How To Drain Electric Water Heater

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Open The Drain Valve To Drain The Water

How To Drain An Electric Water Heater

The garden hose should be securely connected to the drain valve and the other end should be in an appropriate drainage location. Open the drain valve to begin draining the water out of the tank. The pressure-relief valve at the top of the water heater can be opened carefully to improve the flow of the water through the drain, but it’s important to have a bucket under the discharge pipe to catch any water before it can drain onto the floor.

Examine The Drained Tank

When the tank is empty, you can examine the walls of the tank and the color of the water. These elements can help you identify the condition of the heater. If the water is clear, it means that your heater is doing well and is in good shape.

On the other hand, if the water is darker or cloudy with sediments, it means that your water heater requires flushing. When emptying the tank and you realize theres quite an amount of sediment or other solid materials, it means the tank requires a water heater flush for sediments.

Flush The System More Thoroughly If Needed

To remove more stubborn sediment, you need to flush your water heater out. During this time, you need to turn on the cold-water spigot that was initially turned off, so that clean water can flush out the system. You may want to use a hose to help clean out any sediment at the bottom of the tank. Once the sediment is gone, take a look at the inside to check the condition. This is a great time to spot rust or other issues before they cause your water heater to leak. One good way to look for cracks is to shine a flashlight into the tank with the lights off and look for signs that light is shining through. Typically, if the tank is corroding, you would have also seen rusty water when draining the tank. If the tank is corroding, consider replacing your water heater instead of refilling the one you have.

Take a few minutes to flush the water tank and ensure that the water is clear and normal, to indicate that the system has been effectively flushed. Before you take out the hose and/or remove the bucket, ensure that you turn off the cold water supply in order to avoid a messy finish.

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How To Flush Or Drain A Water Heater

Flush your water heater tank twice a year to remove mineral sediment and scale. Your water heater will heat more efficiently and last longer. This expert advice uses videos, illustrations, and easy to follow text to show you how to flush and drain a water heater.

Why is flushing or partially draining a water heater important? Because it prevents the build-up of mineral deposits inside the water heater.

Over time, mineral deposits collect as sediment and scale in a water heater tank. These deposits can form a very thick, crusty coating at the base of a gas water heater or cover the elements of an electric water heater. This coating diminishes the transfer of heat from the burner or heating elements to the water in the tank, wasting energy and money. Eventually, it also causes corrosion.

Eventually, scale and mineral deposits can break free, slowing the flow of hot water through pipes and faucets. They can also clog the valve that is used to flush or drain a water heater tank.

The best policy is to flush or partially drain a water heater at least once a year from the time when it is first installed.

How much does it cost to have a water heater drained or flushed? If you choose not to do this work yourself, expect to pay a plumber from $80 to $100.

Here is a diagram that shows how electric and gas water heaters are designed.

Draining A Water Heater

Draining your hot 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.

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S For Performing A Water Heater Cleanout/flush

Your heater, like any other item in your home, will require some level of electrical power to operate properly. Depending on your unit, you may only need to complete one of these procedures during a water heater flush, or you may need to complete all of them. By turning off your gas, you can assure that the machine is not getting any gas and will not overheat or leak as a result. In most cases, turning off the electricity to your unit may be accomplished through your circuit breaker, which should include a switch labeled for the heater.

Keeping this step in mind will help to provide a safe working environment for whoever is responsible for finishing the flush.

Assemble The New Valve

  • Remove the handle from the ball valve so you can assemble all the 3/4-inch fittings.
  • Build a new drain valve with a 3/4-inch full-port brass ball valve with threaded ends, a 3-inch x 3/4-inch galvanized nipple and a 3/4-inch MIP x G.H. garden hose adapter .
  • Note: As soon as you open the drain valve, the sediment will likely clog it and prevent you from closing the valve all the way after its drained. Then youll have sediment buildup and a leaking water heater. Not only will an old drain clog up, but you won’t be able to suck debris through its small opening. This is why you need to build a new drain valve.

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A List Of Things You Need To Drain Your Water Tank

  • Garden Hose: The distance from your water heater to where you’ll be draining will determine how long the hose will need to be.
  • Pan: I suggest a stainless steel mixing bowl so that you can get a “clear” picture of what your water looks like.
  • Old Towel: We’re working with water here and we’re probably going to get a little bit dirty. This is good to wipe your hands or clean up small drips or messes.
  • Vice-Grips or Flathead Screwdriver: These may be handy if you don’t have a handle on the drain valve of your tank. Most of you do, but since I’m not so lucky, I thought I’d mention it.
  • How To Drain A Water Heater In 10 Steps:

    Electric Water Heater Maintenance: Draining the Tank

    Before you begin flushing your electric water heater, make sure that it is necessary! As mentioned above, draining an electric water heater is rarely needed and only required in specific situations. If you have any doubts about the necessity or the safety of the procedure, be sure to call a professional.

    If you wish to drain your water heater yourself, try to use as much hot water as possible before flushing your water heater. That way, the tank will be partially emptied.

    Then proceed with the steps below while always keeping safety in mind:

  • Turn off the water heaters power supply. Switch the circuit breaker to OFF.
  • Shut off the cold water supply valve .
  • Turn on a hot water tap somewhere in your home to let air into the tank. This will also allow you to test the water once you turn on the water heater again at the end of the procedure.
  • If there is no floor drain at the base of your water heater, connect a garden hose to the drain valve . Direct the end of the hose to a floor drain, bathtub, shower or outside.
  • Slowly turn on the drain valve to avoid scalding, then let the tank empty itself completely.
  • Turn on the cold water supply valve and keep the water running at full pressure for several minutes. Make sure that you completely flush out any sediments from the tank.
  • Turn off the drain valve once the water runs completely clear.
  • Turn off the tap.
  • Turn the water heaters power back on.
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    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

    Carry Out A Quick Flush

    The first step to draining a water heater is performing a quick flush. Bring a garden hose and connect it to the drain valve. Then flush the holding tank when the pressure is on. To perform this function, open the drain valve for a few moments and then close it. The high pressure will eject any sediment lodged in the valve, helping the water heater to drain faster. You can repeat this process several times.

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    Eliminates Water Heater Noises

    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.

    What About My Gas Hot Water Tank

    How do you drain a hot water heater fast?

    Sediment can also interfere with burner efficiency in a gas water heater. Have you ever heard cracking and popping noises during heating cycles? This is from the sediment in your tank.

    Sediment in a gas hot water tank forms as a thick, crusty coating. This diminishes the transfer of heat from the burner to the water in the tank. This wastes energy and essentially your money! This will eventually cause corrosion in the tank which can lead to a huge mess when your tank starts to leak all over your floor.

    Depending on your water source and the mineral content, both gas and electric water heaters should be flushed of sediment every 6 months to once per year, to ensure optimal performance.

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    How To Drain A Water Heater Yourself

    When you are ready to drain your water heater, the first thing you should do is turn off the electricity to avoid any injuries. Turn off the water heater, regardless matter whether it is a gas or an electric model. To turn off an agas water heater, just turn off the gas valve. If its an electric heater, make sure the power is turned off . When the power is turned off, the water will only begin to cool. Draining the water heater while the machine is running may cause the water to reach dangerously high temperatures, resulting in damage to the heating components.

    We Can Help With Your Plumbing And Other Home Maintenance Installation And Repair

    Most people are used to performing their household chores. The seven steps above help in flushing your water heater to ensure that it performs at its best. If you need help, our experts have seasoned experience in flushing water heaters. Give us a call at Huft Home services, and we will sort your water heating issues if you live in Sacramento or the surrounding areas. We provide heating, plumbing, electrical and insulation services to Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Yuba and San Joaquin counties.

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    Draining Your Water Heater Can Be Quick And Easy

    The hot water tank is one of neglected household appliances there is. This is funny because it’s arguably the most-used appliance in our home. Luckily, the task of maintaining your water heater is rather simple. Maintenance is only required about once a year and it’ll actually pay you back by increasing your water heater’s lifespan. Not to mention, you’ll also have cleaner water. So, with all that our hot water tank does for us, don’t you think it’s time to show it a little love?

    This article is going to make it simple for you to perform this routine maintenance as quickly and easily as possible while still being thorough and without the need to completely disconnect your water heater. Though the overall task can take an hour or two , much of this is downtime and will allow you to do other things at the same time. You probably have everything you need right there in the house. So, let’s get started!

    Hopefully you won’t even need the hand tools.

    How To Flush A Water Heater:

    How to drain a water heater
  • Before you tackle any service to the water heater, turn off all of the electricity to the unit, including the breaker. Turn off the cold water supply and allow the heater to cool .
  • Locate the water heaters drain valve, typically found near the bottom of the tank. If you dont have a floor drain, thread a standard garden hose to the valve to drain the water from the tank and direct it into a bucket. Many can simply use gravity to drain water from the unit into a bucket but if you want to pump the water outside , follow the connection instructions from the pump manufacturer. Open one or two hot water faucets in the house to prevent damage to your pipes.
  • Open the drain valve and inspect the water for sediment. If the water is full of sediment or is not clear, refill the heater and drain it again. To stir up sediment that has settled on the bottom of the tank, turn the water shut off valve on and off a couple of times.
  • Continue to fill and drain the heater as often as necessary until the water runs clear. If the unit is in good shape, one flushing is generally enough and you wont have to flush it again for one year. If you see an excessive amount of sediment though, you may want to consider adding a water filter or a treatment system to your home or it may be time to call in a professional for advice.
  • Once the water runs clear and the unit is empty, disconnect the hose and the pump. Close the drain valve, and refill the tank before turning on its power source.
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    Why Should I Flush My Water Tank Periodically

    Flushing out the lime and other sediments in the water heater tank regularly increases the heaters efficiency and lifecycle In neglected heaters, sediment can pile up and calcify, making it hard to remove. This can get so bad at times that the entire water heating unit may need to be replaced. But if you flush your tank regularly, you can prevent sediment from causing these types of problems.

    All water has a certain measure of mineral content. For example, suppose you live in an area with plenty of limestone beneath the ground. In that case, the groundwater will pick up calcium and magnesium deposits, giving rise to so-called hard water.

    Hard water produces sediment in the form of limescale that eventually builds up at the bottom of the water tank. With natural gas, heaters can cause uneven heating in the tank that might even produce leaks over time. With electric heaters, scaling can burn out the lower heating element. And in both types of heaters, sediment buildup can plug up the drain valve.

    How do I recognize sediment buildup? One symptom of excessive sediment buildup is a popping or rumbling sound coming from the heaters tank. Thats the sound of steam bubbles percolating up through the muck. In addition, the sediment produces hot spots on a gas water heater that can damage the tank and eventually lead to early heater failure.

    Turn Off The Water Heater

    Shut off the gas to your water heater, or shut off the power if it is an electric heater. Now shut off the water, using either the valve in the cold-water pipe above the water heater or the main water supply valve to the house. Make sure the pressure is off by testing the hot water faucets in the house, turning them on, and checking for water. Water may gush out at first, but should quickly slow to a trickle if the water has been shut off properly. Be sure to leave a hot water tap open in the sink nearest to your hot water heater to alleviate pressure in the system.

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

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    What If My Tank Wont Drain

    Suppose your tank is draining slowly or not at all attempt to open the temperature/pressure relief valve on the hot water tank. This is situated near the top of the hot water tank. Its generally a lever you can lift up or down, and there is a pipe that goes from it down to the base of the tank. Opening up this valve might open up a possible vacuum inside the tank thats stopping water from draining.

    Its also likely that theres so much sediment inside your tank that its blocking the valve drain. This is where is the best strategy.

    Drain Water Heater Liquid

    4 Simple Steps For Draining a Hot Water Heater
    • 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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