After some time, the drain valve that is located on the lower end of your hot water heater can begin to leak or get clogged. If you are having one or both of these problems, don't worry, you can fix it.
If you are trying to drain your water heater for your yearly flush and the water just won't come out, the valve is likely clogged with sediment or debris. You can fix this relatively easily and quickly.
Step 1: Connect a garden hose to the drain valve and the other end to a spigot.
Step 2: Open the drain valve and turn the spigot on to run water into the drain valve. Let the water run for 20 or 30 seconds, then turn it off and disconnect the hose from the spigot.
Step 3: Put the end of the hose that was connected to the spigot in a bucket, in a drain or on the ground where it can run away from the house.
Step 4: Open the drain valve and let the water run for a bit. If this removed the clog, you should be good to go. If the clog persists, you will likely need assistance from your local plumber to open the valve.
If the valve leaks from the spout, simply grab some slip joint pliers and turn it to the right. Use only enough force to close the valve, but not so much that you break it.
If turning the valve doesn't stop the leaking, you can make a trip to your local home improvement store and purchase a small brass garden hose cap. This cap screws onto the valve spout. Just be sure to select one that comes with a rubber washer inside so that the water doesn't fill the cap and overflow out of the sides.
Leaking may be caused by excess pressure built up in the tank. Use a water pressure gauge and screw it onto the valve spout. Open the valve and get a reading. If your tank has more than 80 psi, the pressure must be decreased. Do this by opening the pressure relief valve on the upper side of the tank. Test the pressure again and repeat if necessary.
If you have completed the above steps and still have problems with your hot water tank, talk with your local plumbing services company for assistance. He or she will quickly be able to identify and resolve the issue at hand.