How to Drain a Water Heater

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 65,893
    Water heater expert Jim Connors demonstrates how to drain a water heater.

    Jim Connors: Hi! I am Jim Connors with Rheem Manufacturing Company. I am showing you how to maintain your water heater, and now I am going to show you how to drain your water heater. A water heater's tank can act as a settling basin for solids, normally suspended in the water. It's not uncommon for hard water deposits to accumulate in the bottom of the tank. This scale accumulation can also coat the gas thermostat or electric heating elements and decrease the efficiency of the water heater, and shorten the overall life.

    Consult your owner's manual for proper procedures for eliminating the scale build up. The most effective way is to drain a few gallons of water from the bottom of the water heater periodically. In areas with poor water quality, it maybe necessary to do this several times per year. Shut off the incoming water supply and the gas or electricity to your water heater. Attach a hose to the drain valve located at the bottom. Run the hose to a location outside the home. Remember, the water maybe hot, so use caution and keep the hose off the lawn and away from children. Open the drain valve and release a few gallons of water. Close the drain valve and open up the incoming water supply valve to refill the water heater. Remember to leave a tap open as the water heater refills to get any air out of the system. Once the tank is full of water again, turn on the gas or electricity. Perform it regularly; this maybe the best way to maintain the water heater. That's how you properly drain a water heater. Next, I'll show you how to maintain the temperature and pressure relief valve on your water heater.