Are you interested in figuring out how long does it take to drain a water heater?
The good news is that it would not take long to drain water from a water heater, which will take about fifteen to sixty minutes. The duration will depend on the size of its tank.
However, the prep work will take longer, and the entire process will take about one day.
How do you prepare your water heater for draining?
If you notice that your water heater is clogged, then you have to drain it immediately so that your household will get the necessary hot water.
If this does not happen, you will still need to drain it once a year, but you will need to do it more times if you have hard water.
The first step is to turn off the power from the water heater.
If your water heater is gas-powered, switch off the gas valve into the pilot setting.
You will need a hose to drain the water from the tank. The hose needs to have a rubber gasket for leak prevention.
If your water heater is below the ground, the hose may not work, and you may need a portable pump instead. In this situation, you will need two hoses, one for connecting to the pump and the other for fastening outside.
If your water heater is above the ground, gravity will do the job of lowering the water for draining.
Once done, then switch off the water going into the water tank. Now, this is where it will take a few hours to finish: you will need the water to cool down. Try to do this step overnight or take a long hot shower to make the process faster.
What is the best process of draining water in a water heater?
After preparing your water heater for draining, follow these steps (if you encounter any problems, contact a professional plumber):
- After finishing the abovementioned prep work for your water heater, then open the hot water tank drain valve. As mentioned, it will take about fifteen to sixty minutes of draining, which will depend on the size of the tank.
You have to make sure not to break or damage the drain valve once you open and close it, and never forcefully do it.
- After draining all the water in the tank, switch on the cold water valve three times, which is at the top of the tank. This process will mix the sediments located at the bottom of the tank and assist in draining them out of the hose.
Scale or sediments can sometimes cause clogging in the drain valve, so the water is unable to drain.
- Close and open three times the drain valve to remove all the sediment. You can also utilize compressed air to force out the sediments.
If you encounter any other problems, contact a professional plumber.
- Repeat all the steps until you see that the water is clear draining from the hose. Leave open the hot water tap while doing all of these, which will remove all the water blocked in the hot water lines.
- After seeing clear water draining out, switch off the tank drain valve. And please do not force it or else you might damage or break it.
- Positioned at the top of the tank is the cold water valve, which you will need to turn on to refill the tank. When it is full, you will see a steady water current from the hot water tap.
After seeing this, turn off the hot water tap.
- For a gas-powered heater, switch on the gas valve knob.
For an electric heater, switch on the power.
- You will need to check the drain valve underneath the water tank for any leaking. If you see any leaks, open and close the valve a couple of times if sediments are clogging the drain, and you will see water draining out once you do this.
If this would not work, turn off the cold water supply to the tank and contact a professional plumber.
What is the essential information you should know about draining water in a water heater?
Knowing the gravity of water in a water heater
If the water heater is above ground near the roof or ceiling, the water is free-falling, and its gravitational force is thirty-three feet per second.
The downward force will depend on the rate of the water current and the diameter within the pipeline. It will also depend on the kind of material utilized in the pipework and the diameter of the outline pipe.
If the rate of the water current is high, then the gravitational force is also high. If the pipeline is smooth, more water will go down quickly and will make draining faster.
Checking the pressure head in the water heater
The pressure head refers to the high pressured water that is allowed to course through the drain pipe.
The formula for this is: a one-foot elevator drop equals 0.433 psi or pounds per square inch. It means the pressure head must have a high capacity if the water is above the head.
Simply put, if the pressure head is higher, the water and water heater will work more effectively.
Knowing more about the pipe material in the water heater
The water’s flow rate will depend on the status of the inner and outer diameter of the drain pipe. Specifically, the kind of material and the volume capacity.
If the pipe has a wide diameter, it can hold more volume of water, but the pressure will stay low. Yet if the volume is low, the flow rate increases.
If you are a homeowner looking for easier methods concerning the water heater, a one-inch pipe will be the best one. It can provide high force and sufficient volume for water to drain through.
Understanding the hydraulics in a water heater
Hydraulics refers to the air pressure and force through the drainpipe, which is available in the tank.
As the tank is being drained, you have to ensure there will be no airlocks following up. It occurs when the liquid is inactive and the air bubbles are coming in.
Once this happens, the flow stops. So you have to be sure no airlock is happening to avoid the pressure of any kind.
Hydraulics also vertically impact the pipeline’s flow rate. Whenever this happens, you need to find measures to overcome the airlock.
Learning about the amount of water in a water heater
The amount of water in the tank is a significant factor in the draining process. If you have a smaller tank, it will take two to five minutes to drain it entirely. If it is bigger, then it will take longer than usual.
Knowing about sediment formation in a water heater
As mentioned above, sediments can sometimes block the drainpipe. Getting rid of them will increase the flow rate and drain quicker.
Learning the basics of plumbing in a water heater
Knowing about plumbing can save you time and money since you would not be calling a professional plumber anymore once the water heater is not draining as it should be.
FAQ or frequently asked questions about water heater draining
Why does it take long to drain my water heater?
There is sediment formation in the tank that reduces the rate of flow, so you have to remove them.
How can I make draining go faster in my water heater?
If you want the draining of your water heater to go quicker, get a temperature-pressure release valve and attach it to the water heater. It will enable the flow of water to go faster and easier.
If my water heater has a fifty-gallon tank capacity, how long will it take to drain it?
The best way to drain this type of water heater is to have it mounted at the topmost level in the washroom. This way, gravity, and pressure will help in draining faster.
After doing this, the rate of flow will be ten gallons per minute, so a fifty-gallon tank will take about five minutes to drain entirely.
Does learning about how long does it take to drain a water heater important?
It is, and draining your water heater would not be difficult and would not take long. Once you have the proper knowledge and techniques, draining it will be a snap.