How to Replace a Drain Valve on a Water Heater

It is an essential requirement that the water heater should be regularly flushed to keep it highly functional and efficient. However, with time, the drain valve could become clogged with mineral deposits and some of its components may wear out or weaken to cause leakages.

Although the homeowner or a professional could easily repair other valves in the water heater, it is recommended that the water heater drain valve should be replaced when there is a defect.

You can change the drain valve by yourself or call a professional at Just Water Heaters for drain valve replacement and other plumbing water heater repair services.

If you have the time and the tools to replace the drain valve in your unit, then follow the instructions in this article.

Tools needed for drain valve replacement.

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Garden hose
  • A bucket
  • Screwdriver
  • Pipe sealer or Teflon tape
  • Cloths and towels
  • Locate the drain valve in your unit

The function of the drain valve is to withhold the water in the tank and also an exit point when flushing the unit. For safety reasons and to have a clean working environment, you need to empty the water heater to avoid your basement from been flooded.

Drain valve replacement is never a time consuming DIY activity. Apparently, it could take 30 to 50 minutes for this task to be completed and interestingly, you do not require a special skill. Follow the instructions below:

Turn off the power source

If you have an electrically powered unit, switch off the appropriate breaker. For gas powered water heaters, you need to turn off the pilot knob to the pilot setting. If you can’t do that, then shut off the gas supply from the gas line that is closest to the unit. Then allow the water heater to cool for one or two hours.

Turn off the water supply

Shut off the cold water supply pipe to the unit to avoid continues water inflow while you are working on the valve.

Connect a hose to completely drain the tank

Attach a garden hose to the drain valve of the unit and make sure that the other end is placed at the nearest drain.

Drain the tank by opening the valve with a screwdriver or by rotating the handle. You should release the internal pressure in the water heater by opening the temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P). You should close it immediately after draining the tank.

Remove the old drain valve

With the adjustable wrench, you can now remove the drain valve and use a bucket to collect water that may drip from the unit.

Install the new drain valve

Before installing the valve, put some Teflon tape or pipe sealer on its threads and gradually thread it into the provided hole of the heater. Tighten it enough to prevent leaking and loss of pressure.

Turn on the water

Open the valve on the cold water supply to fill up the tank with water and try to briefly check all the faucets in your house to ensure that they are getting water from the heater

Turn on the power source

Ensure that there are no leaks from the drain valve or any other part of the unit and turn on the power source to the unit.

Your water heater will be functioning efficiently if you follow these procedures above. However, in case you do not have the time to change the drain valve, you can contact professionals at Just Water Heaters.