How to Drain a Clogged Water Heater

How to Drain a Clogged Water Heater? [7 Super Ways]

How to Drain a Clogged Water Heater

We use almost 50 litres of hot water every day while using the shower or the kitchen. However, if more people are attending your place because of a family occasion, keeping the Water Heater running is one of the most important things to look for! Well, if you are suffering from Clogged Water Heater, things can become worse.

In fact, knowing how to unclog the hot water can save the day when the hot water doesn’t want to drain. There may be several reasons why the water heater may be clogged and sediments may be the most common problem. Well, if you are suffering from the problems, this guide on the Clogged Water Heater can he utmost solution for you.

Sediments can enter the tank at any time and it tends to be more if you are living around an area with high contaminations. There can be many sizes of these sediments which start to fill the outlet pipe and ultimately leave you in a state of a massacre.

There can also be particles present in the inside of your tanks such as rust and others. This may form into limescale which means that you can face many problems with the water heater. Sediment formation can be really bad on any occasion. This is the reason why regular maintenance of water is always necessary.

Is Your Drain Valve Clogged?

Unclogging a drain valve on such an occasion is the most important thing that you need to focus on. Yes, at times it can be an easy requirement but at other times, it can just grow too big for you.

Failure to find a way to unclog the heater will mean that you need to purchase a new heater. In fact, all the hard work depends on what the situation is and how critical is the condition of the valve.

If you have already detected that there is an issue in the drain valve, you can easily follow these steps to determine if it is clogged.

  1. Simply turn off the fuel and take the safety measures. Just power off all the electrical connections available and also the circuit breaker! If you have a control knob to pilot the gas, turn it off too.
  2. Now you need to attach a garden hose to the drain valve. You can now run the other end of the drain. After this, you need to open the drain valve of the heater.
  3. Now, once you are done with this, you need to open a faucet to the air to the tank. This means that the valve is running properly and in good condition.
  4. Once done, you need to inspect is the drain water is coming out from the tank. It is clear; the valve is in good condition and not clogged.
  5. If you find that no water is coming out of the heater, you may need to change it or even unclog the heater water tank.

Safety Tip

Taking proper measures of safety before you go forward is one of the biggest concerns for you. Before you opt to unclog the water heater or even do any type of investigation with it, you need to keep in mind about the safety cautions. Here are some tips which you can easily follow.

  1. Try to start with safety goggles which will protect your eyes even if hot water spills out. Apart from this, you can also try out by wearing gloves if you are attempting to drain the tank.
  2. Try to cool the water before you attempt to clean the water. Even if you are willing to clean the water from the interior, you must understand that the water needs to be cold. To cool the water, you can easily follow these three methods.
  3. Allow the hot water to sit in the tank for at least 24 hours after you shut off the power. This means that you need to set it cool and under the regular room temperature before you start to operate the heater.
  4. Try to drain out the water as much as possible. Even if it is not running properly, try to keep the drain valve open. Apart from this, you need to leave the water inlet open. Make sure that the power is off. This is because, the cooler water that you can get, the better the water will dilute the hot water. However, this method will only work only if the drain valve is not completely clogged.
  5. If the drain water faucet is completely clogged, you need to open all the hot water faucets of your room. Now you need to open up the cold water inlet of the water heater. This will dilute the remaining hot water of the water heater.

How to Unclog a Drain Valve?

Clearing the water clog means that you need to get from the basics. But before that, you need to understand how serious the levels of the clog are. There are many ways by which you can unclog the water and this will determine how serious the clog is.

You can try out the list of methods as mentioned below starting from the easiest at the beginning to the most complex steps. But before you get started, make sure that you follow the safety precautions first.

1. Give it Time

If you have minor clogs in your geyser, try to give some time. If you are staying in a contaminated area, it means that minor rusts will always form. But you may not have to worry about it much.

You can simply apply some nominal pressure which will allow the clog to flow out of the drain valve. However, you can easily follow these simple steps to get effective results.

  1. The first thing that you need to do is to attach a garden hose to the drain valve. You can now run the other end of the outside or to an indoor drain. This will allow the water heater to build pressure.
  2. The next thing that you need to do is to close all the hot water faucets and then open the drain valve.
  3. The pressure will allow the clog to move out of the pipe and push through the debris. You can just give a couple of hours for this process to completely clean the clog.

2. Stiff Wire

This method is very effective if there is not only a clog but a small amount of debris present in the tank. The debris blocks the outflow of the tank from draining. In fact, you can also hear some odd noises because of this process. However, to know more, you can simply follow these steps:

  1. The first step is to close the drain valve and then get the hose disconnected. You can place a small tub or a towel just below the drain valve. This will help you to catch the water from the valve.
  2. The next step is to open the drain valve and then use a stiff wire or a wire coat hanger to the opening mouth of this valve. Now try to gently rotate the wire in a circular motion.
  3. If you have done it properly, the water will start flowing through the valve immediately. However, if it is not done, you need to continue the process until the water flows out.
  4. Once the water flows out, you need to turn off the valve and connect the hose. This means that your heater is now ready for use.

Wondering about how long can it take to Drain a Water Heater? Then we think this post has answers to all your questions.

3. Stomp the Hose

stomp the hose

If you feel that the above two methods are not working, you can try out the Stomp the Hose method. Here are the steps that you need to fulfill.

  1. Keep the hose attached to the valve and leave the valve open. This will allow the water to stomp on the hose. You need to increase the range to 2 feet from the water heater.
  2. This means that an air bubble will come into the water heater. This may be just enough for you to unclog the drain.
  3. Because of the pressure, the clog will automatically flow out to the drain pipe. If it does not flow out, you need to settle the clogged valve again.

4. Reverse Flow

The Reverse Flow method is one of the most unique ways of cleaning the clog from the water heater. This process mainly works when the drain valve is completely clogged and it is not working at all. Follow these steps:

  1. Keep the drain valve closed and then connect one end of a different hose tot the drain valve and the other end to the garden hose.
  2. Turn on the water to the faucet for about 10 to 15 seconds which will give you great results.
  3. Allow the water to flow to the valve and it will easily unclog the drain valve at no time. Once it is done, simply disconnect the hose and allow the water to drain. This will also remove the clog if it is not much severe.

5. Replace the Drain Valve

If you are unable to manually remove the clog, you can easily try the option to replace the drain valve. Follow the steps below to know more.

  1. Wrap up the threads of the new brass drain valve with the help of Teflon Tape. Make sure that all the hot water faucets are closed and the heater is powered off.
  2. This will create a vacuum which will prevent the water from pouring out. You can place a towel or a pan to collect the water under the drain valve.
  3. Use an adjustable wrench and unscrew the old drain valve. Try to quickly replace with the new drain valve during this process.
  4. Connect the valve with a garden hose which will allow you to get a proper result.

6. Replace with a Ball Valve

ball valve

Just like the drain valve is important, the ball valve is also important for any water heater. Because of the mechanism, the drain valve tends to clog faster than any ball valve. So you can easily replace the drain valve with a ball valve. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Take the ball valve and wrap up both ends with a Teflon tape. You need to screw one of the wrapped ends of the valve to the dielectric nipple.
  2. Wrap up both the ends of the other nipple with the same Teflon Tape. Make sure that you allow a space for the handle to move. The handle should move away from the tank.
  3. All the faucets in the home should be closed to prevent the water from pouring out of the valve. Now you need to connect a garden hose with the ball valve to drain the tank.

7. Move Your Tank

Sometimes, when innovative ways are not working, try to use the traditional way of moving or shaking the tank. Here are the steps to follow.

  1. Disconnect all the power sources of the water heater and also all the incoming and outgoing water pipes.
  2. Pull out the water heater from the wall and start shaking the heater gently. Rock it onto a hand truck and roll it outside.
  3. Once you are done, attach it back to the initial position. Simply open the drain valve to let the water flow out of the tank. This will clear the clog.

Should You Drain a Water Heater When Not in Use?

Draining your water heater is equally as important just like cleaning any filter of water purifier in your home. Repeated formation of sediments and contamination in your locality may affect the internal components of the heater at any time.

If you allow the cold water to stay inside the heater for a lot more days, it will start forming rusts inside the heater. Thus, you need to make sure about closing the inlet pipe and stopping the entire drainage system.


You can always follow the above-mentioned methods to know all about How to Drain a Clogged Water Heater. However, if these methods are not working for your heater, you may have multiple problems. In such a case, try to consult a technician or else, look for a new water heater.

However, you can also check out other instructions to remove the clog from the water heater. If you are staying in an area that has high levels of contamination, we recommend regular maintenance to avoid any type of permanent clogging.

However, if you are still facing problems even after trying the above-mentioned solution, you can do let us know below.

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