How to Install a Boiler Drain

What You'll Need
New boiler drain valve
Water Heater manual
Teflon thread sealant tape

Most newly bought water heaters come with a cheap plastic boiler drain valves attached. Plastic, though impervious to heat, is a very weak material to be used in conjunction with hot water. These plastic valves also have a way of developing leaks after a time. You should get it replaced right away as a safety measure. We will discuss how to install a new boiler drain valve here in this article.

Step 1 – Preparations

Go to your nearest local hardware store and purchase a new boiler drain valve. Take with you the model number of your water heater so that they can help you pick out a matching valve that you can use. Get all the materials outlined above ready. Also, turn off the power to your water heater. If your water heater is an electric heater, you can turn it off from the electrical panel. If your water heater is a gas powered heater, then you’d need to turn off the gas supply. Now, turn off your water supply. Your water heater might come with an easy access valve located above that connects it to the main water supply. Read through your manual first to see if the manual has precautions that you need to know about before getting started. Have the number for a nearest plumber ready in case you need to call them for help during this process.

Step 2 – Drain Boiler

Place a pail under the drain valve and open the hot water valve at the nearest sink. Drain boiler off the hot water. The water is hot, make sure you do not touch it. You can also connect a hose that will take the water outside instead of running back and forth emptying the pail.

Step 3 - Disconnect Plastic Valve

Boiler drain valves are easy screw on, screw off instruments. They’re pretty easy to disconnect and reconnect. The hard parts are preparing the water heater by turning off the power supply and turning off the water supply. For gas powered water heaters, reigniting the fire after the new valve has been installed is also another very dangerous process. All of these steps should be taken with caution and with safety in mind. Screw off the old plastic valve and lay aside. If you’ve already used it for quite some time, inspect the inside portion of the valve for signs of rust or sediment.

Step 4 – Reconnect the New Boiler Drain Valve

Screw on the new boiler drain valve. Seal using Teflon thread sealant tape. Close the new drain valve so that when you fill the boiler with water, water will not escape.

Step 5 – Finishing Up

Turn water supply back on and refill tank with water. Keep valve for hot water open so that air is allowed to escape from tank as water fills it. Close it up when the tank is full. Watch carefully to see if there are leaks from the valves. Lastly, turn the power back on. For gas powered heaters, you must reignite the gas. Do this carefully following the instructions given by the manual that came with your heater.