How to Drain a Water Heater

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When draining a hot water heater, attach a garden hose to the unit, turn the vent line and lead the water outside the home. Learn important safety tips when draining water heaters, such as never draining hot water, in this free video from a home repair specialist on maintaining and fixing houses.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Tim Gipson and I'm going to talk to you about how to drain your water heater. Now if your water heater goes out, the first thing that you want to do before you change it, is you're going to drain it. So what you'll need is you're going to need a common garden hose will be fine, and the hose you select, you want to make sure that it's long enough because you want to take this hose and you want to run it all the way out to the road so that what you drain will go down into your storm sewers on your street. Every water heater down here at the bottom of the tank has this outlet, and again it just takes a standard hose attachment so what we'll do is we just screw this on, now very important safety tip right here is you never want to drain a water heater that has hot water in it. Okay, because there actually is pressure that can be built up inside the tank. So two things that you want to remember. Now when you're draining it in this case too, you also want to make sure that your valve is closed at the top. This does have a vent here at the top, and you will need also as you see it has a little lever here, and I'm not going to do it for demonstration 'cause this is a live water here, but we want to flip this up and this actually acts as a vent line. So close your supply line, you will open your drain line, and then you'll also open this vent line. And the vent line is what will allow the water actually to drain out of the system. So again, very important, the only time that you want to drain your water heater is if it is inoperable, and you want to make sure that the water inside is no longer hot. So that's Tim Gipson and that is how you drain a water heater.

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