How to Use Water Heaters for Emergency Water Supply

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Depending on the intensity of a calamity, it could take water providers days or even longer to redeem your water service. As a consequence, you may require to find alternate water sources that are healthy to drink.

Fortunately, there are multiple sources that you can utilize in and around your house, considering you can access them.

Your home’s water heater could bestow you with 30-80 gallons of water for cooking, drinking, and hygiene. (Although tankless heaters do not have this option.) To restore some safe drinking water from your water heater, this is what you have to do.

Locate Your Water Heater

Generally, water heaters are in the cellar or garage of free-standing houses and closets of flats and manufactured homes.

Determine What Type of Water Heater You Have

There are different types of water heaters. Some are Electric Water Heaters or Electric Tankless Water Heaters powered by electricity. On the other hand, others are Gas Tankless Water Heaters or Gas Water heaters powered by natural gas. Natural gas water heaters generally have a duct on the top, a pilot light, and a gas line found at the bottom.

Turn Off Your Water Heater’s Power Source.

Turn off the power or gas supply to the water heater. If the supply is still maintained when the tank is vacant, your tank will surely suffer substantial damage. Several electric water heaters in residential usages are 208/240 volts and are provided with usually two fuses rated at 30 amps or a double-pole circuit breaker.

Some gas valves possess a thermostatic managing knob facing forward. The “Off – Pilot – On” gas regulatory knob is found on the top between the red interlock switch and the black “push-button” ignitor. Rotate the prime knob from the “On” to the “Off” position to cease gas flow to the burner.

Some electric-reliant heaters possess double-pole 30 amp circuit breakers. Turn the circuit breaker from the “On” position to the “Off.” Once off, there is no threat of harming the heating elements.

Turn Off Your Water Heater’s Water Supply.

Find the water shut-off valve (generally found on the water heater’s tip) and turn it clockwise until it ceases.
Allow airflow into your water heater. You can execute this by opening the ease valve (flip the handle so that it attaches straight up or out) fixed on the side of the tank or by switching on hot-water faucets in the central living area or upstairs in your house. It will assist release water from your water heater.

Find The Drain Valve at The Core of Your Water Heater and Release Water From Your Tank as Required.

Put a container under the drain valve faucet to trap the water and turn the spigot of your water heater’s drain pipe to the left. Be cautious because the water may be burning. Wear gloves and safety glasses for your safety. Turn the faucet or screw to the right to prevent water flow. Repeat this procedure as frequently as you require to until your tank of water is empty.

Get Rid Of Any Residue That Has Gathered At The Bottom Of The Water Heater.

Water heaters are famous for catching up with residues. The heavier-than-water residue sinks and settles at the tank’s bottom because hot water is pulled from the tank’s top instead of the base. If you have residues in the drinking water, allow it to stand for some time to let it sit to the container’s bottom.

The regular mineral residue that has sat in hot water is generally harmless. Still, if your heater possesses an aluminium anode, there may be a bunch of jelly-like aluminium breakdown by-products on the tank bottom.

Many people wrongly think that the tank is made of glass (or another inactive substance). It is not. The tank’s inner will probably be coated with glass to avoid corrosion since corrosion is the dominating reason for water heater failure. There is no threat to cooking or drinking water that has been enclosed in a water heater.


Let the tank fill before reconnecting power to the water heater. Open the supply tube and wait for the water to flow out of the open hot water faucet.

Switch off the electric supply of the water heater first. Even if there is a power breakdown, you must disconnect, turn off the circuit breaker, or coot down the gas valve first.

Be safe that the water has had time to chill before opening any line of the water heater!

If you reside in an apartment, reach the management first.


Water is crucial to survival, and you can’t keep too much of it bottled. However, in the circumstance of an actual disaster, on top of the possibilities of bottled water you have put away, you probably already possess a relatively sizable supply of water at your fingertips. It’s a pretty simple technique, and in a grid-down circumstance, having this additional water on hand could protect your life.


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