Closing Tip: How to Drain the Hot Water Tank

11 September 2020 Maintenance

cottage water tank

Draining the cottage hot water tank is an essential step when closing the cabin for the winter. Winterizing the water heater properly will help avoid a nasty surprise when you open the cottage next spring.

How to drain and winterize the hot water heater at the cabin

The water system must be drained properly when you winterize the cottage.  Residual water in the hot water tank will freeze during the winter and may cause the tank to split or not function properly when you turn it on again in the spring.

Water could also expand in the pressure-relief valve on the side of the tank and cause it to crack.

The drain valve at the bottom of the tank might split, as well.

In the spring, when the ice melts, the water could leak out of the damaged tank and into the cottage.

Fortunately, the process to empty the hot water tank correctly is easy and shouldn’t take too much time when you decide to close the cottage for the winter.

10 Simple steps to winterize the hot water tank

1. Turn off the switch on the electrical panel for the water pump.

2. Turn off the switch on the electrical panel for the water heater.

3. Close the cold water intake valve to the hot water tank.

4. Connect a hose to the water heater drain valve located near the bottom of the tank.

5. Run the hose outside or into a bucket.

6. Open a hot water tap.

7. Open the drain valve where the hose is attached. Drain the remaining water in the tank.

8. Remove the hose and place a cup under the valve to catch the last drips of water.

9. Close the drain valve once the water stops dripping.

10. Close the hot water tap.

This should ensure no residual water is left in the cabin hot water tank to freeze during the winter.

Check out the full cottage closing checklist to help you winterize the cabin and water system properly.