How to flush a water heater

How to flush a water heater


  • What is sediment in Water Heater?
  • How to Flush a Hot Water Heater
  • FAQ
    • Why is it necessary to Flush the Water Heater?
    • How many lifespans of the Water Heater can be increased by regular flushing

How to Flush a Water Heater the Right Way – If you have ever flushed a water heater before you know that the process can be tricky because there is a lot of room for error. You can damage your water heater if you rush things, and you don’t want to end up having to replace your entire tank. 

There are also three different types of flushing methods, so you need to make certain that you know what type of heater you have before beginning.

When you flush your water heater you are preparing to run a maintenance cycle on it. The process of flushing is designed to remove sediment from the gas and potable water lines of the unit. By doing this, you ensure that you have the best energy efficiency possible, as well as your safety at all times. 

By scheduling the periodic flushing of your water heater, you will also be able to extend its life so that it only needs replacement when absolutely necessary.

How to flush a water heater

What is sediment in Water Heater?

The Sediment is a build-up of sludge, rust, and scale that can plug up your heater. There are many ways to remove this Sediment from your water heater but the most effective way is to suck it out. The Sediment gets into the bottom of the tank and diffuses throughout the water as it heats up. 

When you heat the water in your main supply, a lot of dissolved solids come out with it because they are bound to dissolve. If you leave this sludge in your supply lines and risers it will eventually clog them up and cause leaks around your fittings, or worse yet.

How to Flush a Hot Water Heater

Have you noticed a film or build-up on your hot water heater? Are some of your faucets running slowly or not at all? These are all signs that you should check your water heater for flushing. 

1. Watch Your Water Heater’s Thermostat Turn Off

Flushing a water heater will get rid of old water and debris that may have settled in the tank. Turn the knob on your hot water heater’s Thermostat to “Off,” and disconnect the Hot Water Tank from its electrical outlet. Turn off the gas at your home. For propane-fueled water heaters, open a window for safety.

2. Turn Off Water Heater Gas

To turn off the gas to your water heater, shut off the gas valve on the wall next to the unit. Once you’ve switched off the gas, wait until all of the water has stopped coming out of the faucet before connecting a drain line from your drain to an exterior water source.

3. Turn Off Supply of Cold Water

Shut off the cold water supply to the hot water heater. First, locate the shut-off valve for your supply line. This is usually located near the base of the supply pipe in your garage or basement room. Turn off the cold water supply valve by turning it either counterclockwise or clockwise until it is snug but will still turn.

How to flush a water heater

4. Make Hot Water Tap On

During the process of flushing out your hot water tank, make sure you leave the hot water tab on at all times. This step will prevent a vacuum from forming in the lines while you’re draining the hot water tank.

5. Open Pressure Relief Valve of water heater

Open the water heater’s pressure relief valve by turning it clockwise (view facing away from you) until it clicks into place. That should release any excess pressure in the line and avoid a possible blowout.

6. Connect Garden Hose to Drainage Spigot of Water Heater

Connect the garden hose to the drainage spigot on your water heater and let the water run until it’s all drained away. You’ll know your water heater is working properly if there’s a steady flow of warm to hot water coming out of the faucet, or a hissing sound as hot water runs from the faucet.

7. Turn on Spigot and Drain of Water Heater and Flush


How to flush a water heater

Turn on the spigot that supplies the water to the water heater and let water start flowing into the drain pipe. This should cause any debris in the tank to fall to the bottom where it can be easily cleared. After about two hours, turn off the main supply valve at the base of your water heater.

Turn on the cold water spigot leading into your hot water tank. Let it run for a few minutes until the water exiting your hose runs clear. This may take a bit. While the water might be running clear and isn’t brown, you may still have some sediment in your lines. 

If this is the case, run some clean, clear water through both your dishwasher and your hot water heater just to be sure that there isn’t anything blocking up any of your drains. We do recommend flushing your tank at least once every 3 years or so. Remove the full-port valve and suck out the remaining sediment with your shop vacuum adapter and 1/2-inch vinyl tubing. 

When you’re done, close the ball valve and leave it in place, but remove the lever handle to prevent accidental opening. Then reinstall the TPR valve and blow-off tube. You’ll be glad you did because this cleaning method will also extend the life of your heater significantly. We do recommend flushing your tank at least once every 3 years or so.

After this refill the existing Water Heater and turn on the gas or electricity. 

How to flush a water heater


Why is it necessary to Flush the Water Heater?

Flushing your old water heater can reduce corrosion and mineral build-up in your tank. Corrosion can cause leaks in newly installed faucet hardware and fixtures, as well as other pipes in your home. 

When a leak occurs, you will have to unplug your water heater, locate the source of the leak, fix or replace parts as necessary, and then refill the space with new flushing powder. Flushing your water heater also reduces energy costs by as much as 15%.

How many lifespans of the Water Heater can be increased by regular flushing

The average homeowner spends between $99 and $199 on a water heater replacement. By flushing your water heater every year, you can increase its lifetime by 30%. This means that by flushing your water heater every year for 20 years, you will save an average of $2,000 on a new water heater installation. For homeowners who live in an area where the water is hard, this can mean a big difference in the cost of owning a home. 

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