How Long Does It Take To Drain A Water Heater

Hey there friends, have you ever wondered what you’re supposed to do with that big metal box in your basement? The one that heats up all that water for your showers and laundry? Well fear not, because today we’re going to talk about the wondrous world of draining your water heater. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Draining my water heater? That sounds like a lot of work!” But trust me, it’s worth it. And with these handy tips and tricks, it’ll be a breeze.

Why Should You Drain Your Water Heater?

First things first, let’s talk about why you should even bother with all this draining business. Well folks, over time sediment can build up at the bottom of your water heater. This can cause all sorts of problems, like decreased efficiency, funky smells, and leaks. Plus, if you never drain your water heater, all that sediment can harden and turn into some seriously nasty stuff.

Picture of a water heater

So let’s get to it, shall we?

Step-By-Step Guide

First, turn off the power supply to your water heater. If you have an electric water heater, you’ll need to flip the circuit breaker. If you have a gas water heater, turn the gas control valve to the “pilot” setting.

Next, turn off the cold water supply. You’ll want to let your water heater cool down for a bit before you start messing with it, so be patient.

Locate the drain valve at the bottom of your water heater. It should be near the thermostat. If you can’t find it, consult your owner’s manual.

Attach a garden hose to the drain valve and run it to a safe drainage location, like a floor drain or outside.

Open the drain valve and let the water heater empty out. Be careful, the water is going to be hot! Also, make sure you open up a hot water tap somewhere in your house. This will help the water flow out more quickly.

Once the water heater is empty, turn on the cold water supply for a few minutes. This will help flush out any remaining sediment.

Close the drain valve and turn the power supply back on. If you have a gas water heater, turn the gas control valve back to the “on” position.

Picture of a hand holding a water hose

And there you have it, folks! Your water heater is nice and clean, and ready to keep heating up all that H2O for you.


How often should I drain my water heater?

It’s generally recommended that you drain your water heater once a year. However, if you have particularly hard water or a large household, you might need to do it more often.

What should I do if I can’t get my drain valve to open?

If your drain valve is stuck, you can try using pliers to twist it open. However, be gentle, as you don’t want to break the valve.

Can I just hire a professional to drain my water heater?

Of course! If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, there are plenty of plumbers out there who will be happy to do it for you.


So there you have it, folks. Draining your water heater might seem like a hassle, but it’s an important part of maintaining your home’s plumbing. Plus, with these handy tips and tricks, it’s a lot easier than you might think. So go forth and get draining!

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