How to Flush a Water Heater
- Article to be downloaded article to be downloaded According on the type and supply of water, water heaters should be cleansed every one to three years on average.
- This aids in the prevention of the accumulation of mineral deposits.
- Your water heater will work more effectively as a result, which will often result in a longer service life for the heater.
- To flush your water heater, follow the instructions on this page.
- 1 Locate the breaker/fuse box if the heater is powered by electricity, or the thermostat if the heater is powered by gas. First and foremost, you will need to locate and switch off the primary power supply for your water heater before you can begin emptying it. In most cases, the breaker box, also known as the fuse box, is a tiny, grey power panel (about the size of a shoebox) with a sliding door. In most cases, it is fastened to a wall by screws. In some homes, the thermostat for the gas heater is situated in the garage, while in others, it may be found on the exterior of the house
- the thermostat for the gas heater is often a red knob positioned on the outside of the heater near where the gas line enters the unit. There should be three settings on the knob: ″Pilot,″ ″On,″ and ″Off.″
- 2 Disable the circuit or fuse that supplies electricity to the electrical water heater, or set the gas water heater’s thermostat to ″Pilot″ position. According to the circuit or fuse you block, either the water heater or the entire house will be without electricity as a result. There should be modest on/off switches visible. These are referred to as ″branch circuit breakers,″ and they are responsible for providing protection against electrical overload to the many circuits that power your home. If you know which branch circuit breaker is responsible for powering your water heater, you can turn off that specific switch.
- If you are unsure of which specific circuit breaker is providing electricity to your heater, look for a bigger switch labeled ″Main″ above the branch circuit breakers to find.
- The primary circuit breaker should have a greater amperage rating, such as 100, 150, or 200 amps, to protect the system.
- Smaller numbers will be assigned to the branch circuit breakers, ranging from 10-60 amps.
- Open your fuse box and you will discover round, glass-topped forms or tiny tubes with metal ends
- if you open the box and find round, glass-topped shapes or small tubes with metal ends, you have a fuse box rather than a circuit breaker box. In this situation, you will need to unscrew and remove the fuse that is supplying electricity to your water heating system (similar to turning off the branch circuit breaker). Identify a huge rectangular box with a handle/lever at the top of the panel if you are unclear about which fuse to remove. Take a firm grip on the handle and pull it straight out, but be careful since the metal pieces may be hot. The electricity to your entire home has been turned off at this point.
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- 3 The cold water supply can be turned off by twisting the water shut-off valve counterclockwise. This valve should be situated at or near the cold water inflow pipe, which should be located towards the top of the tank. Ball valves and gate valves are the two types of valves that are often used. A ball valve can be closed and opened with a single 90-degree turn, whereas a gate valve requires many revolutions.
- Some gate valves have a ″stop″ before they may be fully closed or opened, so be sure you turn the valve past that stop before closing or opening it completely.
- It is permissible to leave the gas and propane supply valves for non-electric heaters open.
- Make a note of the temperature setting on your natural gas or propane (LP) water heater, and then change the thermostat, which is the huge red dial on the front of the control, to the lowest setting, often known as ″Pilot.″
- You should turn off the heat ahead of time and allow the water to cool overnight before emptying it if you intend to utilize the water for other reasons.
4 Turn on the hot water tap in your sink or tub to get started. This will prevent a vacuum from building in the lines, which would otherwise keep the water trapped within. As an illustration, consider the case of a straw that has been partially covered to retain water.
- 5 Connect a garden hose to the drain cock, also known as a valve, which is positioned at the base of the heater. It is generally in the shape of a standard garden hose fitting, such as a garden faucet, or a circular dial with a threaded hole in the center. You may need to remove a cover to access the drain cock. If you don’t have a garden hose, you can use a bucket to collect the water and physically dump it somewhere safe. Don’t overfill the bucket since the hot water will weaken less expensive plastic buckets or even burn you if you overfill it.
- 6 Extend the garden hose to a location where the water from the heater may be discharged without danger. Either connect your hose to an exterior drain or to the driveway of your house. It is possible to drain the water into buckets and use the water for other uses once it has been allowed to cool overnight. Because of the presence of sediment, it should not be used for fragile plants or to wash your car. If you are draining hot water, you should also be cautious about the materials you use. High temperatures can cause low-quality hoses and buckets to weaken, resulting in leaks. Drain directly into a suitable basement drain or sump hole to make the operation as simple as possible.
- To avoid scorching water from blasting and spraying out of a drain cock and hose connection in the event of a pressure leak, especially if the water heater serves the second floor or is located in the basement, cover them with a cloth or rag before turning on your faucet.
- Drain the heater by opening the flow cock to enable the water to drain from the heater. Take into consideration opening the pressure-relief valve, which is often located on the unit’s top, to allow water to flow freely. The pressure-relief valve, on the other hand, should not be opened without first putting a bucket under the discharge pipe. Opening it may result in water draining onto the floor unless something is placed beneath the discharge pipe to catch the water as it drains. The pressure relief valve is often a lever that must be moved to the ″up″ position in order to be opened.
- Make certain that the water flows at a pace that can be regulated wherever the water is draining to
- If you do not allow the water to cool before draining it, the water will be extremely hot as it exits the tank. Also, keep in mind that if the drain cock is made of plastic and the heater is several years old, it may be difficult to open and may shatter if pressed
- 8 After a few minutes of flushing, fill a ″test″ bucket with the water that is remaining in the toilet. After allowing the water in the bucket to remain undisturbed for a minute, check to see if it is clear or if any sand-like material has settled to the bottom of the bucket. The tank should be drained until the water is clear, even if it seems to be foggy or there is sand-like material on the bottom of the bucket (free of sediment or discoloration). If the tank is completely empty but you believe sediment is still there, switch on the cold-water supply to allow additional water to enter the system. Fill the tank partly with water and then empty it completely. Continue to follow this procedure until the discharge is clear.
- If the water is clean and there is no evidence of silt, you may go to the following stage
- otherwise, stop.
1 Disconnect the garden hose from the drain cock and close the drain cock. If the pressure-relief valve has been opened, it must be closed. In addition, make sure you shut off the hot water tap in your sink or bathtub.
2 Reconnect the water supply and let the tank to fill.When the tank is completely full and the pressure has returned to normal, slowly reopen the pressure-relief valve to allow the extra air to be released.The water heater will not ″ping″ as cold water re-enters the system during regular operation as a result of this.Close the pressure-relief valve once again once all of the compressed air has been exhausted.
3 Close the drain on the water heater. To drain air from the bathroom, turn on the hot water faucet. Do not switch on the electricity just yet. You run the risk of damaging the heating element if you switch on the electricity without filling the tank. Start by turning on the hot water tap in the bathtub or washbasin and waiting for a steady stream of water to come out.
- Reconnect the water supply and wait until the hot water line begins to run consistently after it has been turned back on. It is safe to turn on the circuit breaker or fuse box after the hot water tap has been flowing at maximum volume for a while.
- 5 Turn off the water supply to the tub. Once you’ve waited around 20 minutes, check for hot water in the bathtub. To evaluate whether or not the water heater is operational, pay close attention to its sound.
- Question Add a new question Question Is it ever necessary to use any additives, such as distilled vinegar, during the flushing and draining process? However, this is a professional-level work, and the type of acid needed will depend on the design of the heater.
- Question Would it be permissible for me to switch off the cold water valve at the tank and take a shower in order to drain a little amount of hot water from the tank before connecting the hose to the drain valve? I really don’t want to waste all that hot water by flushing it down the toilet! That is not going to work. It will not be possible to use hot water if you close the cold water valve at the top of the faucet. Turning off the heating (gas or electric) and taking a shower is the best option. As the hot water is used up and replaced by cold water, the water will gradually get colder.
- Concerning the Question What should I do if the water is hot when I turn it on but becomes chilly after a few minutes? There are several possibilities for what it may be. It is necessary to replace at least one of the components 90% of the time (normally the lower one). Additionally, the thermostat, dip tube, sediment, and other components are included.
- More information can be found in the following answers: Advertisement When a pressure relief valve is opened, it is possible that it may be damaged and will need to be replaced. In order to avoid harming this safety component, open the highest faucet/sink on the home to bleed air out of the heater and lines before re-connecting the water supply lines.
- The frequency at which heaters are flushed varies. If yours is more than a few years old or if you have recently moved into a new home, it should be flushed. How much sediment you detect will assist you decide how frequently it is necessary to cleanse that heater.
- If the heater is powered by gas, do not turn off the gas supply to the heater.
- Draining your water heater should be done using a garden hose.
- If your home has a salt-based water softener, flush it once a year or every six months.
- Be sure to cut off the power at the circuit box before emptying an electric appliance.
- If you want to recycle water, make sure to prepare ahead of time.
- If you want to avoid sediment accumulation, consider installing a whole-house filtration system. Also, remember to remove your aerators from your faucets while your tank is clean and full and to run a little clean water through each before reinstalling.
- Thank you for submitting a suggestion for consideration! Advertisement Be cautious, since the water might be quite hot.
- Do not turn on the water without entirely filling the reservoir. This will result in damage to the heating element.
- You must take care not to break the drain cock.
- Performing regular flushing will help to maintain your heater clear of dirt, but most plumbers advise that if the valve hasn’t been opened in more than five years, it’s better not to try to move the handle since the valve may fail.
- You should seek the services of a qualified plumber if you do not feel comfortable performing this task yourself.
- Do not turn off the gas or the pilot light on the water heater
- instead, turn it to the lowest possible setting. You will not have to go through the relighting steps
- instead, you will only need to crank up the gas control valve.
Things You’ll Need
- Garden hose that will last
- huge bucket that will last
- drainage area that will work
a pair of gloves
About This Article
The following is an overview of how to flush a water heater.To begin, switch off the water heater’s power supply using a breaker or thermostat.Turn the water shut-off valve on your heater clockwise to turn off the cold water supply, and then turn the heater off.Afterwards, switch on a hot water faucet in one of your sinks or bathtubs to avoid a vacuum from accumulating in the pipes.
- After you’ve completed this step, connect a garden hose to the drain valve on the bottom of your heater and direct the water outdoors or into a bucket as needed.
- Last but not least, open the drain valve to allow the water to flow from the heater.
- Please continue reading to find out how to get your heater back up and running when you’re finished!
- Did you find this overview to be helpful?
- The writers of this page have together authored a page that has been read 1,037,492 times.
How to Flush a Tankless Water Heater (Step-by-Step Procedure)
Please keep in mind that this content may contain affiliate links.This means that, at no additional cost to you, we may gain a small profit on purchases made via our links.Knowing how to properly clean a tankless water heater will help you get the most out of your investment in terms of efficiency and durability as possible.Consider the following steps in detail, as well as some helpful tools and crucial considerations.
The Importance of Flushing Tankless Models
Tankless water heaters are less expensive and more energy efficient to operate when compared to standard water heaters.They also demand significantly less maintenance and operating area.Therefore, it is critical to understand why and when a tankless water heater should be flushed, as well as how to flush a tankless water heater, whether it is gas or electric.Examine how the naturally existing sediment in your water impacts the heater, as well as how to make flushing more convenient and safer.
Tankless Water Heaters and Scale Buildup
Anyone who has ever had a conventional water tank is aware with the necessity of flushing the tank on a regular basis in order to remove silt from the system.Tankless heaters are not an exception to this rule.Hard water includes minerals that can cause lime scale to build up on the surface of the water.An explosion from the accumulation is less likely to occur with a tankless heater than it is with a standard tank model, but it can still cause some expensive complications.
- The heat exchanger is particularly susceptible to scale buildup.
- As lime deposits accumulate in the unit, the heat exchanger is forced to work harder and more often in order to deliver hot water.
- This can result in a considerable reduction in the lifespan of this component, as well as a large rise in your electricity expenditures over time.
- To make matters worse, most warranties do not cover the effects of lime accumulation.
How Often Should You Flush a Tankless Water Heater?
Tankless water heaters should be cleansed at least once a year to ensure that they operate at peak performance levels. However, the hardness of your water plays a role in this, and if your home’s water is very low in quality, you may find it necessary to flush two to three times a year. To a certain extent, a sediment trap or a water softener can help with hard water.
It is critical that we explain isolation valves before proceeding with the rest of the processes.As the name implies, an isolation valve allows you to isolate (isolate) a segment of your pipeline’s liquid or gas supply without having to shut down the entire supply line (as would otherwise be the case).Essentially, the word is equivalent with the term ″shut-off valve.″ From your stove to your toilet, a wide range of objects in your home are equipped with some type of isolation valve for maintenance or emergency purposes, depending on the item.These valves are available in a variety of designs, but they all fall into two fundamental categories: those that move in a rotational direction (such as a ball or butterfly valve) and those that move in a linear direction (ex: glove or diaphragm valves).
- In some cases, depending on the manufacturer and if a professional installed your tankless heater, an isolation valve may or may not be put on your tankless heating system.
- If your heater does not have this function, we highly advise you to get one installed as soon as possible and to engage a professional to flush the system while you wait, since it may be a significant safety issue while doing a flush or other maintenance tasks.
Using Pumps and Flush Kits
A submersible pump is one of your greatest friends when it comes to flushing a tankless water heater.Due to the fact that you do not have enormous volumes of water to sweep up and drag the sediment out, a quality pump such as the 91250 from Superior Pump will save you hours, if not days, of manual flushing time.Flushing will necessitate the use of a large bucket to contain the pump, since there is no easy drainage option available, as there is with a typical tank model, necessitating the use of a submersible model pump.A decent flush kit is yet another useful piece of equipment.
- These kits often include everything you’ll need, including a pump, bucket, descaler, and hoses, among other things.
- When you own a tankless heater, having a maintenance kit on hand might be a fantastic investment, even if it is not strictly essential.
- My favorite kit is made by My PlumbingStuff, and it not only works well and is simple to use, but it is also ecologically friendly down to the last component, making it the greatest tankless water heater flush kit in my opinion.
How to Flush a Gas Tankless Water Heater
- Consult your water heater’s instruction manual for precise directions on how to cleanse and descale the unit. Rinnai, Rheem, and Noritz are the three most popular manufacturers of gas tankless versions. For your convenience, we’ve included particular guidelines for each of the brands listed below: Procedures for flushing a Rinnai tankless water heater, a Rheem tankless water heater, and a Notritz tankless water heater are all available online.
No matter what type of gas tankless water heater you have, there are a few steps in the flushing process that must be completed in the proper order, but they are all rather straightforward to complete.
Phase 1: Preparation
- Disconnect the electrical power source that is feeding the heater.
- Remove the access panel and check the terminal with a non-contact voltage tester to ensure that there is no longer any power coming through it.
- Discover where the gas isolation valve is located and close it.
- To prevent any water from entering the unit while you are working, locate the hot and cold shut-off valves and close them accordingly:
- To release any pressure, locate the hot water pressure relief valve, which should be located somewhere along the hot water line. Take cautious, because the hot water will be quite hot
- The service port for cold water and the service port for hot water will be separate. Hoses should be connected to both of these ports.
- Fill a five-gallon bucket halfway with water and submerge your submersible pump.
- The cold water pipe should be connected to your pump.
- Into the bucket, insert the free end of the hot water line
- Pour four gallons of undiluted virgin food-grade white vinegar into a pail and set it aside. (Note: As a heavy-duty alternative, Noritz recommends mixing one gallon of CLR with three gallons of water.
Phase 2: Flushing
- Make sure that the hot and cold service ports are open and that the pump is running.
- Make sure the vinegar is allowed to flow through the heater for at least one hour (longer if the pump runs at less than four gallons per minute). As a result of this, the scale is broken down and the silt is flushed away.
- Turn off the pump and empty the vinegar into a trash can.
- Close the cold water service port and disconnect the hose that is connected to it.
- Open the cold water shutoff valve to let any residual vinegar to be flushed out through the second hose into your bucket for around ten minutes.
- Close the cold water shut-off valve on your faucet.
- Allow the water to drain completely before disconnecting the second hose.
- Close the hot water service port on the boiler.
- Remove the cold water intake filter as well as the hot water inline filter (if applicable).
- Remove any retained sediment by flushing the filters with water in a sink.
Phase 3: Cleanup
- Reinstall the filter(s) in a secure manner, and then turn off the hot and cold water valves
- Replace the access panel
- turn on the gas shutoff valve
- and remove the access panel.
- The electrical supply should be reconnected.
How to Flush an Electric Tankless Water Heater
- Flushing out an electric tankless water heater is a little different than cleaning out a gas tankless water heater, and some disassembly may be necessary. Generally speaking, Navien models are easier to understand, however some Takagi models require additional steps in order to properly place the water control valve. Technique for flushing a Navien tankless water heater
- procedure for flushing a Takagi tankless water heater
Descaling an electric model is similar to descaling a gas model in that it may be divided into three stages.
Phase 1: Preparation
- Switching off the electrical power at the circuit breaker
- Close the cold water shut-off valve on your faucet.
- Open your taps to let any water that has accumulated in the heater to drain
- Close the shut-off valve for the hot water supply.
- Remove the access panel and check the terminal with a non-contact voltage tester to ensure that there is no longer any power coming through it.
- Disconnect the wires from the heating elements by removing the screws that hold them in place.
- Extraction of the heating element is accomplished by loosening the hexagonal brass top of the heating element in a counterclockwise manner
- Make a visual inspection of the heating components for evidence of damage. A broken element should be replaced as soon as possible.
- Storage of the heating elements in the cooper chambers of the heater to allow for cleaning of the heating elements
Phase 2: Flushing
- Fill the cooper chambers with virgin food-grade white vinegar that has not been diluted
- Pour vinegar into the chamber and allow it to rest for 90 minutes to two hours. Using this method, you may break up any scales on the components.
- Remove the vinegar from the mixture.
- Replace the heating elements and reattach the cables as necessary.
- Open the cold water shut-off valve and let the tank to fill up with cold water
- Observe the tank for any evidence of leakage (the paper towel test is quite effective in this situation)
- To turn off the hot water, turn the shutoff valve.
- Fill the sink with warm water from various hot water taps and let the water run for about five minutes to flush out the vinegar and remove any air pockets from the line
Phase 3: Cleanup
- Turn off all hot water faucets in your home.
- Close the cold water shut-off valve on your faucet.
- Clean any dirt from the cold water input filter by flushing the filter under a cold water faucet.
- Replace the filter in a secure manner.
- Power should be restored at the breaker once you close the access panel
Water Heater Flush: How To Do It Safely and Easily
Your water heater is responsible for delivering all of the necessary hot water to your home when you require it.You may only understand how crucial a piece of equipment is when it is not functioning properly or is backed up in some way.In order to guarantee that your water heater is operating at peak performance, you must ensure that it is thoroughly flushed and cleaned.For the purpose of assisting you in understanding the fundamentals of water heater flushing, we will first discuss why it is so important and how frequently you should perform it.
- After that, we’ll walk you through a broad guideline for cleansing your own water heater so that it can operate at peak performance.
Why Do You Need to Do a Hot Water Heater Flush?
Water heaters begin to acquire silt and accumulation that is naturally contained in the water supply over lengthy periods of time of usage.Sediment can accumulate in the heater and clump together, resulting in decreased efficiency or damage to the device, depending on the circumstances.This is particularly prevalent with water heaters in Phoenix, which has water that is extremely sediment-rich.When you flush out your heater, you are preventing excessive sediment building and ensuring that you are able to use the unit more efficiently while experiencing less fear about failure.
- It is conceivable that a simple flush of your water heater can fix some of the most frequent problems you are encountering with your water heater.
Water Heater Flush Cost
As you’ll see, a water heater flush is really inexpensive when you consider that it can be completed in a matter of minutes by following a few simple procedures.
How Frequently Should You Do a Hot Water Heater Flush?
If you consider how important your water heater is, you should not put off cleansing your system for an extended period of time.Every water heater has a varied lifespan, but making sure you clean out your water heater on a regular basis can help it last as long as it was designed to.A flushing of your heater should be done every couple years or so, on average.In order to guarantee the optimum performance from your unit, flushing it once a year is recommended, and the following instructions will demonstrate how simple it is to do.
Steps for Performing a Water Heater Cleanout/Flush
Shut Off Gas
Your heater, like any other item in your home, will require some level of electrical power to operate properly.Depending on your unit, you may only need to complete one of these procedures during a water heater flush, or you may need to complete all of them.By turning off your gas, you can assure that the machine is not getting any gas and will not overheat or leak as a result.In most cases, turning off the electricity to your unit may be accomplished through your circuit breaker, which should include a switch labeled for the heater.
- As you work on the equipment, this will help to avoid any electrical problems from developing.
- Keeping this step in mind will help to provide a safe working environment for whoever is responsible for finishing the flush.
Open a Hot Water Faucet
This is accomplished by tricking your system into believing it is required to be running, which requires you to open a hot water tap in your home.Despite the fact that water will flow out, it will not be heated at the time of the process.In addition, this procedure is critical because it prevents a vacuum from accumulating in the pipes, which might result in the formation of undesired air bubbles in your water system.
Turn Off the Cold Water Valve
Your water heater will have a supply valve that will connect to the unit and be used to feed cold water to the unit.You will want to turn off this valve while you are completing the flush.It should be positioned on or near your unit, and it will usually be towards the top of the unit’s interior.It will have the appearance of a typical faucet valve, with the possibility of being dyed blue to indicate cold water.
- It is important to turn this valve off during the flush process to avoid water running into the unit, which would make the whole procedure a lot messier.
Connect a Hose to the Heater
Find the location of your spigot as the next step.This will be located at the bottom of the unit and will seem to be a standard hose faucet in appearance.You may want to set a bucket below this before proceeding with the rest of the project because it may begin to drip as soon as the lid is removed.It is necessary to locate a garden hose that can be screwed onto this spigot since this is the most convenient method of draining the system.
- If your water heater is located higher up in your home, gravity should be able to facilitate the flow of water.
- If the unit is located in your basement, a pump may be required to assist in the removal of the water from the unit.
- Make certain that the hose’s end is placed in some form of pail or containment area to prevent it from spilling everywhere.
Water Heater Flush for Sediment: Drain the Tank
It is at this point that you may begin draining the unit by turning the faucet to which the hose has been connected.It is possible to see the circumstances that your heater may be encountering when the water drains out of the tank during this period of time.If the water is largely clear and typical in appearance, it is likely that your water heater is in good working order.Water that is deeper in color and that contains silt, on the other hand, might be a much greater problem.
- The inside of the tank might be in far worse shape than you can remedy with a simple water heater flush for sediment if you are emptying the tank and a large amount of solid material is coming out of the tank.
- This is the point at which you will most likely want to consult with a professional to evaluate the tank for more significant problems and accumulation.
- Keep in mind that if you’re flushing a tankless electric water heater, you’ll most likely skip this step.
Flush the System
Now that the water has been removed from the system, you will begin the process of flushing the unit.Keep in mind that you already switched off the cold-water spigot.This is what you will be turning back on in order to allow the new water to clean out the system properly.It is recommended that you drain the old bucket and thoroughly inspect it for sediment before refilling it with the fresh cleansed water.
- Remove the tank’s fill valve and flush it for a few minutes until the water pouring out seems clean and typical.
- This will signal that the system has been completely cleansed and that the procedure is nearly completed.
- Always remember to switch off the cold-water supply before unhooking the hose and removing the bucket from the sink.
Reactivate Power and Gas
Now that the flushing has been completed, it is time to clean up.The first step is to cut off the drain to which the hose was attached in order to prevent any water from escaping through it.Also, remember to turn off the hot water tap in your house that you opened at the beginning of this process as well.Replace the cold water supply valve and let the tank to re-fill with cold water.
- When your tank is full, you’ll want to open the pressure valve on the tank to allow the air to leave for the machine to function properly.
- Open the hot water faucet in your home once again to allow any trapped air to escape.
- Finally, re-start the gas and water lines heading to the storage tank.
- Allow around 30 minutes for the water to boil up before checking to see whether the water coming out of your residence is hot enough when needed.
Congratulations!This means that you have done all of the necessary procedures to cleanse your water heater in a reasonably short period of time.Now that you have a better understanding of the procedure, you will be better prepared the next time your heater requires flushing.The time spent flushing your heater will guarantee that it operates at peak performance and that it serves you for many years to come.
- You might also be interested in reading our posts on ″Choosing an HVAC Company in Maricopa″ and ″Must-See Historical Sites in Scottsdale″ if you like this one.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you flush a water heater?
It is recommended that you flush your water heater at least once a year, especially if you reside in a region with hard water and do not have a water softener installed. If your softener is in good working order, you can get away with flushing it once every couple of years, but flushing it more regularly won’t hurt.
How much does it cost to flush a water heater?
If you’re not sure in your ability to complete the task yourself, plan to pay around $100. When you consider how detrimental sediment may be to your water heater, this is a relatively insignificant expenditure.
What happens if you don’t flush your water heater?
If you fail to clean your water heater on a regular basis, sediment can accumulate in the tank and cause problems such as clogged drain lines.
How long does it take to flush a water heater?
While your first flush may take a little longer than usual, you’ll soon be able to complete the entire procedure in under an hour and a half.
How to Flush Your Hot Water Heater
In: Featured, How To, Skills, and Techniques The 5th of May, 2016 The most recent update was made on September 3, 2021.If you’re busy with home tasks, it’s easy to ignore the importance of flushing your hot water heater.I know I had never considered it until Jeremy included it in his really useful house maintenance checklist, which I found to be quite helpful.However, cleaning out your hot water heater on a regular basis is a vital duty.
- It is important to clean out the muck and mineral deposits that have accumulated in your hot water heater to ensure that it runs more effectively and that its life is prolonged, so saving you money in the long run.
- After several years of living in my house, I realized that my hot water heater was in need of a flush and chose to take on the task of replacing it.
- Fortunately, it turned out to be really simple.
- With the exception of the time I spent waiting for the water in the tank to cool, it only took me about 20 minutes total.
- I detailed the procedure as I went through, in case you find yourself in a similar situation.
- Perhaps this post will provide you with the motivation you need to finally complete this task this weekend.
- Here’s how it’s done:
How Often Should You Flush Your Hot Water Heater?
It is recommended that you cleanse your hot water heater every one to three years, depending on your model. Really, it’s such a simple job that it wouldn’t be a hassle to complete it at least once a year.
How to Flush Your Hot Water Heater
Hot water heaters are available in two different configurations: gas and electric.Due to the fact that I have a gas hot water heater, following instructions will be specific to flushing a gas hot water heater.While there are some similarities between gas and electric, the most significant distinction is that with gas, you will be shutting off the gas to your appliance; with electric, you will be turning off the power to your appliance.1.
- Turn the Thermostat on your hot water heater to the ″Off″ position.
- In most cases, the thermostat for a gas hot water heater may be found in the bottom of the tank.
- In addition, several publications I found suggested that you may get away with simply putting your thermostat to ″Pilot.″ I made the decision to be extra cautious and turned it off entirely.
- If you switch off your hot water heater and it’s an older type, you’ll have to re-light the pilot light, which might be a hassle.
- It is necessary to locate your home’s breaker box in order to turn off the switch that supplies power to your hot water heater if you have an electric hot water heater.
- Turn off the gas supply to the hot water heater.
If you have a gas hot water heater, locate the gas pipe that runs from the tank to your thermostat and pilot light and switch the valve to the ″off″ setting.If you want to just set your thermostat to ″pilot,″ you will not be required to complete this step.3.Disconnect the cold water supply to the hot water heater.4.The cold water valve is located towards the top of your hot water heater, generally on the right side.
- Turn it all the way off.
- Fill a sink or tub with hot water by turning on the faucet.
- Keep them turned on during the whole flushing procedure.
- As a result, you will be less likely to have a vacuum build in the pipes while draining the hot water tank.
5.Connect the garden hose to the drain spigot on the wall.Before you turn on the spigot, double-check that the other end of the hose is connected to the outside or at the very least to a bucket.Depending on whether or not your hot water heater is located in the basement, you may require a portable pump in order to pump water from the basement to the first floor of your home.
6.Turn on the spigot and drain the water.Empty the tank until the water flows clean and there is no longer any silt in it.If your tank is clogged with silt, you may need to thoroughly drain it.
- As you can see in the photo above, the water was a touch brown when I initially started draining it, and there was a lot of sediment at the bottom of the bowl.
- I decided to drain it anyhow.
- Flush your hot water tankTo flush your hot water tank, just switch on the cold water tap that leads into your hot water tank.
- Allow it to run for a few minutes, or until the water coming out of your hose is completely clean.
- This might take some time.
- Even though the water is clear and does not appear to be brown, it is possible that there is some sediment present.
- Here’s a photo of the water that was flowing out of my tank when I first started flushing the toilet: As you can see, there was still some silt (which can be seen at the bottom) pouring out of the hole.
- Flushing should continue until there is very little or no sediment left in your water.
- Turn off the cold water faucet that feeds into your hot water tank and leave it shut.
Finishing Things Up
- Following your satisfaction with the purity of your water, it’s time to return everything to their original state. Disconnect the drainage spigot and the hose from the drain
- Turn off the water supply to your sink or tub that you had switched on at the start of the process.
- To begin, turn on the cold water tap that feeds your hot water heater.
- To get the air out of the system, turn on the hot water faucet in a sink or bathtub for a few minutes. At this point, you should be able to get cold water out of the faucet. To turn it off, press the button.
- If you have turned off the gas to your hot water heater, you must turn it back on again.
- If you have accidentally switched off your hot water heater’s thermostat, re-light the pilot light (it’s simple — I may write an article on it in the future), and then turn the thermostat back on.
- For electric water heaters, locate the breaker switch on your electrical panel that supplies electricity to your hot water heater and turn it off.
- Allow around 20 minutes for the water to warm up. Start by turning on one of your house’s hot water spigots to confirm that hot water is flowing out
Boom. You’ve taken the time to flush your hot water heater. Make a note on your calendar to repeat the process in a year.
Why do I need to flush my water heater?
By cleaning out your water heater, you may improve the efficiency and extend the life of your water heater.In particular, if you do not have a water filter on the incoming line of your house’s water supply, this is critical to remember.Because sediment in the cold water entering the water heater is heavier than the water, any sediment will fall to the bottom of the water heater and accumulate there.In many situations, the water heater actually serves as a filter for the hot water lines in your home, which is something it was not intended to accomplish in the first place.
- You may be wondering how this occurs.
- However, even though water enters the water heater from the top of the tank, there is a tube (known as the water heater dip tube) that causes the water to flow down to the bottom of the container.
- When a water heater does not have a dip tube, cold water entering the tank from the top would pass straight down the tank to the hot water outlet, resulting in cold water being circulated through your hot water lines.
- The dip tube, on the other hand, also pushes any sediment present in the cold water to settle to the bottom of the tank.
- Sediment buildup at the bottom of your water heater tank can impair the energy efficiency of heating the water since you are heating the sediment along with the water, which reduces the effectiveness of heating the water.
- It has been shown that sediment at the bottom of a gas water heater tank can actually function as an insulator between the burner and the water it is heating.
- The silt slows down the heat transmission from the burner to the water, causing the tank to get overheated and the steel and glass lining to deteriorate.
- It is possible for the bottom element of an electric water heater to become buried in silt, causing it to work more harder than necessary and eventually fail.
Consequently, to keep your water heater in excellent operating condition, it is typically advised that you clean the tank and do regular maintenance on it once a year at the very least.The following should be noted: If you have an older gas water heater and have never flushed it before, flushing it may not be the best option.In the course of time, sediment build-up might have weakened the steel tank and glass liner, and some of the sediment could actually be closing small holes in the steel.Flushing out the tank could eliminate silt that is sealing a leak, which could cause much worse difficulties in the future.If you are at all confused about whether or not you should do a water heater flush, you should get advice from a qualified plumbing technician.
How do I flush my water heater?
Although flushing your water heater is a very straightforward activity, there is a high danger of harm from contact with overly hot water and surfaces when performing this task.Prior to commencing, please take all required steps to protect yourself and others, or hire/consult with a plumbing specialist.Additionally, please keep in mind that these instructions are generic in nature and are supplied solely for the convenience of our clients.PlumbingSupply.com® bears no responsibility for your actions in following these instructions.
- The manufacturer’s instructions pertaining to your water heater should always be followed rather than relying on generic information if you have access to or can obtain a copy of your water heater’s owner’s handbook.
- Step 1: If you have an electric water heater, switch off the electrical power to the water heater at the breaker box.
- Step 2: Turn on the water heater again.
- To conserve energy, bring the thermostat down to the vacation mode setting (or as low as it will go without completely shutting down your gas water heater).
- Step 2: Allow the water heater to get to room temperature.
- This can be accomplished by either waiting for the heater to cool down for a few hours or by having someone take a shower, do laundry, or wash some dishes at this time, causing all of the hot water to be used up (after all, you already paid to heat it!) and replaced by cold water.
- Alternatively, the heater could be turned off and the water turned on.
- The third step is to turn off the cold water supply to the water heater – this valve is often found at the top of the water heater, on the INLET side of the heater.
To drain the water heater, connect the garden hose to the drain outlet valve, which is located at the bottom of the unit.Do not open the drain valve yet.Place the other end of the garden hose in a handy drain spot or somewhere outdoors, such as on your lawn or garden area, to catch any excess water.It is important to note that the hose outlet must remain lower than the amount of water in the tank in order for the water to properly drain out of the tank.If you do not want to wait for the water heater to cool down, make sure you choose a hose that can handle the heat of the water heater.If you have children, pets, plants, or bushes, you should position the other end of the hose in a safe location where hot water will not be harmful to them.
- Also, be in mind that the hose and hose outlet may be too hot to handle with your bare hands.
- Alternatively, a water heater drain pump can be used to expedite the procedure.
- It takes between 2-1/2 and 10 minutes to empty a 50-gallon water heater tank, depending on the water heater drain pump you choose.
- This is far faster than waiting for the water heater to drain naturally.
- Step 5: Turn on the hot water faucet on the side of your kitchen sink (or the hot side of any faucet close to your water heater).
As a result, air will be able to flow back into the water heater, preventing any vacuum within it from preventing the water from flowing out of the drain.Return to the water heater drain valve and carefully open it all the way up until it is completely open.Step 6.If you are utilizing a water heater drain pump, turn the pump on after you have opened the drain valve on the water heater itself.
The water coming out of the water heater can be allowed to drain into a clean bucket to see how much sediment is being flushed out.This can assist you in determining how frequently you may (or may not) need to flush your system, as well as whether or not you would want to consider putting a filtration system in your plumbing system.When the water heater has been completely emptied, switch off the pump (if one is being used) and close the drain valve.To do this, open the cold water supply valve located on top of the water heater and turn on the water for 5-10 minutes.
- This can assist in dislodging any more sediment that may be present in the bottom of the water heater.
- Step 8: Turn off the cold water supply at the top of the water heater and open the drain valve once again (restart the pump if it is being used) to allow the water to drain out of the tank.
- Make a visual inspection of the drain water to see whether there is still material present or whether the water is clean.
- Steps 7 and 8 should be repeated as needed until the drain water is clean of any material.
- If there is still some sediment in the water, repeat Steps 7 and 8.
- Once you are certain that all of the sediment has been emptied from the tank, turn off the pump, close the drain valve, and remove the garden hose from the tank.
- The anode rod and the temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve should be checked now that the tank is empty.
- If your water heater is more than five years old, we recommend that you replace the anode rod.
- We also recommend that you remove the T&P valve and check it for probable corrosion caused by particular water conditions, and that you replace it if required.
- During this time, if you have a gas water heater, you may also want to check the gas vent for any problems.
- When you are ready to refill the water heater, turn on the cold water supply valve located on the top of the water heater and begin filling the water heater tank with cold water.
Check to see that the drain is completely closed and that it is not leaking.If the drain valve leaks, it is possible that sediment particles has been lodged inside of it.Using a funnel, remove any debris that has accumulated in the drain valve and turn off the cold water supply at the top of the water heater.To re-fill the water heater, re-open the cold water supply valve located at the top of the water heater.
Please keep in mind that if the drain valve is not operating correctly, it may also need to be repaired or replaced.You may often utilize a standard 3/4″ fipt input hose bibb with a short pipe nipple to accomplish this task.In order to determine the length of the pipe nipple, consider the amount of insulation that is utilized between the water heater tank and the decorative outside cover.Remove the present drain valve to calculate the length of nipple that will be required to clear the aesthetic cover of the drain valve opening.
Step number twelve.As the water heater fills, return to the faucet that was used in Step 5 to allow air to enter the water heater and turn on the hot side of the water heater until water flows easily through the faucet without releasing air with the water.Make sure you turn on a couple additional faucets (on the hot side) in the home and leave them running until the water is flowing freely there as well.Remember to turn on the faucet in an upstairs room as well if you have a two-story home with many floors.If you are confident that all air has been removed from the water pipes and the water heater, you may restart the heating process for the water.If your water heater is electric, just re-energize the circuit breaker that controls the water heater.
If your water heater is powered by natural gas or propane, simply turn the thermostat back up to the appropriate temperature setting once more.Please keep in mind that the material presented here is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of plumbing-related repairs, troubleshooting, and purchase considerations.This material is intended to be general in nature and may not be applicable to all applications.When in doubt about your ability to accomplish one of these tasks or when you have more concerns about the material offered, seek the advice of a qualified expert immediately.Always double-check local code rules and the appropriate authorities before starting a project of any kind.
How To Flush A Water Heater Of Sediment
Instructions on how to clean a water heater of sediment.This indicates the presence of calcium or mineral deposits, which can be seen as little or big white particles coming out.Place the hose’s end in a bucket or a drain to catch the water.Using this method, cold water will release the remaining sediments, and the flowing water will flush them away.
- It takes advantage of the pressure in the tank to thoroughly clean water heaters in a short period of time.
- To flush a water heater, begin by turning off the heater’s power source, which can be accomplished by using the breaker or thermostat on the heater.
If The Water Is Coming Out Brown And Sludgy, You’re Probably Going To Need To Drain The Entire Tank.
Hardened sediment from your water heater is stirred up and flushed out with the strength of a portable drill using this method. For an electric water heater, close the circuit breaker, while for a natural gas water heater, you will need to turn off the gas valve. It is possible to turn off an electric water heater by simply turning off the power switch on the unit.
Turn The Water Heater Off.
Turn off the water heater if it is on.Turn off the water at the main line that enters the residence, or directly at the water meter, if you do not have a shut off valve near your heater or if it does not function properly due to age or malfunction.The technique consists mostly of draining the tank while avoiding and washing away the sediment and limescale, followed by cleaning the interior of the tank to prevent bacteria accumulation.The process can take several hours.
The First Thing To Do To Fix A Noisy Water Heater Is To Flush It.
Turn on a faucet (or two), and then turn on the drain valve to begin emptying the water from the tank. You may also reach out to us using our contact form. On the other hand, with a gas stove, the most straightforward solution is to just turn your temperature setting all the way down to either pilot or vacation mode, if yours offers either of those options.
Flushing A Water Heater Is Basically Draining The Water In The Tank, And Then Flush Out Sediment With More Water.
In this case, depending on how long it has been since your tank was last cleaned, you might have a tiny quantity of sediment or you could be dealing with a very dangerous issue. This indicates the presence of calcium or mineral deposits, which can be seen as little or big white particles coming out. Close the drain valve once the tank has been completely emptied.
Sediment Normally Forms On The Heat Exchanger, Thermostat And Heat Transfer Surface Within The Water Heater, Thereby Negatively Impacting On The.
You should cleanse your water heater at least once a year, in the ideal situation. If your water heater is ancient, it is possible that you may need to replace the sacrificial rod. To flush a water heater, begin by shutting off the heater’s power supply, which may be accomplished by utilizing the breaker or thermostat on the heater.
How Do You Break the Sediment Out of a Hot Water Heater?
The water that passes through our pipes isn’t completely free of contaminants.It is densely packed with a variety of minerals that can accumulate over time.As a result, what is the best way to remove sediment from a hot water heater, and is it even possible to do it on your own?Fortunately, most hot water heater sediment issues may be resolved by the homeowner.
- When something goes wrong, there is no need to call a plumber for every little thing that happens.
If you want to learn how do you break the sediment out of a hot water heater, you’re on the right spot.
As well as providing instructions on how to clean your water heater, we’ll also provide you with some helpful hints and recommendations on additional sediment removal methods.
Why Do I Have Sediment in My Water Heater?
- To understand how to remove sediment from a hot water heater, you must first understand why there is a build-up of sediment in the first place. As previously said, the water that comes out of your faucet is rich in natural minerals, which subsequently make their way into your water heater. It is likely that these minerals will collect in the bottom of your water heater unless you use a tankless water heater. Calcium and natrium are the two minerals that are most commonly found in nature. Other minerals include: Magnesium, Kalium, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Zinc, and Phosphorus, among others.
How Water Heater Sediment Symptoms
- Having sediment build up in your water heater can result in a variety of problems, including the failure of the water heater. They have the potential to promote the growth of germs, which, when paired with the high levels of heat, may be quite harmful. This buildup of sediments may also induce deformation of the tank’s bottom, which may result in leaks. Because of this, you must eliminate them from your home or business as quickly as possible. If your water heater has an excessive amount of sediment, you may notice any of the following symptoms: Insufficient hot water
- fluctuating water temperature
- banging noises emanating from the pipes and the water heater itself
- It takes an extremely long time for the water heater to heat up
- there is a foul odor in the water
- there are leaks at the water heater drain valve
The most effective technique to determine if you have sediment in your water heater is to turn on the hot water and observe whether you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms. The presence of these symptoms might suggest that your hot water heater is blocked with silt.
How Do You Break the Sediment Out of a Hot Water Heater?
The most frequent method of removing sediment from a hot water heater is to clean it out with fresh water. You should cleanse your water heater at least once a year, in the ideal situation. Here’s how to flush your water heater to get rid of calcium accumulation (as well as other minerals) to get rid of calcium buildup in your water heater:
In order to begin, you must first switch off your water heater.It is possible to turn off an electric water heater by simply turning off the power switch on the unit.It is recommended that the thermostat be set to the pilot setting for gas appliances.This will give you the opportunity to cool down your water heater.
- The obvious implication of this is that no one in your household should be doing anything that requires hot water, such as taking a shower, doing laundry, or cleaning the dishes.
After that, you should turn off the cold water valve as well.As for why you need to turn it off, cold water is what enters into the tank so that the water heater can warm it up and remove it from the system.Once the cold water has been turned off, the tank may be completely emptied and cleaned.Despite the fact that this is not a required step, there is one thing you should consider.
- Water will continue to flow into and out of your plumbing system if you do not shut off your cold water valve.
- This will result in a big rise in your utility expenses.
This is the most straightforward of the steps. Simply sit back and wait for the water heater to cool down on its own. Depending on the size of your tank, this process might take up to two hours.
Find the drain valve on your water heater and turn it on.It’s normally located on one of the tank’s sides.After that, connect a hose to it.The hose must be threaded all the way through.
- Without doing so, you run the danger of experiencing leakage later on.
- Keep in mind that the hose’s end must be placed in a heat-resistant backing before use.
- Another excellent option is to flush it down the toilet.
- If you don’t, you can end yourself with flooding.
- Of course, you should make certain that your drain is not in danger of overflowing.
It is recommended that you open faucets around your home if you are concerned about a vacuum forming in the pipelines.Make sure they’re on the ‘hot’ setting and then turn them on.In other cases, it may appear as though there isn’t a lot of water present or that the pressure is low.This is quite normal; because you have shut off the cold water, the heater will not be able to reheat the water.
Take a flathead screwdriver and turn the valve to the on position. Make sure to go slowly and gently so that there are no leaks. The drain or bucket into which you are emptying the water will not overflow as a result of this method as well. The water will drain away any silt that has accumulated as a result of this procedure.
You may then close the drain valve when you are finished draining all of the sediment out of the tank.After that, you may securely remove the hose and switch on the cold water valve once more.In addition, this is the time when you should activate the heating element of the water heater.Always remember that you should leave all of the faucets that you had switched on in the previous stages running.
- Wait until they have returned to their usual flow rate before turning them off.
- Then, let around half an hour for the heater to heat the water to the desired temperature.
- Given that you’ve learnt how to dissolve sediment in water heater properly, your unit will most likely heat things much more quickly than it would otherwise.
How to Prevent Sediment in Water Heater
- While understanding how to flush sediment out of a water heater is vital, it is always preferable to avoid the problem than than deal with it after it occurs. Fortunately, there are a few practical suggestions that might assist you in accomplishing your goal. Make use of a water softener. In hard water, sediment build-up is considerably more likely to occur than in soft water. The presence of less minerals in your water implies that it will take considerably longer for them to settle in the water tank if you soften it. Annually, drain and refill the water tank. It is still beneficial to clean the tank even if you do not believe that there is enough sediment buildup
- this will help you avoid further harm.
- After flushing, clean your water heater thoroughly using an appropriate cleanser. The use of this method will assist you in dissolving any persistent sediment buildup and ensuring that your water heater is operating at peak performance.
- Check to see that your pipes are