How Often Do Electric Hot Water Heaters Need to Be Drained?


Quick Answer

Electric water heaters need to be drained at least once a year, according to Allstate. The exact number of times a water heater needs to be drained depends on the type, brand, model and usage. Homeowners can refer to the unit's user manual for more information.

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Full Answer

To drain a water heater, homeowners need to shut off the water supply to the heater at the water shutoff valve. This is usually located at the top of the unit. Next, they cut off the power supply to the unit at the circuit breaker box. Homeowners then attach a good-quality hose to the spigot located at the bottom of the water heater and place the other end of the hose at the basement floor drain, stationary tub or directly outside. They turn the spigot counter-clockwise to allow water to drain.

The pressure release valve is usually located on top of the unit. Homeowners pull the lever to begin the draining process. They allow the water to drain completely, which could take up to 30 minutes. Once completely drained, they then turn the water back on to flush any sediment or debris remaining at the bottom of the tank and, they wait until the water runs clear and turn off the water supply.

To complete the process, the spigot is turned clockwise, ensuring that it is tight before removing the attached hose. Homeowners then close the pressure release valve and turn the water back on and switch on the power to the unit once the tank is full.

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