A water heater drain valve is designed to help drain sediment that can collect at the bottom of your water heater. During the draining process, you may notice that your drain valve is leaking, or doesn't allow water to flow properly. These are often signs that your water heater drain valve needs replacing. Here are some tips on completing this project safely.
Drain the Hot Water
To help reduce the risk of burns and scalds, you may want to drain the hot water in the heater before replacing the drain valve. You can try connecting a hose to the drain valve and allowing the water to flow to a safe location. If the drain valve does not work at all, you may need to turn on a large-capacity faucet, such as the tub faucet, and let the hot water run until it becomes warm or cool.
Turn Off the Water Pressure
Before you replace the drain valve, make sure the water pressure is off. This can usually be done by closing the cold-line shut-off valve and turning on a hot water faucet. Turn off the faucet once the remaining water has finished draining. You should also turn the power off of electric heaters, or change the gas heater to the pilot setting.