Whether you are flushing out your current tank or installing a new one, draining a water heater is a simple task but one that can cause a large mess and considerable water damage if done incorrectly.
The first step when draining a water heater is to shut off the water heater’s power. With an electric water heater, turn off the circuit breaker powering the water heater. If your water heater is gas powered, move the temperature setting to “pilot” and close the valve on the gas tank.
Next, close the cold water supply valve and attach a garden hose to the water heaters drain valve. Run the hose to a suitable drain location preferable an outdoor drain. If you are unable to drain the tank using a hose, it is possible to drain the tank using a bucket although it takes considerably longer.
Once the hose is securely fastened to the drain valve, turn on the hot water in a bathroom or kitchen sink. Open the drain valve on the water heater and the tank will begin to drain. If you are using buckets to drain the tank, turn the valve on until the bucket is full, then close the drain valve, poor out the bucket and repeat until the tank is fully drained.
If your tank does not begin to drain or clogs during the drain, re-open the cold-water valve to pressure out the clog. When the tank begins to drain, close the cold-water valve.
It is important to remember the water draining from the tank is potentially very hot water. Use caution to avoid burning yourself. It is best to use a heavy-duty hose or reinforced bucket.
Once the tank is drained, you can detach your hose, turn off the running faucet and close the drain valve. If you want to refill the tank, open the cold-water faucet and turn the power back on.
The Natural Handyman