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 purchased via our links.To ensure the safest and most dependable operation of your water heater, cleaning it once a year is the recommended course of action. Listed below is information on how to flush a water heater.Related: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 drainpanunderneath that has been 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.
Open the drain valve and turn on the hot water faucet nearest to the tank to allow air to circulate through the tank.
It is true that larger hot water heater sizes will take a little longer to drain, but it should not take more than a few minutes in most cases.
The moment has come to upgrade your water heater’s drain valve from the less robust plastic version with the more durable brass version.
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.
- A short 3/4 inch plumbing nipple should be screwed into the drain hole.
- 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).
- 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.
- Some material, such as rust or calcium deposits, may be present in the bucket.
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.
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 Flush Your Hot Water Heater
If you’re busy with home tasks, it’s easy to ignore the importance of flushing your hot water heater. In my own case, I had never considered doing so until Jeremy included it in his really useful house maintenance checklist. 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.
However, fortunately, it turned out to be really simple.
I detailed the procedure as I went through, in case you find yourself in a similar situation.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Turn it all the way off.
Fill a sink or tub with hot water by turning on the faucet.
As a result, you will be less likely to have a vacuum build in the pipes while draining the hot water tank.
Connect the garden hose to the drain spigot on the wall.
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.
Turn on the spigot and drain the water.
If your tank is clogged with silt, you may need to thoroughly drain it.
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.
This might take some time.
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. Restart your hot water heater if you have accidentally turned off the gas supply. 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.
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
If you’ve read our article on drinking tap water in Phoenix, you’ll know 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.
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. If you want to know more about the drinking water in your region, 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 lower the amount of sediment in the water.
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
While sediment accumulation is typically 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 recently. It is possible that this bacterium will cause a strange odor to emanate from your drinking 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 portion of this article.
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.
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 quantity of sediment that comes out.
Not Getting Any Water Out Of The Tank? Try This!
You may be able to see bits of sediment being discharged from your tank depending on how much silt has accumulated in it.
With increased frequency of cleaning, you’ll be able to determine whether or not you’re maintaining a high level of consistency depending on the quantity of sediment that is removed.
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
The fact that your water heater does not have a tank does not rule out the possibility of silt and minerals accumulating in it over time. This is because, as the name implies, a tankless heater does not store water and instead heats it on demand.
As a result, becoming familiar with the process of pumping water into the system and then directing it out is essential while learning how to clean a tankless water heater. For the purpose of performing this correctly, below are the steps to follow:
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
We hope that this article has demonstrated that understanding how to clean out your water heater does not need extensive technical knowledge of the device. You should be able to do this task without any difficulty if you follow the procedures outlined above. So, let’s go through some of the specific considerations you’ll need to make based on the sort of water heater you’re using.
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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How to Flush Sediment Out of a Water Heater
The information contained in this article is provided solely for the purpose of providing general information and does not constitute professional advice. With respect to this material, LANDMARK HOME WARRANTY makes no claim to be an expert in the subject matter, and you should conduct your own research and/or seek the advice of appropriately qualified professionals with respect to your specific circumstances before taking action. LANDMARK HOME WARRANTY makes no claim to be an expert in the subject matter, and you should conduct your own research and/or seek the advice of appropriately qualified professionals with respect to your specific circumstances before taking action.
- Every homeowner understands the need of regularly cleaning and maintaining their systems and appliances.
- The removal of silt from a water heater can extend its lifespan and increase its efficiency.
- By removing sediment from your water heater, you may save money while also heating your water more quickly.
- Learn more about how a water heater works so that you can better understand how to clean out your tank.
1. Turn the Water Heater Off
If you have an electric water heater, make sure the power switch is turned off before continuing. Ensure that your water heater is a gas heater, such as the one seen in the photo above, by setting your thermostat to “pilot.” This shuts down the heating element in your water heater, allowing the water to cool down as a result. Ensure that no one in your home is currently attempting to take a shower, wash dishes, or do a load of laundry before beginning this home repair chore.
2. Turn the Cold Water Valve Off
You should also turn off the electricity to your electric water heater if you have one. The “pilot” setting on your thermostat is required if your water heater is a gas heater like the one seen in the photo above. In order for your water to cool down, this shuts off the heating element in your water heater. Prevent anyone in your home from taking a shower, washing dishes, or starting a load of laundry before beginning this home repair activity.
3. Let the water cool.
Don’t dump scorching hot water down the drain.
Allow the tank to cool after the heating components have been turned off. Some bigger water heater tanks might take up to two hours to complete the process.
4. Attach a drain or garden hose to the drain valve on the side of the tank
Drain your water heater by connecting a hose to the drain valve located on the side of the unit. Make certain that the hose is properly screwed on, otherwise you may experience leaks when you drain your water heater tank from the faucet.
5. Place the end of the hose in a bucket or drain.
Don’t let your house flood! Make sure to place the hose’s end in a heat-resistant pail or down a drain when you’re finished. Before you begin emptying the water heater, check to be sure that your drain will not overflow while doing so.
6. Turn on a faucet (or two)
The use of faucets around your house might help prevent a vacuum from accumulating inside your plumbing system. Turn on the “hot” setting on your faucets and leave them running. Due to the fact that you have shut off the cold water valve to your water heater, there will be little or no warm water displaced through them.
7. Start draining the tank by turning on the drain valve.
Turn the valve on carefully with a flathead screwdriver, making sure there are no leaks and that the bucket or drain you are emptying the water into is not going to overflow while doing so.
8. After the water heater tank has finished draining the sediment, turn the drain valve off, remove the hose, turn the cold water valve on, and turn the heating elements in the water heater back on.
Turn the valve on carefully with a flathead screwdriver, making sure there are no leaks and that the bucket or drain you are draining the water into will not overflow while doing so.
How to Clean Out a Water Heater Tank
Greetings, Maintenance Personnel: My duplex has a water heater that holds 40 or 50 gallons. Can you tell me the technique for emptying out the tank? Because our water is somewhat hard, I’m confident that it contains silt. However, other than a drain valve, I am unable to locate a clean-out for the tank.
Greetings, Frank: A yearly tank draining and cleaning is suggested to ensure that your domestic water heater lasts as long as possible. An overview of how to remove sediment from a tank that does not have an associated clean-out outlet is provided below. To begin, shut off the gas or electricity supply to the tank. Alternatively, open a hot-water valve, such as a bath-water valve, and let it run for about 10 minutes to allow the water to cool down in the tank.
- Open a hot water sink faucet or bathtub faucet to release water pressure in the tank after turning off the cold-water inflow valve for the tank.
- Attach a hose to the bottom drain valve, which is located at the bottom of the tank.
- Open the bottom drain valve to allow the tank to be drained of any remaining liquid.
- Perhaps you will receive a refrigerator coil cleaning brush, which is long and thin and is easy to enter into the drain opening at the bottom of the refrigerator tank.
- This will make future tank cleaning a lot less difficult.) When all of the water has been drained out and before removing the drain hose, it is occasionally advised that you close all of the hot water faucets and periodically open and reopen the cold-water tank valve.
- Then re-close the cold-water input valve to complete the process.
- Disconnect the drain hose from the drain valve and close the drain valve.
- At this point, you should be ready to replenish the hot water tank.
- (Having the water tank’s faucet open will allow air to be sucked out of the tank.) 10.
The hot water faucet in the unit will indicate that it is full when it stops spewing air and just water is flowing out of the faucet instead of air. If possible, open additional hot water valves as well to aid in the removal of trapped air from the water lines.
How to Clean an Electric Water Heater
Please accept my sincere greetings. A annual tank emptying and cleaning is advised in order to get the most life out of a home water heater. An overview of how to remove sediment from a tank that does not have an accessible clean-out outlet is provided below. Step 1: Shut down the gas or electricity supply to the tank. 2. Allow the water in the tank to cool for at least two hours, or open a hot water valve, such as a bath valve, and let it run for around ten minutes. You may just allow the tank to cool on its own if you live in a drought-prone location.
- Attach a hose to the bottom drain valve located at the bottom of the tank.
- Make sure the water is not too hot to touch!
- Perhaps you will receive a refrigerator coil cleaning brush, which is long and thin and is easy to enter into the drain port at the base of the tank.
- After all of the water has been drained out and before removing the drain line, it is occasionally advised that you stop all hot water faucets and periodically open and reopen the cold-water tank valve.
- Remove the tank lid and let roughly a minute’s worth of water to escape under pressure to assist in cleaning out the final bits of loose material.
The hot water tank may now be refilled at this point.
Check to see that the bottom drain valve is closed and that the hot water faucet in the unit is open before using the appliance.
The hot water faucet in the unit will indicate that it is full when it stops spitting air and only water is dripping from it.
Safety First: Turn Off Your Water Heater
Prior to cleaning your electric water heater, make sure that you turn off the power supply to the unit first. Especially given the fact that at least 30,000 non-fatal shock episodes occur in the United States each year, this is for your own protection. In addition, you should put on a pair of rubber insulating gloves to increase your protection against arcs and shocks. Check the tank itself for a power button if you want to turn off your heater completely. In certain cases, the “OFF” setting on the thermostat may be appropriate for your particular heater brand.
Examine your electrical panel for the switch that supplies your electric water heater.
The water heater switch should be clearly labeled on the interior of the panel, and the label should be easy to read.
To turn off the light, slide or flip the switch to the “OFF” position. This should cause the electricity to your water heater to be disconnected. You’re now ready to tackle the task of cleaning your electric water heater.
1. Clean the Exterior Side of the Hot Water Tank
Make use of your vacuum cleaner to clear the heavy layers of dust and filth that have accumulated on the outside of the water heater tank. Cleaning the bottom of the tank using a crevice attachment will be easier with this attachment. Also, remember to vacuum the area behind the heater and around any pipes that may be there. After that, clean and dry the heater with a clean, dry towel to finish it up. This will aid in the removal of as much dry dirt as possible from the environment. Then, using a moist towel, wipe off the outer surfaces of your water heater to clean them.
- Finish up this step of your electric water heater maintenance by cleaning off the tank with a dry cloth.
- Although you may believe that your high water costs are typical, it is possible that they are the result of tank leaks.
- Once your tank and its pipes have been thoroughly cleaned, it will be much simpler to discover problems like as holes and cracks.
- If there are none, that’s fantastic.
- If the leaks are severe enough, a plumbing professional may still be able to save your tank from being destroyed.
2. Drain the Tank
One of the most important tasks in doing good water heater maintenance is flushing away sediment that has accumulated in the tank. Because of this, it is recommended that you empty your water heater at least twice a year. Flushing it will aid in the removal of sediments that can build up inside your tank and cause limescale to develop. Starting with the cold-water valve, which may be found at the very top of the tank, turn it off to get started. Then, towards the bottom of the tank, check for the drain valve, which looks a little like a faucet in appearance.
Connect one end of a garden hose to the valve and the other end to the valve.
To empty the tank’s contents, turn the valve to the open position.
This will allow air to enter your tank, which will then force the water out of the drain valve as a result of the air.
3. Refill the Tank
Take this step seriously, especially if you live in one of the nine-in-ten households in the United States that has hard water. Hard water has a high concentration of dissolved minerals, which are responsible for the formation of the previously stated limescale.
Another possible cause of low water pressure is hard water. In any event, it is necessary to replace the tank with cold water many times during the tank emptying procedure. This will aid in the removal of even more loose sediments.
4. Brush the Insides of Your Tank
For those who have more time, you may additionally brush the internal liner of your tank in order to remove additional sediments. This would need the use of a specialized brush, such as the type used to clean refrigerator coils, in order to do this. If you need this, you should be able to get it at your local hardware shop. You’d also have to take off the drain valve itself, because that’s where you’d be inserting the thin brush anyhow. Use a gentle brush, scrape, and push motions to gently remove the hardened minerals from the tank’s bottom and lower sides.
Take your time, though, because the more of these minerals you can remove from your heater, the more effective it will become.
5. Flush It One Last Time
If you believe you have eliminated all of the sediments, flush the tank one again. Do not change anything about the hole — do not attach the valve or the garden hose at this time since their openings may be too tiny. Make careful to place an empty bucket beneath the opening to capture any flushed water, though. In theory, the water should be able to flush the shattered bits of hardened minerals from the tank. If you’ve been able to remove a significant amount of debris, you may need to empty your bucket several further times.
It’s just a matter of reassembling the drain valve components in their right locations.
Set Your Electric Water Heater Thermostat to 120 Degrees
If you accidentally turned off the thermostat at the beginning, turn it back on to 120 degrees. Make sure the thermostat is set to 140 degrees if you haven’t changed the setting when you first turned it on to clean it. Most electric water heaters are set at this temperature as their default. One of the primary reasons for lowering the temperature is to minimize the amount of energy consumed by your heater. You may save between 3 and 5 percent on your water heating rates for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit you lower the temperature of your water heater.
Please keep in mind that there is a “very tiny danger” of stimulating the growth of legionellae bacteria.
Unless you or a member of your family has worries about their immune systems, you may set your thermostat to 140 degrees.
Keep Your Water Heater’s Pressure Relief Valve in Good Condition
A component known as a “temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve” is included with most water heaters. This little device, similar to a tea kettle, permits steam or water to escape from the heater if the temperature or pressure inside the heater rises to an unsafe level. They should be opened if the temperature rises beyond 210 degrees Fahrenheit or if the pressure exceeds 150 psi (pounds per square inch). A TPR valve should not fail because if it does, the tank may explode owing to the high temperature or pressure in the tank.
- This is also for your own safety, thus it should be included in your water heater’s preventative maintenance schedule.
- Especially if you have really hard water, you should check your TPR valve at least twice a year.
- The TPR valve, in contrast to the drain valve, is located higher on one side of the tank, or in some heaters, at the top of the tank.
- The TPR valve should be connected to a pipe (if you don’t have one, a garden hose will suffice).
- After that, pull or press the lever until you hear a rushing sound similar to that of air rushing.
- Water should trickle into your bucket or run out of the pipe or hose and into the floor drain as soon as it is connected.
Due to the fact that the valve is blocked, it will be unable to release steam or pressure when it is intended to do so. You must get it changed as soon as possible to avoid excessive pressure building up in your tank.
Know When to Replace the Anode Rod
The anode rod is a mechanism that “sacrifices” itself in order to protect the lining of the interior of your water heater. Its aim is to divert corrosive materials away from your tank and onto itself instead. Consider it as a magnet, attracting mineral and metal ions that produce oxidation and rust as they pass through it. Your tank’s liner will disintegrate prematurely if this sacrificial rod is not used. However, it is also because of this “sacrifice” that anode rods have a lifespan of between three and five years.
- You are not required to replace it on a yearly basis, but you should examine it at least once a year at the absolute least.
- One end of the anode rod is attached to the top of your heater, while the other end is attached to the bottom of your heater.
- In order to check the rod’s condition, you’d have to take it apart and examine it closely.
- If you see this and you are aware that you have not replaced the rod in several years, it is time to replace it.
Prevent Hard Water From Cutting Your Heater’s Life Short
Hard water does not pose a significant hazard to health and safety, but it can limit the service life of your water heater. Additionally, it has an impact on the efficiency and performance of water heaters. In fact, according to one research, water heaters that utilize hard water consume significantly more energy than those that use soft water. Homes with soft water also have cheaper expenditures for cleaning supplies since they use less of the items. In addition, scientists determined that extended contact to hard water might cause pipe corrosion.
Corroded pipes can leak metals over time, which can pollute your drinking water as a result.
The savings on your water heating and domestic cleaning bills will be significant at the same time.
Follow This Guide on How to Clean an Electric Water Heater Now
The above information is the last and only tutorial you will require on how to clean an electric water heater. As you might guess, following these water heater maintenance recommendations will take time and work. They are, however, well worth the investment because they may help you save money on energy while also extending the life of your heater. So, as soon as you get the opportunity, give your busy water heater some much-needed TLC! You should be aware that if you notice leaks or other problems when cleaning your water heater, we are here to help.
Request an appointment with us right away, and we’ll dispatch a qualified plumber to your location right away! If you want emergency plumbing services, you may also contact us immediately via phone.
How to Flush a Water Heater
Time a few of hours Complexity IntermediateCost$51–100
Have you cleansed your water heater in the last several months? This crucial task should be completed at least once a year in order to eliminate silt that has accumulated at the bottom of the tank. This is especially true if you reside in a hard-water location, which is common in the Midwest. Because it’s out of sight, it’s easy to forget about it, but accumulated sediment affects the heating effectiveness of your water heater, which results in higher energy bills.
- Female PVC trap adapter 1-1/4 in. x 1-1/2 in.
- 2″ brass nipple
- 24-in. piece of 1/2 in. I.D. vinyl tubing
- 3/4 in. MIP x 1/2 in. barb fitting
- 3/4 in. x 3-in. nipple
- Brass ball valve
- Brass elbow
- Dielectric nipple
- Garden hose adapter
- Shop vacuum adapter
- 1-1/4 in. x 1-1/2 in. female PVC trap adapter
If you haven’t cleansed your water heater before, or if you haven’t done so in a long time, you might be in for a nasty surprise in the shape of sediment buildup, which can limit the life of your heater significantly. A popping or rumbling sound emanating from your water heater is one symptom that you have an excessive accumulation of sediment. The sound you’re hearing is the sound of steam bubbles rising through the sludge. When sediment builds up in a gas water heater, it causes hot spots that can damage the tank and lead it to fail prematurely.
As a result, understanding how to drain and flush a water heater will pay dividends in the form of cheaper energy costs and a longer heater life.
Project step-by-step (8)
- A 1-1/2-inch PVC x 3/4-inch FIP adapter (A) is glued to the end of a female PVC trap adapter (B).
- A 1-1/2-inch PVC x 3/4-inch FIP adapter (A) is glued to the end of a female PVC trap adapter (B)
Drain Water Heater Liquid
- Shut off the water heater by turning off the gas or electricity. Make sure that the hot water faucet is running full blast for around 10 minutes to lessen the water temperature in the tank
- Otherwise, the water will boil. Closing the cold water valve at the top of the tank and connecting a garden hose to the existing drain valve and routing it to a floor drain are the first steps.
- Using a kitchen strainer to capture the silt will help prevent the sediment from clogging the floor drain.
- Make sure that a hot water faucet on an upstairs floor is turned on, as well as the water heater drain valve Wait until sediment jams the valve and causes flow to be reduced before flushing. Close the hot water faucet and the water heater drain valve on the second floor. Remove the temperature-pressure release valve and replace it with the vacuum adapter
- Then repeat the process. Connect the shop vacuum hose to the vacuum and turn it on
- Note: This creates suction in the tank, preventing you from getting drenched when you remove the old drain valve.
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Remove the Old Valve
- By rotating the plastic nut below the knob, you may unscrew and remove the valve while exerting suction via the TPR port with a shop vacuum, and then replace it.
- Tips: If it breaks off in pieces, saw the fractured area with a hacksaw blade until you come across metallic threads. After that, chisel away at the parts using a hammer and screwdriver.
Assemble the New Valve
- In order to assemble all of the 3/4-inch fittings, you must first remove the handle from the ball valve
- A new drain valve made of a 3/4-inch full-port brass ball valve with threaded ends, a 3-inch x 3/4-inch galvanized nipple, and a 3/4-inch G.H. garden hose adapter (such as the BrassCraft/Plumbshop No. HU22-12-12TP) is an excellent solution.
- Note: As soon as you open the drain valve, the sediment will most likely plug it, preventing you from completely shutting the valve once the water has been drained out. A sediment buildup and a leaky water heater will be the result. It is not only possible for an ancient drain to get clogged, but it is also impossible to suck material via its narrow hole. Because of this, you’ll need to construct a new drain valve.
Install the New Valve
- The silt will jam the drain valve as soon as it is opened, making it impossible to completely close the valve once the water has been emptied. A sediment buildup and a water heater that leaks are the results. Using an outdated drain will not only cause clogs, but it will also prevent you from sucking any dirt or debris through the narrow aperture. Because of this, you’ll need to create a new drain valve.
After you have flushed the water heater, remove the ball valve handle, especially if the water heater is in a location where people may stroll by and accidently hit the handle. Upon opening, hot water might be released, resulting in severe burns. In order to prevent it from falling out of the handle, twist knot it to the valve. Step 6: Organize your thoughts and feelings about the situation.
Flush the Tank
- Disconnect and flush the tank by removing the suction hose from the TPR port
- Advice from the experts: The majority of the silt will be flushed out through the full-port valve. To remove the remainder, open the cold water valve at the top of the tank in short bursts, blasting the water toward the drain until it runs clear.
The seventh step is to suction out the sediment.
- Remove the full-port valve and use a shop vacuum adaptor and 1/2-inch vinyl tubing to suction out any leftover silt from the system. Upon completion, close the ball valve and leave it in place, but remove the lever handle to avoid an inadvertent opening of the valve. Replace the TPR valve and blow-off tube, and then reinstall them.
Remove the full-port valve and use a shop vacuum adaptor and 1/2-inch vinyl tubing to suction out any leftover silt; then replace the valve. Upon completion, close the ball valve and leave it in place, but remove the lever handle to avoid an inadvertent opening of the valve; Replace the TPR valve and blow-off tube after that.
- Remove the full-port valve and use a shop vacuum adaptor and 1/2-inch vinyl tubing to suction out any leftover silt. When you’re finished, shut the ball valve and leave it in place, but remove the lever handle to avoid inadvertent opening
- After that, replace the TPR valve and blow-off tube.
How To Clean Gunk out of Your Hot Water Tank using Vinegar
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As a result of the buildup of minerals such as lime, calcium, and other minerals in the base of your hot water tank, your hot water tank will have to work harder to heat the water for your house.
Patio heaters may also be cleaned using the same methods as inside heaters. You can clean the muck out of your hot water tank by simply following these steps: You’ll need the following supplies for the job:
- 1 to 3 gallons of vinegar
- Teflon tape
- Paper towel
- Socket wrench (11/16th”)
How to add vinegar to your hot water tank
If you are in any way hesitant or concerned about doing maintenance work on your hot water tank, you should stop before continuing with this job. Make an appointment with a local expert to have them take care of your hot water tank. Part 1 of 2: Take the anode rod out of your hot water tank and set it aside. Remove the electricity from your hot water tank by following these steps: 1. Close your home’s circuit breaker and turn the switch that controls the electricity to your hot water tank (which should be labeled) to the “off” position to turn off the water.
- Turn on a water tap in your house.
- By doing so, you will avoid having a vacuum build up within your system and will allow it to drain correctly.
- Water waste may be reduced by simply turning the faucet on low.just enough to ensure that water is circulating through the system.
- Connect a hose to the drain valve on the bottom of your hot water heater.
- In order for your cold water line to reach your hot water tank, it should be situated directly above your unit.
Now that you’ve switched off the electricity, opened a faucet, attached a hose, and disconnected the cold water line from the tank, you’re ready to begin partially draining the tank.
Turn off the power.
You should use a bucket if you’re draining the water.
Just make sure you don’t forget to close the drain valve when you’ve finished emptying the bucket.
Remember to view this little video about water heater anode rods before proceeding to the next step of removing the anode rod from the water heater: 6.
It is now necessary to remove the anode rod.
The term “sacrificial piece of metal” refers to a piece of metal that is placed within your hot water tank to assist prevent the buildup of rust on its internal walls.
In certain circumstances, the hot water tank will have a lid that covers the anode rod; in order to obtain access to the anode rod, you’ll need to remove the lid (which is normally held in place by screws) from the hot water tank.
As soon as you’ve identified the anode rod on your unit, use your socket wrench to loosen it until you’re able to pull it away of the hot water tank.
To remove the anode rod, you’ll need a socket with a 1 and 1/16th-inch ball bearing.
Add the vinegar to the hot water tank in Part 2 of this article.
Pour in the vinegar and stir well.
To begin, take your funnel and insert it into the aperture for the anode rod; next, slowly pour your vinegar into the hot water tank’s bottom compartment.
Simply remove the anode rod from the hot water tank and reinstall it, tightening it down with your socket wrench.
This will aid in the achievement of a snug, airtight fit.
It’s time to refill the hot water tank with water now that the vinegar has been placed inside and the anode rod has been installed.
The water will not fill the tank if it is left running for 5-10 minutes, but it will help to mix up the vinegar and circulate it around the interior of the hot water tank.
Allow for at least 6 hours of resting time after mixing the water and vinegar.
If possible, leave it overnight.
When you’ve let the water/vinegar combination to settle for at least 6 hours, it’s time to empty the tank of any remaining liquid.
Don’t forget that you’ll need a hose connected to the drain valve, with the other end draining into a drain or a bucket.
If this occurs, just massage the line with your hands until you feel the impediment begin to move through the hose again.
Before beginning to fill your hot water tank, double-check that the drain valve is closed and that all of your faucets are turned off.
To finish the job, all that has to be done is re-energize the hot water tank’s electrical system.
Isn’t it a piece of cake?
Make contact with a local specialist and ask them to take care of the tank for you.
Please see the following green home improvement projects if you’re seeking for more methods to make your home more energy efficient: green home improvement projects After all, Green Living Ideas is one of the top 20 home renovation websites on the internet!
If you are in any way hesitant or concerned about doing maintenance duties on your hot water tank, you should stop before continuing with this job and seek professional assistance. Make an appointment with a local specialist to get your hot water tank serviced. the first part of the article is titled Your hot water tank’s anode rod should be removed. Remove the electricity from your hot water tank by doing the following: 1. Simply access your home’s circuit breaker and turn the switch that controls the electricity to your hot water tank (which should be labeled) to the “off” position to turn off the water.
- Start by turning on the hot water tap in one of your residence’s bathrooms.
- Keep the faucet running while you are working on the first section of this project.
- Remove the hot water tank’s cold water supply by turning it off.
- It is just a matter of removing the lever and turning it off.
Simply release the drain valve, which is situated at the bottom of the tank, and allow the water to begin draining out of the container.
If you want to drain a large enough volume of water, you’ll need to empty the bucket at least 3-4 times.
Following the removal of part of the water from your tank, you can switch off the water supply to your home.
Find the anode rod on your hot water tank and attach it to the tank.
What is an anode rod, and how does it work?
On top of the tank, the rod is sunken into the lid, which allows it to be easily seen.
On the top of the hot water tank, look for the hexagon-shaped bolt.
As soon as you’ve identified the anode rod on your unit, use your socket wrench to loosen it until you’re able to pull it out from the hot water tank.
In order to remove the anode rod, you’ll need a 1 and 1/16th-inch socket.
Add the vinegar to the hot water tank in Part 2 of this tutorial.
It’s time to add the vinegar now that you’ve gained access to the tank’s inside.
Then, slowly pour the vinegar into the tank.
Replace the anode rod in its original position (or replace with a new one if necessary).
Put a little layer of teflon tape over the grooves of the anode rod head as well, since this will protect the grooves from rust.
Take note of the teflon tape that has been applied to the grooves on the end of the anode rod to keep it from rusting away.
It’s time to refill the hot water tank with water now that the vinegar has been placed inside and the anode rod has been secured.
The water will not fill the tank if it is left running for 5-10 minutes, but it will help to mix up the vinegar and circulate it throughout the hot water tank.
Make sure to allow at least 6 hours for the water/vinegar solution to break down and remove the deposits that have been caked on to the inside of the hot water tank before using it.
The water/vinegar solution should be drained from the tank in step 12.
Open the drain valve at the bottom of the tank by turning on a faucet someplace in the house.
If you drain the tank, it’s crucial to keep in mind that huge bits of silt may become stuck in the hose.
The tank is ready to be refilled after the emptying process is complete.
Before filling your hot water tank, make sure that the drain valve is closed and that all of your faucets are turned off.
Returning the electricity to your hot water tank is step number fourteen.
Return to the breaker box in your home and turn the switch back to the on position.
You should refrain from performing this activity if you are even the slightest bit doubtful or reluctant.
Please see the following green home renovation projects if you are seeking for other methods to make your house more energy efficient: After all, Green Living Ideas is one of the top twenty home renovation websites on the internet!
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About the Author
With a degree in journalism from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), he is committed to living a more sustainable and environmentally responsible lifestyle. This is true in both his professional and personal lives. While at PLU, he began his exploration of sustainability, which eventually led him to write for Green Living Ideas. At the moment, he lives in Honolulu and works for Pono Home, an energy efficiency firm dedicated to lowering carbon emissions while also encouraging a healthier, more environmentally conscious lifestyle.