How To Clean My Water Heater?

How To Clean A Water Heater The Simple Way

If you maintain your water heater properly, there is no reason why it shouldn’t survive for more than a decade or more. Knowing how to clean a water heater is one of the most important skills to have in order to do this. Our goal with this essay is to provide a comprehensive walkthrough of the process of cleaning your water heater, regardless of its make or model.

How To Clean Your Water Heater: The Basics

Why Should You Do It?

If you’ve read our article on drinking tap water in Phoenix, you’ll be aware that the water that arrives at your house in Arizona (or any other state in the United States, for that matter) includes silt, minerals, and chemicals.In the course of time, these impurities might accumulate in your water heater, causing it to operate inefficiently.Inefficiencies such as inconsistent heating, an element that fails to stay lighted, and a blocked drain valve are all examples of inefficiencies.All of these will result in bills that are greater than planned.

In severe circumstances, the sediment accumulation can get so extensive that it causes leaks in your water heater’s internal components.The most effective technique to avoid this is to flush the system on a regular basis.

How Often Should You Flush Your Water Heater?

At the absolute least, you’ll want to flush the system once a year, if not more frequently.However, it is dependent on the composition of your local water supply as well as the equipment you have in your house.In order to obtain information regarding the drinking water in your area, contact the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).If you have a high-efficiency water softener installed, your heater may not need to be flushed as frequently since the softener will lessen the amount of sediment that accumulates.

Water heaters in Phoenix have an especially difficult time dealing with sediment since the state of Arizona has some of the toughest water in the United States.As a result, if you do not have a water softener installed, you may want to flush the heater as frequently as once or twice a month or two in order to prevent problems.

Signs It’s Time To Flush Your Water Heater

Water heater flushing on a regular basis is a successful technique, but it is also beneficial to be aware of the warning signals that suggest a flush is necessary in order to avoid costly repairs later on. Here’s a brief review on what each of these indications means.

You Can’t Get Hot Water

If you are having trouble getting hot water from your heater, it is possible that sediment has accumulated within it to the point where it is either preventing the element from lighting or stopping the heat from passing to your water. Regardless of the situation, this is a hint that you need to flush the heating system.

Your Water Heater Is Making Strange Sounds

It is possible that silt can cluster together and create calcified stones that will smash against the sides of your water heater in areas where water is very harsh. This is a warning indication that you should flush the heater before the stones grow to such a size that they choke the drain line.

Your Water Smells Funny

While sediment accumulation is often the most serious issue you should be concerned about when cleaning your water heater, germs can also form within a tank that has not been flushed in a long period of time if the tank has not been cleaned.This bacteria has the potential to cause a strange odor in your water.Not only will you need to flush the tank, but you’ll also need to sterilize it, which we’ll go over in more detail in the next section.

How To Clean Your Hot Water Heater: The Process

When cleaning your water heater, you will need to open many taps around your home and allow the water to drain entirely out of the tank. This is a necessary part of the process. Cleaning your hot water heater is actually pretty simple if you follow the correct procedures. You’ll discover that these procedures become second nature to you as time goes on.

Step1: Prepare The Heater For Flushing

Before you do anything else, be sure that the thermostat on your water heater is turned off.For many tanks, merely switching to ″Pilot″ mode will suffice to get the desired results.As a result, you will not have to go through the hassle of reactivating the pilot light, which is a simple but time-consuming task.You will also avoid the need to turn off the gas if you follow this procedure.

It will be necessary to turn off the electricity to your water heater if you have one.The proper switch will be located on the device.Last but not least, turn off the cold water supply.The valve for this operation is normally found on top of the heater, which makes sense.

Step2: Open The Hot Water Faucets In Your Home

This will aid in the drainage of the tank. If you do not complete this step, a vacuum will build in your tank, which will keep the water trapped within. It’s a strange physics effect, similar to how water remains caught in a straw if you maintain your finger on the tip of the straw while drinking.

Step3: Connect A Hose To Your Tank’s Drain Valve

The drain valve should be situated near the bottom of the tank, preferably on the side.In order to avoid damaging your home’s foundation, you’ll want this hose to either lead into a very large container or (ideally) to the outside and away from it.If you use a little bucket, you run the chance of flooding your basement or the area where the tank is located, which is not ideal.If your basement has a drain, you may be able to divert the water to it by placing the other end of your hose near the drain and directing it there.

Step4: Open The Drain Valve And Let The Tank Empty

Depending on how much sediment has accumulated in your tank, you may be able to see bits of sediment being discharged from it as they pass through. With increased frequency of cleaning, you’ll be able to determine whether or not you’re maintaining a high level of consistency based on the amount of sediment that comes out.

Not Getting Any Water Out Of The Tank? Try This!

You will not see any flow if you open the drain valve when there has been an excessive buildup of silt in the tank, which has clogged the drain valve. To correct the situation, use a wet/dry shop vacuum to remove the obstruction. The majority of the time, this will enough. If it does not, the situation may necessitate the involvement of a professional.

Step5: Reactivate The Cold Water Supply

Before you unplug your hose from the drain valve, be sure the cold water supply has been reactivated. This water will aid in the dislodgmentation of any further sediment that may have accumulated in your tank. Continue to allow for a few minutes of drainage until the water escaping from the hose is clean. (Optional) After that, switch off the cold water supply one more time.

Step6: Shut The Drain Valve Off

After you have disconnected the garden hose from the drain valve, turn the valve back on before turning on the cold water supply.

Step7: Close The Faucets After A Minute Or So

During the refilling process of your water heater’s tank, you may notice that discolored water is coming out of your faucets. If you wait a minute or two, this should be resolved. Once this has occurred, you may turn off the faucets.

Step8: Return Your Water Heater To Its Ready State

It entails resetting the thermostat to its default setting, relighting the pilot light if you chose to turn it off, and re-connecting the electricity if you’re using an electric heater to complete the task.

How To Clean A Hot Water Heater With Vinegar

You may need to use vinegar to cut through sediment accumulation if you suspect that your water heater has become seriously clogged with sediment. As far as how to clean a hot water heater with vinegar is concerned, the procedure is simply a few steps longer than what we previously described in detail. Before you proceed with the actions outlined above, do the following.

Remove The Anode Rod

Please refer to your tank’s owner’s handbook for the specific procedure to be followed. In most cases, a recessed bolt will require the use of a wrench to be unfastened.

Use A Funnel To Place Vinegar Inside The Tank

When you remove the anode rod, you will see a hole in the area where it was previously located. This is the location where the funnel should be placed. Fill the tank with no more than four gallons of vinegar after passing it through this funnel.

Replace The Anode Rod And Activate The Cold Water Supply

Reinstall the anode rod and turn on the cold water supply again. This will cause the tank to fill up with water again. Make sure to let the tank remain with the vinegar-infused water for the whole 24-hour period. During that time, the acidity of the vinegar will begin to work its way through the sediment.

Go Through Steps1 through8

To completely remove the vinegar (as well as any sediment that should have dissolved) from your tank, follow the instructions in steps 1 through 8 to the letter.

How To Clean A Tankless Water Heater

The fact that your water heater does not have a tank does not rule out the possibility of silt and minerals accumulating inside it over time.Essentially, a tankless heater does not store water and instead heats it on demand, as the name suggests.As a result, becoming familiar with the process of pumping water into the system and then directing it out is essential to knowing how to clean a tankless water heater.The following are the steps to follow in order to do this correctly.

Step1: Switch The Power And Gas Off

To begin, turn off the electricity and gas (if your tankless heater is powered by gas).

Step2: Remove The Unit’s Panel And Test The Electricity

It is possible to detect whether you have correctly unplugged the electricity from the tankless water heater by using a no-contact electrical tester. This is a safety measure in case you accidentally turned off the wrong switch on your circuit breaker. It will alert you if you have done so. Once you are positive that the electricity has been turned off, go to the following step.

Step3: Turn Off The Water Supply

Shut down the water supply line that runs directly into your tankless heater.

Step4: Connect The Hoses

In contrast to a traditional water heater with a tank, you’ll have to actually bring water into your tankless heater as part of the cleansing process.That is why you will require two hoses.There are two connections: one links the unit to a pump (which pumps water into it) and another connects the unit to an isolation valve (catching the water as it expelled from the tank after making its way through).

Step5: Prepare A Five-Gallon Bucket With Your Pump And Hose

Prepare the vinegar by filling a five-gallon bucket halfway with vinegar and placing your pump and the open end of your second hose inside.

Step6: Let The Pump Run For An Hour

Turn on the pump and let it running continuously for an hour. The pump will circulate the vinegar through your tankless heater in a closed loop configuration. Hopefully, the steady flow (together with the acidity of the vinegar) will be powerful enough to wear away at any built-up sediment in your heater.

Step7: Remove The Pump And Activate The Cold Water Supply

You should now be able to leave the end of your second hose in the five-gallon bucket, which should be completely empty of any vinegar. Before turning off the cold water supply, let the cold water run through the system and into the bucket for about five minutes before turning it off.

Step8: Return Your Tankless Heater To Its Operational State

Disconnecting the hoses, replacing the panel, and reactivating the water supply valves are all steps in this process. The final step should be to re-establish electrical power to the device.

How To Clean Out Your Water Heater: Conclusion

By the end of this article, you should have gained an understanding of the fact that knowing how to clean out your water heater does not involve any specialist knowledge of the system.You should be able to do this task without difficulty if you follow the procedures outlined above.To summarize, let’s take a look at some of the specific considerations you’ll need to make based on the sort of water heater you have.

How To Clean An Electric Water Heater: Special Considerations

The procedure for cleaning an electric water heater is much less complicated than the procedure for cleaning a gas water heater. Because everything is powered by electricity, you won’t have to relight the pilot light when you’re finished with it.

How To Clean A Gas Water Heater: Special Considerations

As far as the proper way to clean a gas water heater is concerned, there are two important aspects to keep in mind. Before beginning the operation, you must turn off the gas valves in the house. Because turning off the thermostat will deactivate it, you will also need to relight the pilot light after you are finished.

Cleaning A Tankless Water Heater: Special Considerations

The fact that your heater does not have a reservoir for fluid means that you will need to introduce water and clean it out.

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Don’t be concerned if you find all of this to be a bit overwhelming. If you live in or around the Phoenix, Arizona region, we would be delighted to assist you with the upkeep of your water heater. For additional information on our straightforward pricing and worry-free service, please contact us.

How To Clean and Flush a Water Heater

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.Cleaning your water heater on an annual basis is the most effective approach to ensure that it is as safe and trustworthy as possible.Learn how to flush a water heater by following these steps: In related news, here’s how to flush a TANKLESS water heater.

Drain the Water Heater

Connect a garden hose to the hose bib located near the bottom of the water heater and run the hose to a floor drain or an exterior place to collect any excess water from the water heater.Note: If you have a drain pan beneath your sink that is properly connected to a drain, you will not need to use a hose.Turn off the water heater’s electricity, or turn the gas control valve to the ″Vacation″ position, whichever is appropriate.Close the cold water entry valve, which is normally found at the top of the tank.

This will prevent the tank from overheating.Open the drain valve and turn on the hot water faucet nearest to the tank to allow air to circulate through the tank.See also: How to Unclog a Water Heater That Won’t Drain (with Pictures).Allow for complete emptying of the tank before proceeding.

See also:  What Does A Leaking Water Heater Mean?

Larger hot water heaters will, of course, take a little longer to drain, but it should not take more than a few minutes in most cases.Take the garden hose and disconnect it from the drain valve.If your water heater has a plastic drain valve, now is an excellent time to replace it with a brass drain valve, which will last longer and be more sturdy.Remove the drain valve and replace it with the brass valve, which should be done with a big adjustable wrench.

Cleaning and Flushing the Tank

If you go to your local hardware shop, you can get a long, thin brush (like this one) that is intended for cleaning refrigerator coils but is also wonderful for cleaning water heater tanks.Insert the brush into the opening left by the drain valve once it has been disassembled.Scrape the bottom of the tank and as much of the inside walls of the tank as you can with the brush, being careful not to scratch the surface of the tank.In the event that your tank has not been cleaned in a while, this process may take some time.

The greater the amount of sediment that may be broken loose, the better the performance of your water heater.A short 3/4 inch plumbing nipple should be screwed into the drain hole.Drain valves are not suited for tank cleaning since they are readily blocked by the debris that will be drained out, and so are not recommended.Make sure a bucket is placed right below the plumbing nipple, or that you have a garden hose connected to the opposite end of the nipple (or let it drain into a properly installed drain pan).

Make sure to place the other end of the hose (if you are using one) into a pail so that you can see the results of your cleaning efforts.Connect a hose to the cold water input valve and turn it on for a few minutes until the water flowing out of the hose is clear.Remove the nipple and repeat the operation until no more particles are rinsed out after washing with the nipple in place.Some material, such as rust or calcium deposits, may be present in the bucket.

  • It should be noted that many contemporary water heaters include a ″self-cleaning″ option.
  • Although it is beneficial, you should still physically flush and clean a water heater, but you will not have to do it on a regular basis.
  • As a result, rather than cleaning once a year, it is recommended that you do it every three years or such.

Completing the Project

Turn off the hot water faucet if it is still running.Rather than replacing the drain valve, you may install an inline ball valve at the end of the nipple to make future cleaning easier and more convenient.It will be necessary to install a second, short nipple to the valve’s outflow side.Wrap plumber’s tape over the threads on both sides of the nipple and tighten the nipple into the tank until it is completely secure.

Screw the ball valve into place and tighten it down completely.Open the cold water inlet valve by turning it to the on position.Activate the hot water faucet and let the water to run until all of the air has been expelled from the pipe.As soon as all of the air has been withdrawn from the tank, reconnect the electricity or turn on the gas control valve to the ″On″ position again.

How To Clean A Water Heater

Every day, thousands of gallons of water travel through a water heater, producing minerals that make cleaning the heater difficult.However, if you do not maintain the cleanliness of your water heater, it might result in a variety of problems.Cleaning it using a trustworthy calcium, lime, and rust cleaner, often known as a CLR cleaner, may be made easy.This cleanser will eat away mineral deposits in areas where you can’t reach to them with your hands.

Once you’ve selected a reliable CLR cleaner, follow the instructions outlined below to get started.

Step 1 – Disconnect the Water Inlet Pipe

Remove the water heater’s power by turning it off at the breaker box and masking off the switch to prevent anyone from putting it back on while you are cleaning it. After that, unplug the water supply pipe.

Step 2 – Drain Some Water

Take a water hose and hook it to the drain valve on the bottom of the sink. Connect the hose end to a basin where you will be able to collect warm water. After unscrewing the water supply line, open the drain valve and give enough time for the water to run out of the heater and into the basin. Once the water has been evacuated from the tank, shut the valve.

Step 3 – Pour in the Cleaner

Pour one gallon of the CLR cleaner of your choice into the inflow pipe gently and steadily. Pour about one capful at a time, making sure that it enters the pipe without spilling.

Step 4 – Wait for the Cleaner to Work

Allow five hours for the CLR cleaner to dissolve any mineral deposits that it may be able to remove with its neutralizer.You may check for neutralization by putting a plastic bag over the input pipe and watching to see if it inflates or not.If it does inflate, let it for another hour before checking again.When the bag does not expand, this indicates that the CLR cleaner has been completely neutralized.

Step 5 – Rinse the Heater

Then, reattach the intake line to the heater and open the valve to allow the heater dry. Prior to going on to the following step, make sure you run water through the heater for several minutes to ensure that it is well rinsed.

Step 6 – Fill the Heater

Immediately following the closure of the drain valve, turn on a faucet to fill the water heater. You will notice soapy water coming out of the faucet. Permit the water to continue to flow from the faucet until the bubbles have vanished completely.

Step 7 – Open All Hot Water

Turn on every hot-water faucet in the building to remove any remaining air from the water pipes.Allow the water to run for a few minutes before turning it off.At first, you may notice water bubbling out of the hole.Once the water is flowing freely, turn off all of the hot-water faucets in the house.

Do not be concerned if you continue to observe bubbles for a number of days.The CLR cleaner has been neutralized and diluted to the point where it will not do any harm to the environment.

Step 8 – Turn the Heater On

To restart the heater, turn the breaker switch back on after double-checking that all input and outlet connections are securely connected.

Step 9 – Perform Regular Maintenance

Flush your tank on a monthly basis to prevent having to clean it as frequently. If your water is constantly contaminated with minerals, you might consider installing a water softener. Water heaters older than seven years may develop leaks as a result of the frequent cleaning they receive. This will require a new water heater to be installed.

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. 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
  2. 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 typically 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 typically a lever that must be moved to the ″up″ position in order to be opened.
  • Make certain that the water flows at a rate that can be managed wherever the water is draining to
  • Keep in mind that if you don’t allow the water to cool down before using it, it will be extremely hot when it exits the tank.
  • Be aware that if the drain cock is made of plastic and the heater is several years old, it may be difficult to open and, if forced, may break.
  • 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.
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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?

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Clean Your Water Heater from Hard Water Deposits

Hard water is detrimental to the performance of your appliances.Here are some PRO TIPS on how to clean your home’s water heater, which may be a mineral reservoir if not properly maintained.After years of usage, minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium can settle out of the water as it cycles through the tank, leaving a layer of gritty material at the bottom of the tank as a result of the water cycling through the tank.Given that one of the water heater’s heating elements is located at the very bottom of the tank, the electric components are occasionally buried behind a layer of silt that is several inches deep.

According to a research conducted by Battelle Memorial Institute in 2010 (see images), water heaters that were supplied by hard water lost half of their efficiency over a 15-year period, but tanks that were fed by soft water maintained their efficiency over the same time period (see photographs).Water heaters that do not require a tank are also susceptible to the difficulties associated with hard water.Despite the fact that they do not have a tank, they may also accumulate minerals that damage the walls of the heating chamber when exposed to heat.Detailed instructions for cleaning and maintaining these newer-generation and more expensive heaters will be provided in my upcoming article.

What is the purpose of cleaning my water heater?Many places are well-known for their hard water, which is very rich in calcium and other minerals and, as a result, is prone to scale build-up over time in plumbing systems.If you are unsure if your water is hard or soft, you may conduct a simple test by rinsing a glass and allowing it to dry naturally.The presence of a stain indicates that the water was hard to remove.

  • Mineral deposits will leave their markings on your sinks, shower setups, and bathtubs, among other things.
  • If only a few drips of hard water can leave such tenacious stains on what you can see, you can picture the effect hard water has on your plumbing system.
  • The majority of people are completely unaware that they need clean their water heaters on a regular basis.
  • Hard water residents should pay special attention to the proper maintenance of their appliances, as their lifespan may be drastically reduced as a result of scale build-up on the inside of the appliance.
  • Generally speaking, you should clean or flush your water heater every one to three years at the very least.
  • The sort of hot water heater you have and the source of your water have a lot to do with how often you use it.
  • Cleaning your unit is beneficial in a number of ways, including: — Maintaining control over the accumulation of mineral deposits – Increasing the energy efficiency of your unit — Extending the useful life of your equipment How to Care for and Maintain a Water Heater NOTE: This flushing procedure must be carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and taking into consideration the hardness of the water.
  • Heaters powered by electricity: To begin, you must locate and switch off the power source.
  • Make certain that the water supply that feeds into your heater is turned off as well.
  • Heaters that operate on gas: If the heater has a temperature setting, make a note of it.
  • Then lower the temperature on your thermostat to the lowest level.
  • It’s possible that you have a ″pilot″ setting that you may utilize.
  • Precaution: If you have any difficulty opening your drainage cock, you may wish to postpone this task until you can receive expert assistance.
  1. Plumbers warn that this spigot may get frozen as a result of the same sediments that may be polluting your complete unit, according to their observations.
  2. In the event that you try to force it, you risk breaking it, and you will need to have it replaced before you can use your hot water heater again or even finish this project.
  3. In addition, additional water valves throughout your home that you do not use on a regular basis should be checked.
  4. This is why it’s a good idea to go around and turn these valves every six months or so, simply to make sure they don’t get frozen in the first place.
  5. Instructions in a Step-by-Step Format 1.
  1. To turn off an electric water heater, locate the breaker in your electrical panel and toggle it off.
  2. While you are draining the tank, this will prevent the heating components from turning on automatically.
  3. If this isn’t an option, disconnect the power source completely.
  1. 2.
  2. Open the pressure valve by turning it to the ″open″ setting.
  3. 3.
  4. A little faucet may be found at the foot of the hot water heater, which is convenient.

An extension of the garden hose should be attached to it.Check to see if the hose is of a reasonable level of quality.When hot water is passed through them, inexpensive hoses may leak.

4.The loose end of the hose should be at a location where it is safe to let it drain.You may direct the hose to an outside drain, an inside drain, or to buckets that you can empty with a garden hose.This valve, however, should not be opened for the time being.5.Use caution if the water is still hot so that you do not burn yourself or anybody else around you.

  1. This should be avoided at all costs by allowing the heater to rest overnight so that you can be sure the water will be cold in the morning when you wake up.
  2. 6.
  3. Turn off the tank’s cold water supply valve.

7.Turn on a hot water faucet inside the home that is nearest to the hot water heater.8.

  • 8.
  • Turn on the bottom valve and let the water to flow through the hose as needed.
  • The pressure should be adjusted until you have a gradual and consistent flow.
  • 9.
  • Allow the water to drain into a clean pail after it has been running through the hose for a few minutes.
  • Allow the water to settle for a few minutes before inspecting it for mineral accumulations.
  1. 10.
  2. If the water is hazy or muddy, or if there is sediment in the bottom of the pail, allow the tank to drain for a few minutes longer and then re-examine the water quality.
  3. If all you see is clear water, you may turn off the bottom valve and go to point 13 in this article without more ado.
  4. Allow the water to run for an extended period of time if there is sand-like debris at the bottom of the pail or if it is muddy until clean water comes out of the hose.
  5. 12.

Turn off the valve and detach the hose from the valve.13.Turn off the water pressure valve or the water faucet.14.

  1. Turn on the cold water valve at the top of the tank and let the tank to fill with water while you are working.
  2. 15.
  3. Turn on all of the hot water taps in the home one at a time to flush out any air that may have accumulated in the pipes.
  4. Close all of the hot water taps once the water is flowing freely and normally again.
  5. 16.
  6. Refill the water heater with water sourced from the water distribution system.

17.Pay attention to the temperature of the hot water tank and allow it to fill entirely.18.Turn on the pressure valve once more to eliminate any remaining air from the installation, then turn it off again.

19.Make sure the drain on the appliance is closed.Put hot water in your bathtub and make sure it is flowing at maximum pressure.20.21.When the hot water is running, you can turn on the circuit breaker to protect the house.

  • Only once the tank has been entirely refilled should the electricity to the tank be turned back on.
  • After cleaning, your hot water heater will be ready to be used for several more months.
  • Draining the hot water tank, for example, is a simple task that may save you time, money, and plumbing headaches.
  • Even though the water that has been drained appears to be clear, you may not have wasted your time and energy.
  • It’s possible that sediment had begun to accumulate at lower levels that were not apparent to the human eye.
  • If the water was clean, you could simply repeat the operation in a year or so to ensure that it remained that way in the future.
  • Draining and cleaning your hot water heater every few months may be necessary if the water was extremely hazy or contaminated with sediment.
  • If you do it on a regular basis, flushing the tank will take no more than an hour or less.

Some manufacturers recommend that you perform this procedure once a year, while others propose that you perform it twice a year.In reality, the frequency with which you should flush the tank is determined by how hard your water is.Unless the water is running clean after a long period of time, you should probably flush the toilet more frequently.

  • Finally, even if you are unable to afford to install a water softening system to avoid this problem from occurring in the first place, you can still safeguard your hot water heater from being damaged by hard water by following these steps.
  • Just following this simple procedure of cleaning the tank on a regular basis will allow you to keep your pricey equipment working for many years to come.
  • Additionally, by ensuring that your hot water heater is operating at optimal efficiency, you will be able to save money.
  • Information about the author: Mark Williams (NicMar President Mark Williams possesses degrees in Applied Science and Industrial Thermodynamics, as well as Agricultural Mechanization and Systems Engineering, all from the Ohio State University.
  • As a WQA (Water Quality Association) LEVEL 6 Certified professional, he also has the highest possible industry ranking.
  • Return to the top of the page ″Editor B/flickr″ is the credit/copyright attribution for this image.
See also:  How To Change Zero Water Filter

How To Clean Water Heater: Step-By-Step Guide

If you live in a cold climate or are just preparing for the winter, a water heater is most likely one of the household appliances that you already have or should purchase in the near future.Its creation was motivated by the need to make the process of boiling water much more convenient.There is no longer a need to boil water in a kettle; instead, hot water may be dispensed directly from your taps and shower hoses.Water heaters, like all other appliances, may become soiled.

It is my intention in this essay to provide you with information on how to clean your water heater without causing any damage to the equipment.There are several approaches that may be used to properly clean a water heater.There are two approaches: the traditional approach and the one that involves the use of vinegar.Later on in this essay, I’ll go over the methods for both the traditional method and the vinegar-based method of removing stains.

Last but not least, it is up to you to decide which option is best for you.

How does the water heater work?

Before we get into the specifics of how to clean a water heater, it’s important to understand how the equipment operates.It is possible to purchase one of two types of water heaters: one that runs on gas and one that runs on electricity.They both have components that are both similar and distinct.Because the parts that are cleanable are present in both the gas and electric water heaters, there is no need to worry about which cleaning method is ideal for each type of heater because there is only one cleaning procedure for both types of heaters.

The process of using a water heater is fairly easy; all that is asked of you is to funnel cold water into the tank through the dip tube positioned on the top of the device until the water level in the tank reaches the desired level.This is the tank where the water will be heated to the temperature that you have specified.… Thereafter, you may relax and enjoy your warm morning showers, since there will be no more nerve-racking showers…

Why is it important to clean my water heater?

In general, every appliance must be kept clean in order to operate better and endure for a longer period of time. Because it is so easily damaged, it is necessary to clean the water heater regularly. And the most significant source of harm is ‘hard water.’

What is hard water?

Mineral water is defined as water that has a certain quantity of mineral content. When we use hard water in our regular activities, it causes a number of issues such as making soap difficult to rinse away while showering or washing dishes, making clothing feel scratchy, giving the water a bad taste in our mouths and worst of all, causing damage to our plumbing systems.

How does hard water affect the heater?

Every time hard water is put into the tank and heated, debris, sediments, and minerals settle to the bottom of the tank, clogging the drain. Over time, this debris can turn into a thick brown sludge that can clog the filter and cause the water heater to run below its ideal level of performance. If you don’t keep up with the maintenance of this equipment, you can find yourself with junk.

How does hard water affect the electric and gas water heater?

Each type of water heater is affected differently by hard water in terms of casing concerns.The sediments in the electric heater might cause the heating components to get coated, which will result in poor water heating as a result of the coating.Specifically in the case of a gas heater, when the sediments settle to the bottom of the tank, they develop weak places in the tank material, which in turn leads to the tank leaking.Because of the sediment buildup caused by hard water, it is possible for the water heater drain line to get clogged.

Symptoms to look out for

The majority of water heater owners, as well as owners of other household appliances in general, do not pay attention to indications that suggest long-term harm to their devices.They generally wind up spending a lot of money on repairs or losing money since the appliance or water heater has been completely destroyed.You may avoid becoming one of those folks by keeping an eye out for the following indicators in your water heater:

Water isn’t hot enough

Because of the building of sediments in the tank, a water heater that has not been cleaned will likely to underperform in its function. With an electric water heater, the silt build-up will cause the heating element to get coated, which will result in less efficient heating.

It takes much longer to heat up

Another sign that your water heater is having problems is when it starts to leak. This symptom is also caused by the buildup of sediments and minerals in the water, which affects the water’s ability to heat up when exposed to sunlight. As a result of the accumulation of dirt, minerals, and sediment in the water heater, a brown sludge is dispensed.

The heater begins to leak

The rusting of the metal tank occurs as a result of the accumulation of sediments.The water will begin to seep out of the tank as a result of this.After a while, the appliance starts making popping and rumbling noises when it is being used.This happens as a result of the accumulation of dirt and debris.

The water produces a foul odor that smells like rusty metal and moist dust as it ages.

How to test water heater for issues

When finished heating the water with the device, let it to run through the faucet or shower hose while monitoring the temperature with a thermometer. If the temperature of the water is less than 120°C, it is likely that your water heater is underperforming. In addition, it’s possible that you reduced the heater’s temperature too much.

Safety precautions before cleaning the water heater

  • Before you begin cleaning the water heater, there are a few things you should know. These safeguards are in place for your personal safety as well as to guarantee that your equipment lasts as long as possible. There are several important things to consider before cleaning or flushing your water heater. Starting with the sort of water heater, determine if it is an electric water heater or a gas-powered water heater. Being aware of this will make it much easier for you to select the most appropriate precautionary procedure to use before cleaning the appliance in question. When using a gas water heater, find out if the pilot light needs to be manually turned on. This information may be found in the device’s user manual, which is given by the manufacturer. Both types of water heaters require a lengthy line that extends from the water heater to the drain at the bottom of a well. It may be necessary to purchase a hose that is quite lengthy in some instances. When your water heater is located in an inaccessible location, such as the attic, this is required to ensure proper operation. Your water heater will operate at peak efficiency if the hose is there, allowing it to operate for an extended period of time. Here is some equipment that can assist you in effectively cleaning or flushing the tank: A pair of gloves, a hose, and a bucket are all you’ll need.

How to clean the water heater

  • This is the step that everyone is familiar with.
  • Make sure to implement the precautionary measures suggested previously in this essay in order to avoid any regretful consequences.
  • Okay, then…

Let’s get this party started!Step 1: Determine whether the water heater is powered by gas or electricity.Search around the appliance tank for any labels or cautions that may indicate if the heater is electric or gas.This is a pretty simple procedure to perform.

You would notice an instruction stating that the gas or electricity should be turned off.One further method to tell is whether or not there is a pilot light.If there is, the water heater is most likely gas.

  • To be clear, this was already noted in the section under ″safety precautions to follow before cleaning the water heater.″ This is only a friendly reminder.
  • Find the water drain, shut-off valve, and pressure-relief valve in Step 2.
  • Below the water heater is where you will find the drain.
  • It is a spout with threads on the bottom that allow you to attach a hose to it.
  • The water shutoff valve and the pressure release valve are both positioned on the top of the water heater, which is also where the water heater is installed.
  • Clearly labeled items should be available for simple identification.
  • In Step 3, you should turn off the water heater’s heating source.
  • By this point, you should have determined what sort of water heater you have and where the critical components are located.

It is necessary to switch off the appliance’s heating source when this step has been completed.Since cleaning water would be quickly drained away after use, there is really no reason to waste energy by heating it.Additionally, shutting off the heating source will save a significant amount of energy for the water heater.Step 4: Disconnect the water drain so that you may separate it from the home pipe outlet and reconnect it to a garden hose.To finish, turn on the water drain and then open the pressure release valve.Step 5: Turn on the water drain and then close and open the pressure release valveAfter attaching the hose, turn on the water drain and then close and open the pressure release valve.Once the pressure release valve is released, air would be drawn into the tank from the top, increasing the rate at which the water is drained from it.

  • The water that comes out is extremely unclean, or sludgy to be more precise, and you will notice this as it comes out.
  • Due to the buildup of sediments in the tank, this has occurred.
  • Please keep in mind that it will take around 10 – 30 minutes to drain completely.
  • Step 6: Remove any remaining sediments.
  • The first step in this process is to switch off the water drain and then remove the hose from the faucet.
  1. As soon as you’ve finished, grab the bucket and set it right underneath the water drain.
  2. Turn on the water supply to the tank while the water drain is still open in order to flush out the sediments.
  3. This should ensure that all of the sediments are removed from the tank and placed in the bucket.
  4. Please keep in mind that you will require several liters to thoroughly wash away the sediments.
  5. If the water flowing out does not appear to be contaminated, you are finished.
  6. Fill the tank with water one more time as a final step.
  1. Close the water drain and then the pressure release valve as soon as possible after completing the previous procedure.
  2. After that, begin filling the tank with water by turning on the water supply.
  3. You may now heat your water without fear of causing damage or using contaminated water.
  4. Keep in mind that when filling the tank, make sure the water reaches the top of the tank.
  5. A tank that is only half-full or that has some room in it might cause heating damage to your water heater.

How to clean a water heater with vinegar

  • This type of cleaning is utilized when your water heater unit is experiencing sediment difficulties. You might say that it is the way that you resort to when the standard flushing procedure isn’t working too well. The purpose of this procedure is to assist in the removal of those and limescale deposits that did not appear to drain away when you cleansed the tank in the traditional manner. The vinegar aids in the breaking up or softening of solid sediments or limescale, making it much easier to flush the tank once again. The typical approach just necessitates the use of a hose and a drain valve, which are both readily available. In order to use this approach, you will need easy access to the tank within the heater so that you can quickly administer vinegar to the tank. In addition, you’ll need a gallon of vinegar. The following are the procedures to be followed: Starting with a little amount of water (a few gallons) from the tank, drain it out through the water drain.
  • Then turn off all of the faucets including the drain valve.
  • If the water heater is electric, remove the anode rod from the top of the water heater and then pour the vinegar into the tank, starting at the bottom of the tank. After that, replace the anode in its original location.
  • Turn on the water heater’s water supply and check to see that the water is not too hot. Allow it to fill the tank to capacity, then mix the contents of the tank until it forms a solution of water and vinegar if necessary.
  • Allow it to sit for a few hours before beginning to drain it out

Keep an eye out for big chunks of hardened silt that may jam the drain valve and cause it to overflow.


  • So there you have it, all you need to know about how to clean a water heater in the safest and most effective manner.
  • You have been instructed to use the conventional method, as well as the thorough method, which entails the use of a vinegar and water solution.
  • Once you’ve completed the steps, your shower heater should operate more efficiently.

By now, you should be able to take a warm shower without worrying about clogging.331 people have looked at this post.

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