How to Empty a Water Heater with a Broken Drain Valve

Emptying your water heater when the drain valve is broken depends on what type of material it is made from. Most drain valves are made from brass or plastic.

Items Needed Include

  • Self tapering serrated insert
  • Manual drill
  • Drill bit (slightly smaller than the nipple)
  • Hacksaw blade
  • Screwdriver
  • Funnel
  • Hose pipe
  • Large bucket
  • Rag

Step 1- Switch off Power Supply

Make sure the power supply is off (electric power or gas). If the water is hot be sure to let it cool. Both procedures ensure your safety.

Step 2- Removing the Broken Drain Valve

First ensure that the valve that brings water into your heater is closed. Make sure the hot water outlet taps are also shut. If the broken drain valve is made of plastic, get a self tapering serrated insert and push into the nipple and unscrew out. Another method is by drilling a hole on the drain valve hole using a manual drill to prevent electric shock as water will pour out when you enlarge the hole.

If the nipple is made of brass, get a hacksaw blade and cut twice making a cross-cut on the nipple. Do not cut the threads in the water heater. Pry out the piece by inserting a screwdriver in the cut you made and turn firmly anti-clockwise.

Have a funnel, hose pipe and large bucket ready to avoid flooding the room.

Step 3- Emptying the Water

Open one of the hot water taps to allow air to push the remaining water out. Water can also be emptied into the drain or onto a large bucket but leave the temperature and pressure valve turned on.