For decades, the water heater has been playing a vital role in our households, making our life easy and comfortable. Its worth is often underestimated, unless and until it stops working, leaving the owners in a state of panic.
But what is the reason for its failed operation? It can be many, out of which the most common one is when with time the unit is suffused with minerals and elements.
These build-ups often damage the water heater, and so draining the heater, will help to restore its normalcy.
However, even the drain valve goes bad over time, making the cleaning and emptying process more difficult. So, how can you drain a water heater without a drain valve?
Simple, by following the below steps, the entire process becomes simple and easy. It is always the best idea to have a little knowledge of the home repairs so that you do not find yourself running for help for every petty thing.
So before this article takes you to the draining part, it is essential to know the operation of the system, and how it is possible to drain water even without a drain valve.
Things to Need to Drain a Water Heater Without a Drain Valve
Large Bucket – If there is no drain on the floor or if the hose is running short in length to reach the drain, then make sure you have a large bucket. The larger the bucket, the better it is, so that you can empty more water at a time.
Self-taping Serrated Inserts – If your drain valve is plastic, then you will need this material. It acts as a strong thread, making the drain removal process easy.
Screwdriver – Make sure your screwdriver is plat-tipped to unscrew the valve. Also, it will be helpful to remove the broken plastic from the drain valve.
Rug – This will help to soak up the water drippings and keep them tidy and dry.
Large-mouthed Funnel – It will collect and drain the water from the tank to the large bucket or into the drain.
Manual Drill and Bit – It is much safer so that you do not have to worry about electrocution.
Hose Pipe – It is to channel the drain water to the floor drain or into the bucket.
Hacksaw Blade – It creates grooves in the brass drain valve. You can use it to break or split the plastic drain valve.
Guide on How to Drain the Water Heater
Turn Off the Power Supply
Turn off the water heater’s power supply, and if your heater is an electric one, then switch off the circuit breaker.
If it is a gas water heater, find the pilot knob of the system and switch to the pilot setting.
Switching to the pilot setting prevents burners ignition while the system is running.
The gas supply of the water heater also must be turned off by switching off the gas valve.
Turn Off Water Supply
The next step is to locate the cold water supply pipe.
The valve can be found along the line near the tank top.
It is better to close the main water supply valve of the house.
This would be much safer and easier, and it will close the valve of the hot water as well.
However, do so, only if there is none at home.
Remove the Busted Drain Valve
The busted drain valve can be removed in two ways.
One, a self-tapping serrated screw can be inserted through the nipple, to block it. You can start this by getting your screwdriver and unscrewing the entire thing.
Next, a hole can be drilled through the plastic drain valve.
Make sure you use a manual drill so that electric shocks are avoided in case the water drips into the device.
To minimize flooding, a rug must be placed under the drain valve.
The hosepipe must be inserted through the funnel spout.
To start the emptying process, the hose’s one end must be placed in the large bucket or floor drain, while the other is into the drain valve.
However, make sure to replace the drain valve of the water heater if it is broken, so that the draining process becomes easy and simple. Also, ignoring to replace the drain valve will soon affect the performance and efficiency of the unit.
Take a look at some of the common questions answered by the experts. They are as follows.
What to do if the water in the heater does not drain?
Once the clean water starts to come out, the drain valve must be turned off and the water valve opened. Then, the hose must be disconnected to allow the tank to be refilled with water.
If the water is struggling to drain, then it must be mostly because of air that’s been trapped in the system. Ask any member to open the hot water faucet, so that the trapped air is removed.
How often the water heater is drained?
For good performance, efficiency, and trouble-free operation, the water heater must be drained at least once a year.
Either get help from the professional and trained plumber or do it yourself, by following the above simple DIY method.
How to flush out the water heater?
The water valve must be opened for at least five minutes so that the water is flushed out.
The sediments are usually collected at the water heater’s bottom and so running fresh water through it, will help clean and clear the sediments out.
Is it safe to drill a hole in the water heater drain valve?
Yes, it is safe to drill a hole in the water heater drain valve, but you have to make sure to use a manual drain.
Avoid using an electric drill as there are high chances that it may give an electric shock that results from the water dripping.
Why is the water heater drain valve leaking?
The most common reason can be a weakened or worn inner washer.
No DIY can save you and the only option is the replacement.
Once you are done with the draining process, you can now be proud of yourself that you have fixed your heater without professional help. Now enjoy a dirt-free and sediment-free water heater for many good months.
However, make sure to consult with a professional at least once in 2-3 years for better and longer heater operation.