive, and sometimes replacing a broken part can extend the life of the water heater for several years. Here are several things to look for when diagnosing the source of a leak and determining the proper fix.

    Look At The Water Supply Lines

    The first place to check is the plumbing pipes above the water heater. A drip from above can easily leak down on top of the water heater and even work its way down the insulation and make it look like the leak is coming from the tank itself.

    Check the plumbing pipes above the water heater, using a stepladder if necessary. Pay special attention to the water supply lines going into the water heater. These may be rigid pipe connections or flexible supply tubes. Flexible water supply tubes are the most common cause of leaks above the water heater since it is common for these tubes to fail long before the water heater is ready for replacement. If there is insulation around the supply tubes, remove it so you can inspect and replace the tubes if necessary.

    To replace the water heater flex lines, shut down the heater first by turning off the gas or the electricity running to the heater. For gas heaters, the instructions to turn the gas valve to the off position are typically on the front of the tank. For electric heaters, you can usually use a disconnect switch at the heater or a separate breaker to turn off the power.


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