how to drain a rheem water heater?

A water heater is an essential appliance in any household, providing hot water for various purposes. Regular maintenance, such as draining, is crucial to ensure its efficiency and longevity. Rheem water heaters are renowned for their reliability, and proper maintenance can significantly extend their lifespan. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of draining your Rheem water heater to maintain its optimal functionality.

Why Drain Your Rheem Water Heater?

Over time, sediments like calcium carbonate and other mineral deposits accumulate at the bottom of your water heater tank. This sediment buildup can reduce the heater’s efficiency by insulating the heating elements, causing them to work harder and consume more energy. Draining the tank periodically helps remove these sediments, ensuring efficient heating and preventing potential damage to the system.

Safety Precautions

Before starting the draining process, ensure your safety:

  1. Turn Off Power/Gas Supply: For electric water heaters, switch off the power at the breaker. For gas heaters, turn the gas control valve to the “off” position.
  2. Allow Water to Cool: Hot water can cause burns. Let the water inside the tank cool down before draining to avoid any accidents.
  3. Prepare Necessary Tools: Gather a garden hose, screwdriver, gloves, and safety goggles.
Rheem Electric / Hybrid Water heater drain and flush - YouTube

Step-by-Step Guide to Draining Your Rheem Water Heater

Step 1: Locate the Water Heater Drain Valve

  • Find the drain valve at the bottom of your Rheem water heater. It’s typically a brass or plastic valve resembling a hose bib.

Step 2: Prepare the Area

  • Clear the space around the water heater for easy access. Place towels or a bucket near the drain valve to catch any spills.

Step 3: Connect the Garden Hose

  • Attach one end of the garden hose to the drain valve. Ensure a secure connection to prevent leaks during the draining process.

Step 4: Open a Hot Water Faucet

  • Open a hot water faucet in your home. This helps relieve pressure inside the tank and allows air to enter, enabling smoother draining.

Step 5: Open the Drain Valve

  • Using a screwdriver or a wrench, slowly turn the drain valve counterclockwise to open it. Be cautious as the water may be hot.
DIY Rheem Hybrid Water heater complete installation. From gas to hybrid. -  YouTube

Step 6: Drain the Tank

  • Let the water flow through the garden hose into a nearby drain, bucket, or outdoors. Monitor the water’s color; initially, it may appear murky due to sediment buildup.

Step 7: Flush Out Sediments

  • To aid in removing sediments, you can intermittently open and close the valve or gently tap the sides of the tank with a soft object. This helps dislodge settled particles.

Step 8: Close the Drain Valve

  • Once the water runs clear, turn off the drain valve by turning it clockwise until it’s tightly closed.

Step 9: Disconnect the Garden Hose

  • Remove the garden hose from the drain valve, ensuring no water spills. Store the hose properly for future use.

Step 10: Refill and Restart the Water Heater

  • Close the hot water faucet opened earlier and slowly turn on the cold water supply to refill the tank. Once filled, turn on the power or gas supply to resume normal operation.

Recommended Draining Frequency

For optimal performance, draining your Rheem water heater at least once a year is advisable. However, if you notice reduced hot water flow or strange noises from the tank, consider draining it more frequently.

ENERGY STAR Heat Pump Water Heater Heroes - Water Heating Blog - Rheem  Manufacturing Company


1. How often should I drain my Rheem water heater?

Answer: It’s generally recommended to drain your Rheem water heater at least once a year to remove sediment buildup. However, if you notice reduced hot water flow or unusual noises, consider draining it more frequently, perhaps every six months.

2. Can I drain my Rheem water heater by myself, or do I need a professional?

Answer: Draining a Rheem water heater can be done by homeowners as part of regular maintenance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions. If you’re uncertain or uncomfortable with the process, it’s advisable to seek assistance from a professional plumber.

3. How long does it take to drain a Rheem water heater?

Answer: The draining process typically takes about 30-60 minutes, depending on factors such as the tank size and sediment buildup. Flushing out sediments may take longer if there’s substantial accumulation.

4. What should I do if the water doesn’t drain or drains slowly?

Answer: If the water doesn’t drain or drains slowly, there might be clogs or sediment blockages. Try gently tapping the tank or using intermittent opening and closing of the drain valve to dislodge the sediment. If the issue persists, it might require professional inspection and assistance.

5. Is it necessary to turn off the power or gas supply before draining?

Answer: Yes, it’s crucial to turn off the power supply for electric water heaters at the breaker or switch off the gas supply for gas-powered heaters before beginning the draining process. This ensures safety and prevents any potential accidents.


Regular maintenance, including draining your Rheem water heater, is crucial for its efficiency and longevity. By following these steps, you can effectively remove sediments and ensure your water heater continues to provide reliable hot water for your household needs.

Remember, safety is paramount during this process. If you encounter any issues or are uncomfortable performing these steps, it’s advisable to contact a professional plumber for assistance.

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