How to Drain a Water Heater

By: Danny Lipford

Draining your water heater once a year removes sediment from the tank that can cause it to work harder and cost more to use.

  1. Begin by turning off the power or gas to the water heater.
  2. Next, turn the cold water supply valve off that allows water to flow into the heater.
  3. Hook a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and run it outside on the ground.
  4. Open the drain valve where the hose is attached.
  5. Open the pressure relief valve on top of the tank by pulling up on it.
  6. Allow the water in the tank to drain out.
  7. When the tank is empty, open the cold water valve for a few minutes to flush out the last remaining sediment.
  8. Close the drain valve and pressure relief valve and allow the tank to fill back up.
  9. Relight the pilot to the heater if gas, and turn it on.
  10. If electric, flip the breaker to restore power to the water heater.

For further information, see our video on Water Heater Maintenance.

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How to Drain a Water Heater