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Tanklets > Draining a Water Heater

Q: I have installed a number of hot water heaters, and would like tips on draining them quickly. Past problems have been sediment/crude slowing the draining process. Anyone have tips on draining them quickly? I have considered siphoning out the top, but haven't tried that method.

A1: I'm not sure such exists. All you can do is remove the drain valve and hook up a male-threaded hose, but sediment will still be an issue. Not using a hose means a horrible mess around the water heater, both of water and sediment. Making sure some other port is open to let air in will speed draining, but you probably already know that. -- Randy

A2: The quickest way to drain a water heater is to remove the thermostat. I have rigged up 2" pvc pipe to a drain and once I removed the thermostat I hold the pipe up to the water flow. Drain time is about 3-4 minutes for a scaled up 40 gl heater. Make sure you remove a supply hose on top to get air into the heater or you create a vacuum. -- Ej

A3: Cap the hot outlet. Place an air gauge on the cold inlet. Inject compressed air into the tank, releasing the pressure at the drain bib. If it clogs, shut it and put a hose fitting on the hot outlet. Not a perfect solution, but faster than gravity. -- Srdenny

A4: I find useing a pump is the best way to drain quickly the trick is to hook up pump to drain valve and open drain turn on water to tank to force some of the sedement through then just pump it out liberty makes a pump that boasts 3minuite for a forty gallon tank. -- Daplumba

A5: Handy technique but sometimes the sediment can get the better of your transfer pump. -- Srdenny (6/13/09)