How to Drain Your Water Heater and Why it Matters

Water heaters, like any other major appliances in your Kansas City home, can’t just be forgotten. They need preventative maintenance to ensure they perform at top efficiency, that they don’t break down and that they last as long as possible. Among the important water heater maintenance tasks is draining the tank, which is something you can do yourself. Here is a primer on how to drain your water heater and why doing so is important.

Kansas City, KS water-heater-servicesGetting started

Before draining your water heater you have to make sure you turn it off, and to do so you need to know whether it is a gas or electric model.

With a gas water heater, you turn the the thermostat to the “pilot” setting, which extinguishes the pilot light, making it safe to work on your water heater. If you have an electric model, you have to cut the power to it by tripping the circuit breaker that controls it. Once you have killed the power to the unit, you also have to cut off the water, which you do by closing the shutoff valve that should be located on or near your water heater.

Draining your tank

To drain your water heater tank, you must attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the unit and then lead that hose somewhere where it can drain, likely a floor drain or outside.

A regular garden hose works best for this task. Before opening the drain valve you need to open the pressure valve on top of your water heater to help it drain faster. You also can open a nearby hot water tap to also help relieve pressure. Once the tank has drained fully, you close the drain and pressure valves, unhook the hose and re-establish the water and power sources. The whole process should take a couple of hours at most.

Why it’s important

Periodically draining your water heater tank helps clear out sediment that can build up inside it. Too much sediment buildup can reduce your Kansas City water heater’s efficiency and also make it prone to breakdowns.

For service on your water heater and other quality services in your Kansas City, KS home, call KB Complete at (913) 722-­6835.