Asked on Dec 5, 2011

I know that experts say that water heaters should be drained once a year to prolong their life span..

Alta MWoodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com3po3


I have a gas water heater that is about five years old. I have never drained it.
I like to do preventive maintenance whenever possible. What is the process? I envision connecting a water hose and seeing 40 gallons of water flow into my backyard and the yard of my neighbors. I do not want a flood!
3 answers
  • 3po3
    on Dec 5, 2011

    That's about the extent of it. Your water heater manufacturer may have specific advice, but here is a nice general step-by-step guide with good photos etc.

  • The process is simple. You do not turn off the water to the heater and just drain it. This will not remove any real sediment doing it this way, Simply take a old short washer hose and a five gallon bucket. while the water is on to the heater using gloves so you do not scald yourself place hose in bucket, connect to hose bib on heater. Turn on bib and fill bucket until no more sediment comes out. Might only be one gallon, or may take several gallons. The reason why you keep the water on is it helps flush the bottom as it fills when draining. Once done turn off water drain and remove hose. If the hose bib continues to drip, and it often does. Do not over tighten it in an attempt to stop this drip. It will not work. Go to any hardware store and purchase a hose bib cap. Cost about $1.50 Put it one valve and your done. If the hot water heater was around 10 years old I would suggest against it at that time. As the heater ages the sediment builds up on the inside. It displaces any water that would normally be in contact with the bottom of the heater. These little dots of debris sometimes allows the heater to overheat those areas and for the lack of a better explanation burns holes into the bottom of the metal weakening it. When you flush after that has occurred. It is quite common to find leaks the next day. This happens a lot with older heaters when people move in to the home. They are in a cleaning mode using many more gallons of water then the heater may had seen for many years. All this additional water can flush the sediment around with the result of these little hot spots beginning to leak in short order.

  • Alta M
    on Dec 5, 2011

    Thank you both very much!

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