How Long Does it Take to Drain the Water Heater

From basic maintenance to full replacement, what is the one thing which bothers the most to any water heater user? Emptying the tank of your water heater!

Especially when it comes to maintenance, hard water leads to deposition of sediments in the form of various minerals as well as other dissolved solids.  In both the gas as well as electric heaters, this sediment built up clogs the drain. It also leads to the prevention of heat reaching the water.

Hence, it becomes important to drain the water to clean these sediments and bring it back to the desirable working condition.

It almost takes 20-25 minutes to drain out entire water from the heater and executing the whole process. But this duration varies from the size of  the heater. Ideally, with the flow rate between 9 GPM to 17 GPM, for a 5—gallon tank, if the water flows out in the full swing, the tank gets emptied within 6-7 minutes. If you are experiencing slow water supply due to clogging, turn the cold water supply to the tank to unclog.

Here are the steps which one should follow to drain the water and assess how long does it take more accurately

  • Cutting off the water supply

The first step is to stop the water supply to refrain it from refilling. However, cutting off water supply varies from heater type as follows:

Electric Water Heater: it is important to cut off the electric supply o avoid any electric shock or hand-burnt. Then tape the breaker to turn off position. If there is an actual outlet, you simply need to unplug it.

Gas Water Heater: While turning the gas off works but turning the gas heater to the pilot is more appropriate. While both the options work fine and it is solely your discretion which one to choose.

Once the gas or electricity is put to off, the next comes the cutting off the cold water supply. Tankless water heaters are the best deal to consider when it comes to avoiding the hassle of draining water from the tank.

  • Attaching a garden hose to drain valve

At the bottom of the tank, you can find the drain valve easily. It is important to find a quality garden hose to drain the tank easily. Any leakage in the hose will lead to a mess. So be careful while picking up the garden hose.

It is also important that the hose should run to a convenient drain. If your drainage point is higher than the water heater’s position, you need to buy a pump to propel the water out easily.

  • Draining the water

Open the hot water faucet as well as drain valve of your water heater. Open the drain valve of the tank and allow it to empty.

Factors like pressure head, pipe standards and time of flow play a crucial role in deciding the time required to drain a water heater. Hence, a fixed time cannot be specified for any heater.