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Honest Home Inspection Logo Full

Draining your water heater

Jan 7, 2022 | Blog Post

Why you should, and how to do it!

Yearly draining of your water heater helps to extend the life of the appliance by removing sediment that gathers from the local water supply and reduces the heater’s effectiveness.

Draining your water heater is free to do and saves you money by extending the life of the heater. Without yearly draining of the appliance, sediment from the local water supply can build up in the bottom of the heater and make the appliance work harder to heat your water. Draining the water heater will take approximately one hour of your time and normally requires no more than a garden hose, a flat head screwdriver and a wrench.

Draining Your Water Heater

Step 1 – Locate and turn off the cold water supply to the water heater. 

Water Heater Valve Switch

Step 2 – Turn the water heater off or turn to the pilot setting. If electric, you may need to turn off the breaker to the heater.

Water Heater Power Switch

Step 3 – Attach garden hose to the drain valve and run the hose to a safe location, yard or drain, where scalding hot water will not cause damage.


Water Heater Spigot

Step 4 – Open the nearest hot water source at a sink and open the drain valve. This will take several minutes for the water to fully drain.

Step 5 – Flush the heater by opening the cold water for a few seconds and allow it to drain. Repeat this step until the water runs clear.
Step 6 – Refill the water heater by closing the drain valve and hot water at the sink. Open the cold water supply on top of the water heater.
Step 7 – Turn the water heater back on and relight the pilot as needed.

Here’s a video walk-through of the process with our inspector, Adam.