Why it is Important to Drain Your Water Heater

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart 0561240

Why it is Important to Drain Your Water Heater

We are so used to getting hot water in our home without a thought, until something goes wrong with our water heater, or it stops working. A cold shower or a leak can take us by surprise and are signs that the water heater is not working properly. This can happen when we neglect to periodically drain it. A water heater needs to be drained and flushed as part of its maintenance routine. Why is this so important? Over time sediment from minerals and other deposits in the water build up in the bottom of the tank, called scaling, and can lead to a clog in the valves which can cause leaks and corrosion. This can result in poor heating efficiency and costly repairs. Drainage helps flush out the sediment that can cause malfunction and makes it easier to heat the water when blockage is freed. With regular maintenance the heater will perform better, saving you money over time.

Signs that your water heater needs to be drained or needs repair—No hot water or limited supply, low water pressure, discolor and odors, unusual noises, leaks, and high utility bills. Strange smells can be due to bacteria build-up while unusual noises can be caused by loose sediment that scrapes against the metal as the water enters and leaves.

Drainage frequency—How often should you drain and flush your water heater? Water heater manufacturers and certified plumbers recommend draining and flushing on average approximately once per year. However, increased frequency is recommended when the following factors come into play: the tank is over 15 years old; the local water supply is hard or heavy with minerals; or the filtering process in your community is faulty. For situations like these, you should increase your maintenance regiment to 2 or 3 times per year. After draining the first time, you will have a better idea of how often to drain your water heater depending on the conditions and how much sediment has accumulated. You may find that once per year is sufficient enough, especially if your tank has a hydro-jet to reduce sediment. Electric and tankless water heaters, although more efficient and last longer, also need the same maintenance care. If uncertain, check the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The draining process—You may choose to do this yourself or hire a plumbing professional. If doing it yourself always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Basic guidelines are as follows: turn off the power, the water, and let the tank cool; connect a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and place the hose where it can be properly drained; turn on the hot water faucet to enable quicker drainage; turn on the drain spigot and let it run until the tank is empty; turn the water to the tank back on to flush it. You may need to add vinegar or a lime descale; once the water is clear, close the valve to allow the tank to fill; shut the hot water faucet off; when the tank is full, turn the water heater back on.

Test the pressure-relief valve—The pressure-relief valve releases unsafe amounts of pressure from water vapor. Scaling can block the valve from functioning; hence it is important to check it at least once per year. If it is working properly, you should see water on the ground below the valve’s discharge pipe. Test by placing a bucket below the pipe and opening the valve. You should see water coming through the valve, down the pipe, and into the bucket. If that doesn’t occur, you have a problem with the valve that needs to be addressed by a plumber.

It’s easy to take our major appliances such as our water heater for granted so it’s important to pay attention to any signs of malfunction and address promptly with a systematic draining and flushing.

As hot water is such a necessity, regular maintenance of your water heater is imperative if you want to keep it in good functional condition. Put it on your schedule this season so you are sure to keep it top of mind.






Posted by

e signature for Shayne Stone

“YOUR Rock-Solid Choice Realtor for Making Home Sellers a Profit & Home Buyers Equity”

Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Twitter Icon Blog Icon
Home Search Icon Market Insight Icon Home Value Icon



Comments (8)

Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net


Good advice for sure. Hope you are having a wonderful Holiday Weekend. Bill Salvatore with Arizona Elite Properties. 

May 28, 2023 05:46 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Shayne and thank you for the great information in your blog today.  Make it a great Sunday!

May 28, 2023 09:03 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Shayne Stone very good helpful report for it is important to drain a water tank.

May 28, 2023 04:52 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Shayne Stone something as simple as draining the hot water heater can make a significant difference in how it operates and the water heaters life time.

May 28, 2023 04:53 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Shane it is such an important point but most of us do not do it because it is a hassle instead end up buying a new one...Endre

May 28, 2023 10:33 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker
Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.
May 29, 2023 03:20 AM
Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Excellent information.Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful day and a blessed weekend.

May 29, 2023 03:49 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great post!  Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day!

May 30, 2023 06:58 AM