One of the best things San Francisco area homeowners can do to extend the life of their water heaters is to periodically drain their tanks. This post will go over how to drain a water heater and how it can keep yours running smoothly and efficiently.

Why is it important to drain a water heater?

Over time, it’s common for water heater tanks to build up with sediment that is normally suspended in the water. This sediment can decrease your water heater’s efficiency and be damaging to different parts of your unit. You can greatly extend the life of your unit by draining your water heater at least once a year and getting rid of that sediment.

How to drain a water heater:

  • 1. Shut off the incoming water supply to your water heater.
  • 2. Turn off the gas or electricity that is used to heat your unit and let the tank cool down. This is a very important safety measure, because it can be dangerous to drain hot water.
  • 3. Attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank.
  • 4. If you don’t have a floor drain near your water heater, run the hose outside so you can drain the water into a nearby sewer drain.
  • 5. Open the drain valve and drain a few gallons of water out of your unit. The water will likely look discolored initially due to sediment buildup. Make sure to drain the tank until the water becomes clear.
  • 6. Close the drain valve and turn the incoming water supply back on. Make sure to leave one of your home’s taps open while the tank is refilling in order to release any air out of the system.
  • 7. Once the tank is full, turn the gas or electricity to the unit back on

If you have any questions about how to drain a water heater, or if you’d like your water heater serviced by a high-quality contractor, contact Cabrillo, your San Francisco area plumbing, heating and coolingcompany. We service the San Francisco area and surrounding cities like Woodside, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Orinda.