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  • Writer's pictureDIYTechnician

How to Drain a Hot Water Tank. The Basics.

The manufacturers of most hot water heaters recommend you drain your tank at least once a year. The process is really simple and non-invasive. In order to drain your the tank you will need a garden hose to hook up to the spigot at the bottom of the tank. Make sure you turn off the power to the hot water heater at the breaker panel and then turn off the incoming water as well. Once this is done you take a long enough garden house to reach outside or working drain (ie. tub or shower, etc.) and hook it up to the spigot at the bottom. Then turn the handle to open the valve once you have your open end of the hose at the ready to where you want it to drain. I found it helpful to crack both my relief valve at the top of the tank as well as the hot water on one of the household sinks.



The first thing that I recommend doing is to shut off any appliances that require water such as a clothes washer, steam dryer, dishwasher, or similar. Then it's time to kill the power at the circuit breaker panel.

Once the power is turned off then I turned off the incoming water at the valve by turning the valve knob to the right (clockwise).

The spigot shown here is where I hooked up my garden hose and ran it outside to drain.

I made sure the connection to the spigot was nice and tight so I didn't leak too much water on the floor.

Once I hooked the garden hose up to the spigot I took my flathead screwdriver and turned the valve to allow the water to flow.

I then flipped up the relief valve which seemed to assist in a little bit quicker of exit water flow.

This is flipping up the relief valve in the top of the tank. I made sure not to attempt this when the water is hot or the tank is full.

I ran the water through the strainer to see what kind of debris was draining out of the tank.

I also opened up the water valve to allow for easier draining.

Once draining is complete I turned the valve to stop any further water flow. I turned the incoming water back on and closed the relief valve. I did drain the tank as part of yearly maintenance but also to change out the heating elements. Emphasis is placed on not doing this unless you have the power completely shut off to this unit. Below is the full video showing my whole process.


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