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Guide on How to Drain a Hot Water Heater

Did you know DIY repairs can help you save about $20,000 in the long run? While DIY repairs are amazing for some projects, sometimes it creates more problems than it fixes. Sometimes visiting a water heater Toronto repair shop that has licensed professionals can be the best bet.

Although with this easy guide, you can learn how to drain your hot water heater in no time. From what to expect to get started, we’ll break down each step to learn how to fix the problem quickly and correctly.

Now, are you ready to get started? Here’s how to drain a hot water heater:

What to Expect

First and foremost, make sure you’re prepared for a leak to occur. There’s a possible chance the drain valve won’t completely close once you unfasten the tank. After all, the drain valve has been there for up to a year, possibly even longer, and the older it becomes, the less it will close completely.

In fact, 27 million households have water heaters that are over ten years old. Not many people consider that not all leaks occur due to a puncture of a fracture.

Instead, some leaks can happen as a result of the deterioration of materials. For example, aging and rusting can increase the chances of a leak.

With that in mind, be ready to put a stopper on the valve or have to replace the drain valve. The older the valve, the more likely there will be a leak of some form. Although, if your water heater has a plastic valve, then it might be time for an upgrade.

For those that are ready to take the leap, make sure to check out our affordable drain services.

Step 1: Examine the Pressure-Relief Valve

Before you begin, make sure you check the pressure relief valve to ensure that it’s working correctly. To do that, turn off the water heater. Although, if it runs on gas, change the water heater to pilot mode.

Then, activate the lever on the valve to the cold water line. To reduce the mess that may take place, place a bucket below the pressure relief valve. That way, it ensures that if any sediment spills, it goes into the bucket, leaving you with a quick and easy cleanup solution.

Once the valve is opened, look for water or listen for the sound of air. If either happens, that means the valve is working correctly, and you can proceed to the next step.

However, if nothing happens, and you see no signs of dripping water and hear no air coming from the valve. Then, the valve most likely needs to be replaced.

Step 2: Start Running Your Drain

Place a hose from your water heater around the exterior of your house. If your water heater is in your basement, you may need to connect two water hoses: one that runs from the heater to a portable pump and another that reaches the outside of your home. To be safe, make sure you wait several hours for the water to cool down before you open the drain valve.

Although if you want to speed up this process, take a long, hot shower. It works to efficiently speed up the draining process.

Step 3: Begin to Flush the Tank

After you open each and every hot water facet located in your home, go ahead and open the water heater drain valve. If you have a pump, it’s time to turn on that as well. Allow the tank to completely drain, then switch on the water supply.

It helps if there are shorts bursts of water as it will shift the sediment and help remove it. Although if you see that the sediment is starting to slow down or block the flow of water, try to get it out the way. You can do so by removing the drain valve so that sediment can be removed faster.

You can even get a long screwdriver to help you dislodge the big pieces of sediment. Just remember to keep a couple of buckets nearby as they’ll catch the outflow.

Step 4: Finish

When the water that’s coming out of the tank looks clear, switch off the water supply. Next, close the drain valve and turn on the cold water.

Although, make sure you also turn the pressure relief valve to its correct position. Then shut off all of the water facets you previously turned on in your home.

Lastly, make sure you turn on our water heater, which is now free and clear of sediment and debris.


Draining a water heater can be difficult, although, make sure you carefully follow these four steps, and you’ll be on the right track. Just be prepared for a leak to occur if you have an old, rusty, or cheap plastic valve. In that case, you might want to talk to an educated profession beforehand to see if you want to upgrade your entire water heater or just a few parts.

Whatever you decide, remember to place a bucket under the drain valve. Not only will it decrease the mess, but it will provide a quick and easy cleanup solution.