Replace Your Hot Water Heater Drain Valve with These Easy Steps

Written by Water Heaters



Although replacing a hot water heater drain valve may seem like a pretty complex job, it’s actually fairly simple. Even if you have minimal experience with water heaters, replacing this drain will not be a difficult job. In fact, you won’t even have to drain your water heater tank. To replace a hot water heater drain valve, follow these simple steps:

1. Purchase your replacement piece. The hot water heater drain valve comes in both plastic and brass. However, it’s important to point out that the brass drain valves have a longer life span and won’t give you as many issues over the years.

2. If you have an electric water heater, start by turning off the power, and if you have a gas-powered unit, turn the gas control valve to the PILOT setting.

3. Turn on the water in either the kitchen or the bathroom and run the facet until you get cold water.

4. Locate the water supply valve and turn it off completely. You may even want to put a note on the facet handles to remind everyone in your household to not turn on the water. This process allows you replace your hot water heater drain valve without having to remove the water from of the tank. The process works by producing a kind of vacuum on the inside of your water heater tank. This in return keeps the water on the inside.

5. Get the new valve prepared by applying Teflon tape or pipe dope on the threads of the valve. It’s essential that you do this before you screw the new valve into your water heater.

6. Start to remove the old hot water heater drain valve by using a pair of pliers or a tiny pipe wrench. Begin by getting a powerful grip on the valve and then wobble it back and forth until the seal breaks into pieces. Once broken, the old valve should be able to be unscrewed and removed.

7. Screw in your new hot water heater drain valve, and with either your pliers or your pipe wrench, tighten it up. It’s important that you make sure that the spigot is turned to the downward position.

8. The valve will now need to be shut, and the water can be turned back on again.

9. Turn your water heater back on and relight the pilot switch.

Follow these steps when your water heater is leaking from the drain valve and a replacement is in order. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll have your water heater up and running in no time.

Kevin L. Sharp

Kevin L. Sharp

He began his career in plumbing at the age of 14 while still in high school. Kevin Sharp has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Illinois State University.
Kevin L. Sharp

Last modified: September 12, 2017

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