How to drain a water heater without drain valve

The water heater creates relief for many households for years. It is the most used household appliance. Its function seems irrelevant until it’s broken. That’s why it is essential to give your water heater the due maintenance it deserves.

Draining a water heater is an essential maintenance task for homeowners. It would help if you exhausted your water heater at least once a year to remove any sediment. But what to do when your drain valve goes bad?

In this article, we will discuss how to drain a water heater without a drain valve? Nothing can stop you from cleaning any residue clustered in your water heater, not even a faulty drain valve.

Here are the required equipment and the steps you need to drain a water heater without a drain valve.

Needed equipment’s:

  • Self-Tapering Serrated Insert
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill Bit
  • Drill (Manual)
  • Hacksaw Blade
  • Funnel
  • Big Bucket
  • Rug
  • Hose Pipe

You are trying to empty heaters when your drain valve goes wrong. It depends on the quality as some can be made from plastic while others, from brass.

How to drain a water heater without drain valve

Step 1

At first, turn off the main power supply. It might be your gas or electric power supply. If you think the water is hot, wait for it to cool down before you do anything, as you might get yourself burned.

Step 2

Take out your damaged drain valve to ensure that this part of the heater using the water into the heater is shut. Ensure that your hot water taps are also closed. If you have a flexible drain valve, apply a self-tapering serrated insert to block the nipple and unscrew it.

It would help if you used the manual drill to avoid electric shocks caused by the water dripping out while making the hole. You have a brass nipple, apply your hacksaw blade to build a cross-shaped cut on it. Take out the item by placing the screwdriver inside the cut and turn clockwise. Take your garden hose and your bucket to prepare to drain. The rug will help spills on the ground.

Step 3

Lastly, having the T and P valve on, empty the hot water tap to let the air clear the water from inside.

The DIY methods are much more manageable. And now you are done.

Why is the water heater causing noises?

If the water supply coming into your house contains plenty of minerals, it is rated hard. In hard water, the minerals will eventually begin collecting at the water heater tank’s bottom. As the residue builds up, it will trap water underneath it. When the gas burner heats the water, steam bubbles will rise and erupt through the sediment layer, creating that annoying popping sound.

The build-up of sediment can reduce the water heater’s efficiency and eventually damage the tank’s interior lining. It would be best to drain your water from the tank every year to flush out these mineral sediments. You’ll not only reduce that knocking sound, but you’ll increase the life of your water heater.

Why Should You Drain Your Water Tank?

Draining the water heater is part of its regular maintenance. As time goes by, the water heater gets stored with dirt, and other debris builds up. Aside from dirt, the tank rusts and the corrosion also rests at the tank’s bottom, leading to the clogging tank.

It can’t sound as unpleasant as it is, but have you ever heated a pot of water with clusters of dirt? It is not only undesirable, but it also takes a long time to burn to your desired temperature. It happens with your water, causing you to waste more time and use more to run it.

Draining the water heater will help flush out these bits of dirt and build-up and reduce any form of malfunction. Thus performing it work better and efficiently.

How Do You Know That Your Drain Valve is Clogged?

It is a simple task to know that your drain valve is clogged. After joining your hose to the valve to drain water out, and the drained water turns clear, your valve is not blocked. But if the water refuses to drain, then it means your drain valve is clogged.

How Often Anybody Drain Their Water Heater?

It is suggested that you drain your water heater for a minimum of one every year if you live in a place where a hard water supply, you should empty your water heater more often for effective functioning.

Can you replace the Water Heater Drain Valve?

Yes. It is more desirable to replace the drain valve than to repair it because you will suffer from leaking in your hose in the case of an unsuccessful repair.

Should you Install a Drip Pan Alongside your Water Heater?

It is suggested that you fix a drip pan with a pipeline under your water heater tank when the heater is located in your home. Leaking water from the heater can result in a lot of water damage, and a pan and drain remove this tendency.

How long does it need to drain a 50-gallon water heater?

If you have a 50-gallon tank and your hose’s pressure allows the water to flow at 10 gallons per minute (GPM), you can expect the tank to drain in about 5 minutes fully.


Having done the process of how to drain a water heater without a drain valve, you can enjoy sediment and dirt-free water heater without a drain valve.

Many people often forget to ensure their water heater is drained and maintained regularly. Your water heater needs to function effectively.

Some people have ended up flooding their house, trying to do it. So you should observe every preventive measure and follow the steps carefully. Regularly draining can enhance its performance and increase its lifespan.