How do I drain the water heater tank and how long does it typically take?

Diagram Showing Tank Drain

Drain times vary for a variety of factors but a rough range is anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes depending on tank size.  If it is taking longer to drain the tank you can try to turn on the cold water supply to the tank to try and flush any impediments. The following steps will guide you on how to drain your water heater tank.

WARNING: Before manually operating the relief valve, make certain no one will be exposed to the hot water released by the valve.  The water emptied from the tank may be hot enough to present a scald hazard.  Hence, it should be directed to a suitable drain to prevent injury or damage.

  1. Shut off power to the water heater before draining the water.
  2. Turn off the cold water supply.
  3. Open a hot water faucet or lift the handle on the relief valve to admit air to the tank.
  4. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve on the water heater and direct the stream of water to a drain.
  5. Open the valve.

You can also watch the video below for reference on how to drain the water tank. Questions? Contact us here.

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