How To Fix A Clogged Hot Water Heater Drain Valve

How To Fix A Clogged Hot Water Heater Drain Valve

Regularly draining your hot water heater is a must to flush out minerals and sediment that are building up in the tank. Failing to do so will lead to scaling, corrosion, and reduced efficiency. But what should you do when the water tank won’t drain? You probably need to unclog the hot water drain valve.  

Do not leave the problem unresolved, otherwise, a minor inconvenience can result in you having to repair or replace the water heating system. In this article, you will find out about the ways to fix a clogged drain valve. But before you carry out any of them, be sure to turn the water heater off for your safety.

Wait Until the Hot Water Heater Unclogs

If it’s a minor problem, the drain valve will unclog itself. Therefore, you just have to wait and allow the water in the tank to drain slowly. To do this method, attach the hose to the valve and leave it open. There is no need to open any hot water faucets

Use a Metal Hanger

The next method you can try is to insert a metal hanger into the valve opening to loosen the debris that prevents water from flowing out. What you need to do is close the drain valve and remove the hose. Then, you need to straighten out your metal hanger, so it goes through the valve easily. Open the valve again, insert the hanger, and move it in a circular or back-and-forth motion. This can loosen the scale and allow water to flow. Depending on how thick the scale is, this method will take a while.

When the water starts flowing out, you may attach the hose back. If the valve clogs again, just use the metal hanger and repeat the entire process.

Back Flush

To do this method, get your washing machine hose and connect it to a faucet. Then attach it to your water heater’s hose. Be prepared with an adapter if the two hoses won't connect. With the water heater closed, turn on the faucet and wait for a few seconds. Blasting water into the tank can help break down sediments that clog the valve. After that, turn off the faucet and remove the washing machine hose. Open the valve and see if it begins to drain.

Replace Drain Valve

In case none of the previous methods work, that means the scale or clog is already severe. It could also be because the drain valve is defective. Consider getting a new drain valve.

Even if the tank has water, you can still replace the drain valve. First, close all the faucets in the area to prevent water from pouring out of the heater. You must place towels under the drain valve to catch any water that may spill. Using an adjustable wrench, start removing the drain valve from the water heater. Then, attach the replacement immediately. After replacing the valve, drain your tank the usual way. If the real issue is your old faulty valve, then expect water to finally flow from the hose from the newly installed valve.