|How to Drain a Water Heater
If you own a home chances are you never give the water heater a
second thought — until it stops working. We often are asked by our
customers if it is necessary to drain a water heater. If so, how often is it
necessary. Is it a required maintenance item?
The short answer is it can't hurt (the water heater that is. Read the word
of caution below). It is often said that draining sediment off the bottom of
a water heater can extend the life of the tank. However, as we sit here
we do not know of any studies that have proved or disproved this idea.
What we do know is a water heater tank can at times contain sediment.
We had a customer who was not getting an ample supply of hot water.
Over the course of a few years the amount of hot water had diminished
from about 30-40 minutes of continuous hot water reduced to less than
10 minutes. The heating burner was fine and the thermostat worked with
|WARNING: A word of caution before you attempt to drain a water
heater. Water heaters may have water temperatures up to the boiling
point of 212 degrees F at sea level. At higher elevations (uphill) the
boiling point of water decreases thereby increasing the risk of injury to
the careless handler. A water heater has a safety feature called a T&P
(temperature and pressure) release valve. In an overheating situation
this valve is designed to open and relieve pressure from within the water
heater--however there are times that a valve can become stuck and fails
to open. The reason for this can reside in a defective valve (rare) or
more likely one that has become defective due to the corrosive actions
of acidic water (more common). In any event it is advisable to open a hot
water valve (kitchen or bath faucet) in advance of the boiler drain on the
bottom of the water heater.
|no problem. When we drained the tank we discovered almost 2 gallons of thick syrupy sediment from the bottom of the tank.
All that sediment was acting as a heat sink and absorbing the heat from the burner. So, one could argue in this
circumstance the life of the heater had been extended. But it doesn't answer the question if sediment on the bottom of a
water heater will shorten the life of the tank itself.
If the water heater is electric turn off the breaker at the box. It is
important to not omit this step for the element can crack if heated with
no water. If any other fuel (gas, propane) locate the gas thermostat on
the heater and turn the knob to "PILOT" mode. It is the button on top.
STEP #2 Turn off cold water supply. The valve will be on the cold side
of the water heater (the heater is marked on top with a large C at the
inlet). Turn the valve clockwise to close. In order to get a flow of water at
the bottom of the tank a source of air is needed to release the vacuum.
This is done by simply opening a hot water valve (any sink faucet will do.
Locate the drain on the bottom of the water heater. If a floor drain is
nearby the water may flow to the drain. Otherwise a garden hose is
attached to the drain and routed to the nearest drain. If a drain is not
available a small bucket can be used to gather water, or the hose can
be removed to the out of doors.
|Express Water Heater 2012
About Us Contact Us Home Improvement Site Map Privacy Site Feedback Legal
No Hot Water Water Heater Leaking Replace Water Heater How to Drain a Water Heater Turn On Water Heater
|Servicing Cleveland/Akron Ohio and suburbs
SAME DAY SERVICE 330-524-5626 Call/text