How To Drain A Water Heater Without Drain Valve

Water heaters have been creating relief for many households for years now. It is the most used household appliance, as well as the most neglected. Its function may seem irrelevant until it's broken.

This is why it is essential to give your water heater the due maintenance it deserves. So, you have to drain it at least once a year. But what do you do when the drain valve goes bad?

You will know what to do after reading this how to drain a water heater without a drain valve article. Nothing can stop you from cleaning any sediment that may have clustered in your water heater, not even a faulty drain valve.

What is the Drain Valve of a Water Heater?

What Is The Drain Valve Of A Water Heater?

The drain valve is the valve located at the bottom of the heater in the tank-type water heater. It functions in removing water from the entire system when draining or flushing the system.

How to Drain a Water Heater Without Drain Valve

Getting to drain out water from your water heater when the drain valve is nonfunctional can be quite difficult. But there has to be a solution surely, especially when everything else is failing.

How To Drain A Water Heater Without Drain Valve

Here are the tools you will need and a step by step process of how to drain a water heater without a drain valve.

Stuff You Will Be Needing

  • Big bucket
  • Self-tempering serrated insert
  • Screwdriver
  • Big bucket
  • Rug
  • Funnel
  • Drill bit
  • Manual drill
  • Hosepipe
  • Hacksaw blade

Step by Step process

Step One

Put off the heater's main power supply, whether it is an electric or gas power source. If the water is still hot, allow it to cool before proceeding further to avoid being burnt or scalded.

Step Two

Remove the faulty drain valve and ensure that the area of the heater that supplies water to it is turned off. Also, ensure that the hot water valve is closed. If your heater comes with a plastic drain valve, put a self-tapping serrated insert to block the nipple, and unscrew it.

Better still, you can bore a hole on the drain valve using a manual drill. Do not use an electric drill to avoid electric shock, resulting from water drips when boring the hole.

If your heater nipple hole is made of brass, you can use a hacksaw blade to make a cross-patterned cut on it. Then, pierce a through the cut using a screwdriver, and turn the screwdriver clockwise.

After that, you can now insert the garden hose into the opening and put the other end of the hose on your bucket to start draining. The rug will help prevent any form of water spillage on the floor.

Step Three

After draining, leave the T and P valve on to allow air dry the water on the inside. And now you are done.

Why You Should Drain Your Water Tank

Draining your water heater is part of its regular maintenance. As time goes by, our water heater gets accumulated with dirt, and other sediments build up. Aside from dirt, the tank corrodes, and the corrosion also rests at the tank's bottom, which, in most cases, can lead to clogging of the tank.

Why You Should Drain Your Water Tank

This may not sound as unpleasant as it is, but have you ever boiled a pot of water with clusters of dirt? It is not just undesirable, but it also takes a long time to boil to your desired temperature. This is what happens with your water, causing you to waste more time and use more cost to run it.

Draining your water heater will help flush out these specks of dirt and build-up, and reduce any form of malfunction. Thus making it work better and more efficiently.

How to Drain a Water Heater Fast

How to Drain a Water Heater Fast

Flushing your water heater is essential for proper functioning. Here is a step by step process on how to drain a water heater fast.

Step One

Shut off the heat source to your water heater. For gas water heaters, the power source, which is the thermostat, is usually close to the tank's bottom. For an electric heater, to turn it off, you have to find the home breaker box and turn off the switch that supplies power to the heater. 

Step Two

Allow the water tank to cool to avoid working with boiling water. To enhance the process, turn on your kitchen sink hot water tap. Because we have turned off the heater's burner, draining the hot water through the kitchen tap will cause cool water to replace it.

Leave the kitchen faucet on during the entire flushing process. This will prevent vacuuming in the lines while draining the hot water.

Step Three

Attach a hose to the drainage valve and ensure the other end of the hose is routed to a bucket or any other place where the water can lead to the sewer or street. If your water heater is located in the basement, you should acquire a pump to get the water from the basement to the ground floor.

Step Four

Turn off the cold water inlet valve located above the tank, so you can do it without turning off the whole household water supply. Better still, you can turn off the water from the point where water enters the house. So, you must discover these valves before you start the entire flushing process. 

Step Five

Open the spigot and start draining. But, make sure the other end of the hose is channeled outside or leads to a bucket. But if it is in a basement, you need to get a water pump to enable you to pump the water from the basement to the ground floor. 

How to Flush a Water Heater

How to Flush a Water Heater

The right time to flush your water heater is when the tank is empty or when it's done or almost finished draining. Here are the steps on how to flush a water heater.

Step One

Open the cold water inlet valve, let it flow into the tank for fifteen to twenty seconds, then turn it off. Doing this will help bring up the sediments lying on the tank's bottom.

After that, check the hose attached to your drain valve and check the water sample coming out. If the water is dirty, you have to restart the entire flushing process until the water coming out of the heater is clean.

Step Two

After clean water starts coming out, turn off the drain valve and open the water valve. Then, disconnect the hose and allow the tank to be refilled.

Step Three

In the course of draining out the water, air must have been trapped in the system. So to remove the air from the water lines, open the hot water faucet. The air will escape through the faucets, and when water starts flowing out of the faucet steadily, you can turn it off.

Step Four

Now that everything is set, you can now turn on the burner again. Do this when the tank is full or half full, at least because turning it on sooner could result in damage. Since the water is cold, the burner will kick start immediately.

If you have an electric heater, to set the heat again, turn on the breaker. If it's done, you should feel a temperature rise in the faucet within the next thirty minutes.

How to Drain an Electric Water Heater

How to Drain an Electric Water Heater

To drain your electric water heater, take this following step properly.

The first step on how to drain an electric water heater is to turn off the power button of the heater. To do this, you have to disable the circuit breaker or fuse that powers the system.

Next, turn off the water source that supplies the heater with water. You can find this valve at or close to the cold water inlet pipe on the heater's top. To turn it off, turn the clock clockwise. If you cannot find the valve, a second option is to put off the main water supply valve to the house.

Now you are ready to drain. Locate the drain cock at the heater's bottom. It is usually colored silver or brass, and it has a threaded end. You can put a bucket under the drain valve or better still attach a garden hose to it.

Open the pressure and temperature valve to relieve the pressure from the tank. You can find it on the side of the top of the heater. To open it, flip the lever on it upwards.

Now is time to drain the water in the tank. You can do a partial or total drain of the tank. For a partial drain, let in some gallons of water into the or hose. But for a complete drain, you will have to empty the tank.

When the draining is complete, close the temperature and pressure (T&P) valve and the drain valve. After that, switch the water heater power supply back on.

How to Replace a Water Heater Drain Valve Without Draining the Water

To replace the water heater drain valve without draining your water heater is not as difficult as you may think.

Draining your water heater is possible if the drain valve is clogged. If this happens, the best answer to a clogged drain valve is installing a ball valve.

Water Heater Will Not Drain? Fix It With These 3 Easy Steps

How To Drain A Water Heater Without Drain Valve FAQs

How Often Should You Drain Your Water Heater?

According to experts, it is advised that you drain your water heater for a minimum of one every year. But if you live in a place with a hard water supply, then you should drain your water heater more often for effective functioning.

Why Is My Water Heater Drain Valve Leaking?

The major cause hot water heater leaking drain valve is a worn or weakened inner washer.

Can the Water Heater Drain Valve Be Replaced?

Yes. It is more advisable to replace the drain valve than to repair it because, in the case of an unsuccessful repair, you will suffer from leaking in your hose.

How Do I Know That My Drain Valve is Clogged?

Knowing that your drain valve is clogged is simple. If, after connecting your hose to the valve to drain water out, and the drained water turns clear, your valve is not clogged. But if the water trickles or refuses to drain, then it means your drain valve is clogged.

Should I Install a Drip Pan Alongside My Water Heater?

Generally, it is recommended that you fix a drip pan with a drain line under your water heater tank, mostly when the heater is located in your home or basement. Leaking of water from the heater can result in a lot of water damage, and a pan and drain remove this tendency.

Wrap Up!

Having gone through the process of how to drain a water heater without a drain valve, you can now enjoy sediment and dirt-free water heater with or without a drain valve.

However, most people often forget to ensure their water heater is drained and maintained regularly. But this is essential for your water heater to function effectively.

Also, draining your water heater tank may seem like a simple task, which it probably is. But most people have ended up flooding their house or basement trying to do it. So you must observe every preventive measure and follow the steps carefully.

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