In this post I will teach you the simple way how to drain a hot water heater. I recommend doing this once a year to keep your hot water heater running efficiently in addition to removing contaminants and minerals that may have accumulated throughout the year.
I always begin by shutting the gas or the electric of to the hot water heater.
Next you want to turn the hot water heater supply valve to the OFF position.
Connect a hose to the boiler drain at the bottom of the heater. You can run the hose to any floor drain, sump pump or simply to the outside. NOTE: Not all hoses are made for hot water, verify with the manufacturer.
Open the boiler drain at the bottom of the water heater.
To allow a constant flow of water you can open the P&T valve located on the water heater or you can open the hot side to any faucet in your home connected to the hot water heater. Leave the faucet on until the hot water heater is completely drained.
After your hot water heater has completely drained I like to flush it. While leaving the drain open turn the hot water heater supply valve on for 10 seconds and allow to drain. Do this as many times as it takes until you no longer see sediment out of your hose and the water runs clear.
NOTE: This will help prevent sediment and minerals to clog your toilets and faucets once you refill your tank.
Close the boiler drain valve and remove you hose.
Turn the hot water heater cold water valve to the ON position.
If you opened your P&T valve to relieve the vacuum keep a close eye and ear on it. Once the water level gets to that point it will come out very quickly, so you will want to stay close to shut it off.
NOTE: It is common and completely normal to here air coming from either the P&T valve or the faucet.
After about 15-30 you should start getting hot water from all your faucets. I like to go to each fixture in the home (i.e. faucets, toilets, showers, etc.) and run the hot water. This accomplishes 2 things; 1st it removes any trapped air in the lines (which can startle someone if not expecting it). 2nd makes sure there the hot water works everywhere.
I hope this post was helpful learning how to drain a hot water heater. If you have any questions, comments and/or concerns please feel free to contact me and I will respond.