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Water heater drain valve

Hot water heater maintenance and drain valves

Periodically inspecting the water heater drain valve is an important maintenance procedure. A drain valve is located near the bottom of any water heating storage tank. These valves are often made of either metal or plastic and depending on the manufacturer of the storage tank; they can be both very durable and very fragile.

The tank drain valve should be periodically inspected for even the slightest leaks or drips. Unfortunately, this water heater maintenance task is often overlooked.

Faulty drain valves

Unfortunately many tanks on the market today come equipped with fragile drain valves that are made of plastic, and many of these valves become prone to future leaks. Even the smallest leak or drip, overtime can cause the unnecessary waste of heated water which compromises the systems' overall efficiency.

Drain valve leaks overtime can also cause costly property damage, especially if the storage tank is unequipped with a water heater drain pan.

Flush or Drain a Hot Water Heater and Clogged Drain Valves

Periodically draining the storage tank is an important water heater maintenance procedure that prolongs the tanks' life and ensures both system performance and efficiency. But if this isn't regularly performed, the water heater drain valve can become clogged with the sediments that have built up in the storage tank.

This sediment build up in the valve not only complicates the draining procedure, it can deem the drain valve useless. Clogged water heater drain valves quickly become leaky valves, and often times when clogged these valves are unable to seal back tightly after being opened for drainage.

Replacing a water heater drain valve

Warning, Always Exercise Caution

Please be advised that when servicing a water heater there's always the risk of scalding, and scalding is a serious health hazard even for healthy adults.

It's always a good idea to have additional towels and/or rags available when performing water heater maintenance tasks.

If you're uncomfortable or uncertain performing such water heater maintenance tasks on your own, consult with a local water heating professional. After all it's always better to be safe than sorry.

  • Turn off both the power and the water supply to the water heater. If you are uncertain about the location of the gas shut off valve or the main circuit panel, then consult with a local water heating professional.
  • Next drain the hot water heater by using either a garden hose or large containers to prevent spillage and property damage. Flushing the entire storage tank will be required.
  • Remove the faulty water heater drain valve, and then place teflon tape or sealer to the threading of the new drain valve and tightly fit it into place.
  • Reopen the water supply to the storage tank and turn on the hot water tap. Turn off the hot water tap a few minutes after the cold water supply to the tank has been reopened and the tank has been refilled.
  • Turn the power supply back on and ensure that the new valve is tightly fit as well as closed. Then remember to periodically inspect the water heater drain valve for future leaks.

More on water heater maintenance

  • Water Heater Maintenance; how to extend the life of your old or recently purchased storage tank.
  • Drain Hot Water Heater; draining or flushing the storage tank removes sediments that can compromise efficiency and volume.
  • Drain Hot Water Heater With a Clogged Valve; if periodic water heater maintenance has not been performed (especially in an area that has acidic or hard water) the sediment build up in the tank can clog the drain valve.
  • Water Heater Anode; periodically inspecting the sacrificial anode rod is a maintenance procedure that protects the storage tank from corrosion.
  • Water Heater Expansion Tank; high water pressure can compromise any storage tank. The addition of a hot water heater expansion tank can both resolve and prevent high water pressure.

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