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Basics on How to Drain a Water Heater

Basics on How to Drain a Water Heater

There are a number of basic plumbing maintenance and related tasks that many homeowners or building owners may feel comfortable handling on their own from time to time, and a great example here is draining your water heater. Done periodically to remove any sediment and other possible contaminants that may collect at the bottom of your tank over time, draining a water heater is a vital way to extend its lifespan and get the very most out of it - as long as you know the right basic steps to follow.

At Neighborly Plumbing & Services, we're here to offer a wide range of water heater services to clients around Salt Lake City, Millcreek, Park City and nearby areas, this in addition to various other plumbing repair services from top plumbers in the area. How do you drain a water heater? Here's everything you need to know if you plan to tackle this task on your own.

You Don't Have to Do It Alone

Firstly, before we proceed any further: While it's true that many homeowners will feel comfortable handling basic water heater draining tasks on their own, this is far from your only option. If you find yourself remotely uncomfortable or unsure about any part of this process, don't hesitate to reach out to our team for simple assistance - we can either walk you through the steps over the phone or even come visit your property and handle it ourselves, depending on which you prefer.

This is especially true if you're worried about safety or any potential damage to the water heater or other areas of your plumbing system. We're happy to talk you through things and make sure you feel comfortable about any aspect of this task.

Water Heater Draining Frequency Recommendations

Another common question we get from clients looking to handle their own water heater draining: How often should the task be completed? This is a great question, and the answer will depend on a few different factors.

For starters, we generally recommend that homeowners consider draining their water heater at least once per year. This ensures that any sediment or other debris doesn't have time to build up too much and impact the performance of your heater. However, if you live in an area with particularly hard water (meaning high mineral content), we recommend doing this task twice per year.

Additionally, if your home frequently uses hot water for things like cooking or cleaning - or if you have a large household with several residents using hot water daily - that could impact the frequency of draining as well. If you're unsure about how frequently this task should be performed for your specific needs, don't hesitate to ask our team for recommendations.

Prep Steps

Before beginning any actual draining, there are a few preparation steps to take:

  • First and foremost, turn off all power or energy sources to the water heater. This includes turning off your gas line if you have a gas-powered heater, or unplugging it if it runs on electricity.
  • Allow the water in the tank to cool down significantly before attempting any maintenance tasks - this reduces the risk of burns or other injuries. If your water heater is more than a few years old, you may want to wait overnight for it to cool down completely.
  • Finally, gather all necessary tools and equipment before beginning the task. This might include basic plumbing tools like wrenches or screwdrivers, along with a garden hose that's long enough to reach from the water heater to the nearest drain or outdoor area.

Draining Steps

Once you've completed your prep work, follow these steps to complete the draining process:

  • Begin by attaching a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater; make sure it's tightly secured.
  • Place the other end of this hose in an appropriate drainage location - ideally outside, but otherwise at least several feet away from your water heater.
  • With the valve and hose properly secured, open the drain valve to begin draining. You may need to use a flathead screwdriver or pliers if the valve is difficult to turn.
  • Keep an eye on both the drainage speed and the color of the water - if it's coming out very slowly or has a particularly dark color, this may be a sign of issues with your heater. If you have concerns here, contact our team for assistance.
  • Once the tank is fully drained and no more water comes out, close the drain valve and carefully remove the hose. Turn your energy source back on as needed.
  • Finally, turn on one or more hot water faucets in your home to allow air to escape the system, then check for any leaks around the heater itself. If there are any leaks or issues here, shut off your energy source again and contact our team for assistance.

Once again, if you are unsure or uncomfortable about any part of this process, do not hesitate to reach out to a professional for assistance. Proper maintenance and care of your water heater is essential for its longevity and performance, so make sure you are comfortable with any tasks before attempting them on your own.

At Neighborly Plumbing & Services, we are always happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have about your water heater, and we offer a variety of services to keep it running smoothly. Contact us today for help with any plumbing need around SLC, Millcreek, Park City or surrounding areas of Utah!

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Mission

To serve our Wasatch neighbors in their plumbing, drain, and renovation needs. We are committed to giving you a reliable, fair, and ethical service with our local, experienced team. We strive to ensure that once our services are done, you will never need to call another plumber again.
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