Draining Your Water Heater
Keep your water heater in good health by draining the tank every one to two years, dispelling any sediment build-up. While generally harmless in small amounts, large build-ups of sediment can reduce the efficiency of your system and even increase the level of minerals in your hot water.
To drain your water heater the first step will vary, depending on whether you have an electric water heater or gas water heater. For an electric system, look for the water heater's breaker switch and flip it to the "off" position. For a gas system, set the thermostat to "pilot." In either case, hot water will still be present in the system. You can wait for it to cool overnight or be prepared to cautiously handle the remaining hot water.
Next, turn off the cold water supply. You can find a valve for this near the top of the water heater.
Attach a hose to the drain valve. This valve is near the bottom of the tank and, depending on your tank model, might have a removable cover over the opening.
Lead the other end of the hose to a drain, sump hole, or outdoors. You can also use a bucket, but this will take longer and is potentially dangerous when working with very hot water.
Open the water hot tap on a faucet — upstairs, if possible. The change in pressure will increase the draining speed of the tank below.
Open the drain valve to begin the draining process. Sediment could cause the valve to clog, but unless the clog is very solid, you can briefly turn on the cold water supply to disperse it.
When the tank is empty, turn on the cold water again, clearing out any remaining sediment.
Close the drain valve, remove your hose, turn on the cold water, and wait for the tank to fill and water to run from the hot water side of the faucet.
Turn your gas or electric system back on, and remember to recheck the drain valve for potential leaks.