Regular maintenance of your water heater is essential to ensure an uninterrupted hot water supply and extend the life of your Bradford White water heater. A vital maintenance task you should perform periodically is draining your Bradford White water heater. In this guide, we’ll explain why you should empty your water heater and provide step-by-step instructions on how to do it effectively.

Why Should You Drain Your Bradford White Water Heater?

1. Discolored Water:

Over time, the water heater tank acts as a filter, trapping rust and other foreign particles in your incoming water. This buildup can discolor the water, affecting the quality of your hot water supply. Draining your water heater helps remove these sediments and ensures clean water.

2. Milky or Cloudy Water:

Occasionally, homeowners may experience milky or cloudy water in their hot water lines. This milky water can result from various factors, including excess air in the water supply or sediment build-up within the tank. Draining the tank solves this problem, restoring the clarity of your hot water.

How to Drain Your Bradford White Water Heater

Before you begin, it’s important to note that performing this task requires turning off the power to your water heater and possibly dealing with hot water. If you need clarification on any step or are uncomfortable doing it yourself, consider seeking help from a plumbing professional.

Step 1: Turn Off Power

  • For electric water heaters, turn off the electricity to the water heater.
  •  For gas water heaters, turn the gas switch to the pilot position.

Step 2: Shut Off Water Supply

  • Locate the cold-water inlet valve in your water heater.
  • Turn off the cold water supply to prevent more water from entering the tank.

Step 3: Prepare for Drainage

  • Place a bucket under the pressure relief valve to catch any water.
  • Connect a garden hose to the drain valve on the tank. Position the other end of the hose to prevent hot water from damaging it.

Step 4: Release Pressure

  • Carefully pull the trip lever on the pressure relief valve. This step will release some air and water from the valve. If there is no response, consider replacing the valve.

Step 5: Begin Draining

  • Turn the valve on the bottom of the water heater to allow water to flow.
  • Allow the tank to dry completely. This step ensures that the tank removes all sediment.

Step 6: Final Steps

  • Close the drain valve securely and disconnect the hose.
  • Close the pressure relief valve.
  • Turn on every hot water faucet in your entire home.
  • Turn on the cold water intake for the tank.
  • Turn off every hot water faucet as it begins to run.
  • Finally, turn on the power to the water heater or switch the gas back to the “Run” position.


In summary, performing routine maintenance on your Bradford White water heater, including periodic drainage, is a simple but essential step. It can significantly impact the availability of your hot water and the durability of your appliance. By following the steps in this guide, you can improve the functionality of your water heater, effectively preventing problems such as discolored water and sediment build-up. Drain your Bradford White water heater regularly to ensure it works at its best.

Taking the time to maintain your water heater guarantees you consistent access to clean, hot water and contributes to energy efficiency and cost savings in the long run. Remember, while many homeowners can perform these maintenance steps themselves if you have any doubts or concerns, it’s always wise to consult a plumbing professional to ensure the work is done safely and efficiently.

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