How to bleed a hot water tank

Written by rebecca dyes-hopping
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How to bleed a hot water tank
Wearing thick rubber gloves will protect your hands from the hot water. (rubber gloves image by AGphotographer from

A great way to conserve water is to keep your water in the hot water heater from getting too hot. A regular part of maintaining your hot water heater is to bleed the tank. If air is in your hot water tank, the water will overheat, causing you to use more water to cool the temperature. The overheated water may also come out the overflow pressure valve. Bleed the tank about every six months or so as a way of conserving water.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bucket

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  1. 1

    Place the bucket underneath the drain valve at the bottom of the hot water heater.

  2. 2

    Turn the valve slightly counterclockwise to loosen it. You do not want to open it completely. Be ready for the hot water to gush out of the valve quickly.

  3. 3

    Catch the water in the bucket as it comes out. It may hiss and sputter for a while. Wait until the water is coming out steadily and not passing air through the valve.

  4. 4

    Turn the valve clockwise until tight to close it. Dump the bucket of hot water in a safe place.

  5. 5

    Repeat if the bucket became full before the sputtering and hissing stopped. It is sometimes necessary to release two or three gallons of water before all the air is out of the hot water heater. This is important to completely bleed the tank of all the air that shouldn't be in the hot water heater.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear safety goggles, a raincoat, rain trousers and thick rubber gloves. Water coming out of the tank is very hot and comes out quickly.

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