How to Drain Your Water Heater

If you are no longer receiving hot water, or if your water is too hot, it is probably time to drain your water heater. Over time, minerals and sediment collect in a water heater’s tank and impede its function. That’s why you need to flush your water heater once a year.

Don’t know how to drain your water heater? Don’t worry, the expert plumbers at Bardi are here to help. Our technicians have assembled this step-by-step guide to draining your heater all by yourself.

What You’ll Need

Draining your water heater isn’t an overly complicated task – most homeowners can complete it without the help of a professional. But you will need a few specific items in order to drain your heater fully, safely and successfully.

Protective Gloves – The water you are draining comes from the water heater, so naturally it will be hot. Protective gloves are essential, so you don’t burn yourself.

5 Gallon Bucket – A 5-gallon bucket is most homeowners’ choice for the vessel in which to place the drained water.

Pliers – When draining your water heater, you will need to attach a hose to a valve, this may require pliers.

Garden Hose – To drain the water heater, you need a hose through which water will exit. A garden hose will suffice for this.

Flathead Screwdriver – You may need a flathead screwdriver to open the drain valve on the water heater.

How to Drain Your Water Heater


  1. Turn off the gas or electricity

The first step when draining your water heater is to stop the water from heating. If you have a gas-powered water heater, turn the control knob to ‘pilot.’ If your heater is electric, turn the water heater’s breaker off, and disconnect its electrical supply.


  1. Shut off the water

Next, shut off the cold-water supply line to the water heater. This can be accomplished by simply turning the valve 90 degrees.


  1. Turn on a Faucet

After shutting off the water, find a nearby faucet and turn on the hot water. You do this to prevent a vacuum from forming while you are draining the tank. You should leave the faucet on while draining the heater.


  1. Hook Up the Hose

Attach a garden hose to the drain valve and put the other end of the hose in a five-gallon bucket. If necessary, tighten the hose with pliers.


  1. Drain the Water Heater

For this step, you’ll need protective gloves. Open the drain valve on the water heater (you may need a flathead screwdriver). Let the water drain into the bucket. Be careful: the water will be hot!


  1. Flush the tank

Once you have drained the heater, you need to flush the tank. To do this, open the cold-water supply valve and let the water run until it is clear. Once the water runs clear, close the cold-water supply valve.


  1. Close the Drain Valve, Power Up the Heater

You did it! You drained your water heater! The final steps are to remove the hose, close the drain valve, open the cold-water supply valve, and turn power back on to the water heater.


Need more advice on how to drain your water heater? Call Bardi!

 Still having trouble with your water heater after draining it? It’s time to call in a professional. The expert plumbing technicians at Bardi have served the greater Atlanta area for 30 years. No plumbing issue is too big or too complex for our team. Call us today at 770-263-9300 or schedule your appointment online.





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