How To Drain And Clean Hot Water Heater?

Use These Tips to Drain a Water Heater Properly

  • Most water heater maintenance instructions recommend that you drain a water heater every six to twelve months, depending on how much use it gets.
  • The reason for this is that it will aid in the removal of any sediment or buildup that may have accumulated on the bottom of the water heater tank as a result of the presence of minerals and other particles in the water.
  • As a result of the accumulation, the water heater will have to work harder to heat the water, consuming more energy and increasing its operating costs.

Before You Begin

Before you begin, make sure you understand where the main water shutdown valve is situated in your home. While you won’t necessarily need it during this procedure, it’s always a good idea to be familiar with this valve whenever you’re dealing with any type of plumbing fixtures in your house in case something goes wrong and you need to shut off all water coming through your pipes.

Safety Considerations

  • When doing this procedure, you will be working with water that can be quite hot.
  • It is possible that you will need to switch off your hot water heater many hours before you begin in order to allow the water in the tank to calm down before you begin.
  • If you are unable to do so, use heavy-duty rubber work gloves to protect your hands from any splashes and safety glasses to protect your eyes from any hot water droplets that may fall over them.


  • Drain valve (if necessary)
  • Threaded hose cap (if necessary)
  • Drain valve (if necessary)

Perform a Quick Flush

  • Using a garden hose connected to the drain valve, attempt to clean the water heater tank a little bit while the water pressure is still on before shutting off the water supply.
  • In order to accomplish this, first open the drain valve for a few seconds before closing it again.
  • The pressure will blast away any silt that has become lodged in the valve, allowing the tank to empty more quickly.

If a significant amount of sediment is expelled, you may need to repeat the process several times.Make certain that you’ve connected your garden hose to an outdoor place or into a bucket in order to collect the water and sediment that will be emitted from the faucet.

Turn Off the Water Heater

  • Stop using your water heater by turning off the gas to it, or turning off the electricity if it is an electric heater.
  • To do this, close either the valve on the cold-water line above the water heater or the main water supply valve to the house, depending on which is most convenient.
  • Test the hot water faucets around the home by turning them on and checking for water to ensure that the pressure has been released.

Water may flood out at first, but if the water has been cut off properly, it should rapidly decrease to a trickle and then stop.It is important to leave a hot water faucet open in the sink closest to your hot water heater in order to relieve pressure in the entire system.

Open the Drain Valve

  • Using your garden hose, open the drain valve on the bottom of the sink.
  • Normally, you may complete this task by hand, but you may need to employ your flat-head screwdriver in this instance.
  • Once the valve is opened, water will begin to rush out of the drain, so make sure your hose is either connected to the outside or to a bucket to catch the water.

You should switch off the drain valve as soon as the bucket is full so that you may empty it.Repeat the operation as many times as necessary to completely empty the tank.

Flush the Tank With Water

Once the tank has been completely drained, you may flush it with a few gallons at a time by turning on the water for a few seconds and then allowing it to drain out again until it is completely empty. When the outflow is clean, you’ll know that you’ve successfully eliminated the sediment and may proceed to the following phase in the process.

Refill the Water Heater

  • Close the drain valve and remove the garden hose from the system.
  • Make certain that all but one of your home’s hot water faucets are turned off (the one in the bathtub closest to the water heater is best).
  • You may now re-start the water heater by turning the water back on.

After that, keep an eye on the faucet you left open and, as soon as you notice that you are receiving nothing but water out of it, turn it off.

Relight the Water Heater

Re-ignite the water heater’s pilot light, or if it’s an electric heater, re-energize the circuit breaker. You should be able to use hot water after an hour or so.

Check the Drain Valve

Check for leaks at the spout of your water heater to see if the drain on the heater has completely closed. If the outlet does not completely close, you can stop the leak by placing a threaded hose cap over the hose thread of the outlet. Alternatively, you can totally replace the valve.

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 quantity 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.

See also:  How To Hook Up A Hot Water 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.

Feel Like This Is Above Your Pay Grade? Trust American Home Water and Air

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 Do You Drain a Hot Water Heater?

  • Water heaters are frequently overlooked since they may operate for decades without requiring any maintenance.
  • As long as people have access to hot water, they don’t give a second thought to water heaters.
  • Although a water heater does not require much maintenance, emptying the unit on a regular basis can assist to extend the life of the device and avoid the need for costly repairs.

The reason for this is that plumbing professionals in Modesto recommend emptying the unit every six months or once a year.If you don’t empty your water heater on a regular basis, it can have an adverse effect on the efficiency of your device and cause the water to heat more slowly than usual.

Why Sediment Builup Is Bad Your Water Heater?

  • The accumulation of silt in the water heater is one of the factors that makes emptying the water heater on a regular basis a vital maintenance chore.
  • When it comes to your plumbing pipes, non-filtered water can carry minerals and other particles along with it.
  • Because of the minerals and deposits in the water, they wind up collecting at the bottom of the water heater’s storage tank.

Taking care of this buildup requires that you empty your water heater on a regular basis.In addition, the accumulation requires the water heater to work harder, resulting in increased energy usage.The buildup of silt in your water heater can potentially cause harm to the heating components of your water heater.This results in the need for water heater repair in Modesto, which will cost you a lot of money.

How to Drain a Water Heater

To one’s relief, emptying the water heater unit is not a difficult undertaking. Simply follow the proper procedures and maintain your water heater to ensure optimal efficiency.

Follow These Steps to Drain Your Water Heater

  1. Turn off the main water shut-off valve to prevent any water from entering your home’s plumbing system at any time. Close the cold water inlet valve, which is responsible for supplying the cold water to the water heater.
  2. Turn off the water heater’s power source by pressing the power button. Make sure you do it at least 4-5 hours before you begin draining the tank of the water heater. This is necessary in order to allow the hot water to cool down before draining it. It is possible to sustain harm while draining scalding hot water. Using the thermostat settings for a gas-powered water heater, turn the water heater on ″pilot.″ It has also been advised that you switch off the gas supply to the water heater, which you have done.
  3. Glue the hose to the drain valve, which is located at the bottom of the hot water heater. The drain valve may be found near the bottom of the water heater, which is where you should look. Drainage is accomplished by inserting one end of the hose into the bathroom or floor drain
  4. Turn on the hot water faucet if it is not already running. It will assist in releasing the pressure that has built up inside the tank and allowing the tank to drain more quickly.
  5. Open the pressure relief valve as well as the drain valve if necessary.
  6. Allow the water to flow down the floor drain or into an empty bucket if you aren’t utilizing the drain at the time.
  7. Having emptied the water heater tank, open the water supply valve to allow freshwater to flow into the tank and drain out through the drain valve until the water is clear.
  8. To refill the tank, turn off the drain valve as well as the pressure relief valve. Remember to turn off the faucet that you used to drain the tank while you’re at it.
  • If you are unsure of your ability to complete this task, you can always call a professional plumbing and drain cleaning Modesto business to empty your water heater on your behalf.
  • The emptying of water heaters on a regular basis will ensure that the unit lasts for a long period.
  • However, how does one go about draining a water heater?

It’s easy and can be completed by anyone.I believe in making the impossible feasible since giving up is not a pleasurable experience at all.It is a pleasure for me to write about subjects that interest me: travel, design, fashion, and contemporary developments in the sphere of industrial building.

How to Flush Your Hot Water Heater

  • In: Featured, How To, Skills, and Techniques The 5th of May, 2016 The most recent update was made on September 3, 2021.
  • If you’re busy with home tasks, it’s easy to ignore the importance of flushing your hot water heater.
  • I know I had never considered it until Jeremy included it in his really useful house maintenance checklist, which I found to be quite helpful.

However, cleaning out your hot water heater on a regular basis is a vital duty.It is important to clean out the muck and mineral deposits that have accumulated in your hot water heater to ensure that it runs more effectively and that its life is prolonged, so saving you money in the long run.After several years of living in my house, I realized that my hot water heater was in need of a flush and chose to take on the task of replacing it.Fortunately, it turned out to be really simple.With the exception of the time I spent waiting for the water in the tank to cool, it only took me about 20 minutes total.I detailed the procedure as I went through, in case you find yourself in a similar situation.

Perhaps this post will provide you with the motivation you need to finally complete this task this weekend.Here’s how it’s done:

How Often Should You Flush Your Hot Water Heater?

It is recommended that you cleanse your hot water heater every one to three years, depending on your model. Really, it’s such a simple job that it wouldn’t be a hassle to complete it at least once a year.

How to Flush Your Hot Water Heater

  • Hot water heaters are available in two different configurations: gas and electric.
  • Due to the fact that I have a gas hot water heater, following instructions will be specific to flushing a gas hot water heater.
  • While there are some similarities between gas and electric, the most significant distinction is that with gas, you will be shutting off the gas to your appliance; with electric, you will be turning off the power to your appliance.

1.Turn the Thermostat on your hot water heater to the ″Off″ position.2.In most cases, the thermostat for a gas hot water heater may be found in the bottom of the tank.In addition, several publications I found suggested that you may get away with simply putting your thermostat to ″Pilot.″ I made the decision to be extra cautious and turned it off entirely.If you switch off your hot water heater and it’s an older type, you’ll have to re-light the pilot light, which might be a hassle.

It is necessary to locate your home’s breaker box in order to turn off the switch that supplies power to your hot water heater if you have an electric hot water heater.2.Turn off the gas supply to the hot water heater.If you have a gas hot water heater, locate the gas pipe that runs from the tank to your thermostat and pilot light and switch the valve to the ″off″ setting.

If you want to just set your thermostat to ″pilot,″ you will not be required to complete this step.3.Disconnect the cold water supply to the hot water heater.4.

The cold water valve is located towards the top of your hot water heater, generally on the right side.Turn it all the way off.4.Fill a sink or tub with hot water by turning on the faucet.Keep them turned on during the whole flushing procedure.As a result, you will be less likely to have a vacuum build in the pipes while draining the hot water tank.

5.Connect the garden hose to the drain spigot on the wall.Before you turn on the spigot, double-check that the other end of the hose is connected to the outside or at the very least to a bucket.Depending on whether or not your hot water heater is located in the basement, you may require a portable pump in order to pump water from the basement to the first floor of your home.6.

  1. Turn on the spigot and drain the water.
  2. Empty the tank until the water flows clean and there is no longer any silt in it.
  3. If your tank is clogged with silt, you may need to thoroughly drain it.
  4. As you can see in the photo above, the water was a touch brown when I initially started draining it, and there was a lot of sediment at the bottom of the bowl.

I decided to drain it anyhow.8.Flush your hot water tankTo flush your hot water tank, just switch on the cold water tap that leads into your hot water tank.

Allow it to run for a few minutes, or until the water coming out of your hose is completely clean.This might take some time.Even though the water is clear and does not appear to be brown, it is possible that there is some sediment present.Here’s a photo of the water that was flowing out of my tank when I first started flushing the toilet: As you can see, there was still some silt (which can be seen at the bottom) pouring out of the hole.Flushing should continue until there is very little or no sediment left in your water.

Turn off the cold water faucet that feeds into your hot water tank and leave it shut.

Finishing Things Up

  • Following your satisfaction with the purity of your water, it’s time to return everything to their original state. Disconnect the drainage spigot and the hose from the drain
  • Turn off the water supply to your sink or tub that you had switched on at the start of the process.
  • To begin, turn on the cold water tap that feeds your hot water heater.
  • To get the air out of the system, turn on the hot water faucet in a sink or bathtub for a few minutes. At this point, you should be able to get cold water out of the faucet. To turn it off, press the button.
  • If you have turned off the gas to your hot water heater, you must turn it back on again.
  • If you have accidentally switched off your hot water heater’s thermostat, re-light the pilot light (it’s simple — I may write an article on it in the future), and then turn the thermostat back on.
  • For electric water heaters, locate the breaker switch on your electrical panel that supplies electricity to your hot water heater and turn it off.
  • Allow around 20 minutes for the water to warm up. Start by turning on one of your house’s hot water spigots to confirm that hot water is flowing out

Boom. You’ve taken the time to flush your hot water heater. Make a note on your calendar to repeat the process in a year.

Flushing a Water Heater: Why Should I Flush My Water Heater?

  • Regular maintenance is required for your water heater, just as it is for other devices such as your automobile.
  • Water heaters accumulate sediment, calcium, and minerals over time, which settles to the bottom of the tank and causes it to get clogged.
  • It is at the bottom of the tank where the water heater’s heating element is located.

The water heater will have to work harder to heat the water if the heat is being blocked by silt and other foreign objects.There aren’t any negative consequences to flushing a water heater.Sediment buildup causes harm, and leaving it in place is more expensive than just flushing it out on a regular basis.

How Often Should I get My Water Heater Flushed?

It is advised that you clean your water heater at least once a year to keep it running efficiently. This will aid in the prevention of the possible difficulties that silt might cause over time if left unchecked.

What Happens if I don’t Flush My Water Heater?

  • It is possible that leaving sediment buildup in your water heater would not only make it work harder, but it may also result in some major complications.
  • For example, if the sediment builds up to a significant level, you may see it coming out of your faucets and drains.
  • Sediment, on the other hand, can produce much more significant problems over time.
See also:  Why Would My Water Heater Trip The Breaker?

Things like a ruptured pipe, a lack of water pressure, or even the failure of the tank itself are all possibilities.These issues often manifest themselves over a period of two to five years.

Do I Need to Flush a Tankless Water Heater?

Yes. Despite the fact that tankless water heaters do not store as much water as traditional tanks, they can still accumulate sediment and require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them operating properly.

How do I Flush My Water Heater?

  1. Shut down the gas or electricity if you have a gas water heater, or the electricity if you have an electric water heater.
  2. Allow the water heater to cool for a short period of time
  3. Turn off the water supply.
  4. Start by turning on the hot water from a nearby faucet to avoid a vacuum from building and to make it easier for the tank to drain
  5. To drain the water, connect an empty bucket or drain hose to the valve and run the hose down to the drain.
  6. During this procedure, you may need to empty a bucket numerous times. Drain the water heater tank by opening the drain valve and allowing the water to run until the tank is completely drained. If you haven’t allowed the water heater to cool down properly, the water can get quite hot at this point
  7. proceed with caution.
  8. Remove any remaining sediment by restoring the cold water supply and allowing it to drain. Carry on like this for a couple of times to get rid of all the silt
  9. Drain the water by closing the drain valve.
  10. Reopening the water supply valve will allow you to refill the water heater tank.
  11. Start the water heater by turning it on.

In the home, removing the water heater’s tank is possible, but it might be hazardous. A professional expert can have your water heater cleansed in no time if you are uncomfortable flushing your water heater yourself or if you want to make sure the job is done correctly the first time.

Signs You Should Get A Water Heater Flush

  • Was it ever brought to your attention that sediment can build up in your water heater tank?
  • The accumulation causes long-term harm and decreases the efficiency of your equipment.
  • Because of the hard water we have in Salt Lake City, your unit will need to be flushed on a regular basis in order to remain in good condition.

Unlike other equipment in your house, recognizing the indicators of a failing water heater can be difficult to discern.Here are a few indicators that you need to get your water heater flushed.There is no hot water.In the event that your unit stops generating hot water, it is most likely due to a considerable quantity of silt accumulation or a defective burner.Once the source of the problem has been identified, you can get back on track with a water heater flush and inspection.Smells that are out of this world Strange scents coming from your hot water tank are an indication that bacteria is growing in your tank.

Water heater flushing is performed by one of our expert plumbers to disinfect the tank, eliminate the stench, and reduce the danger of infection.Strange Sounds Have Been Heard The presence of sediment accumulation inside your tank is sometimes indicated by loud noises.When the calcium and dirt particles rustle and clatter on the edges of the unit as the water heated, they can cause damage.Water with a rusty tint You may need to repair your anode rod, which is the metal pole located at the top of your unit, if you observe rust colored water when you turn on the faucet.

At the time of your bi-annual water heater flush, our skilled plumbers will also check the metal elements of your tank to ensure that the hot water you use is free of rust.If you detect one or more of these signs that your water heater need maintenance, call Action Plumbing and Heating at (801) 833-333 to talk with one of their skilled plumbers.We can thoroughly clean and disinfect your equipment, restoring it to peak performance!

How to Unclog a Drain Valve: 7 Ways to Get the Water Flowing

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  • Find out more.
  • When your water heater won’t drain, the most likely reason is that the drain valve has become clogged.

This is usually the result of an excessive amount of silt accumulating within the tank.During the heating process, the minerals present in the water separate and settle to the bottom of the water heater.If the sediment in the tank is not removed on a regular basis, it will not only reduce the efficiency of the unit, but it will also clog the drain valve, causing the water to become trapped within the water heater.When it comes to the degree of your blockage, it might range from a slight nuisance to a severe problem.If left unattended, it will eventually necessitate the purchase of a new water heater, as the sediment will corrode the interior of your tank and cause an unrepairable leak, resulting in the need to replace your water heater.

7 Methods to Unclog a Drain Valve

Is Your Drain Valve Clogged?

In order to verify if your water heater drain valve is genuinely clogged, you must first ascertain whether it is. Take the following steps:

  1. Turn off the fuel supply for your water heater (electric: turn off the power to the water heater). Turn off the circuit breaker (in the case of gas, turn the on/off control knob to the off position)
  2. Drainage should be connected to the drain valve and the valve should be OPENED.
  3. DEPRESSURE IN THE TANK: OPEN a hot water faucet inside your home (and leave it open) to allow the negative pressure to escape
  4. It is unlikely that your valve is clogged if the water drains and turns clean.
  5. It is possible that the valve has become blocked if water trickles out or does not drain at all.
  • The water in the tank may be quite hot, so use caution while handling it. To avoid being burnt in this situation, you should take appropriate safety steps before proceeding. Whenever attempting to empty a water heater, always use work gloves and safety eyewear to prevent injury. Additionally, the water should be allowed to cool before being drained. There are numerous techniques for cooling the water inside the tank, which are as follows: It is necessary to turn off the natural gas or electric supply to the water heater and let it sit for up to 24 hours.
  • Drain as much water as possible from the drain valve and leave the water inlet valve open if your water heater is not fully blocked. Cold water will be able to enter your tank and dilute the hot water as a result of this. To begin drawing hot water from the tank, switch off the fuel source (gas or electricity). If your water heater is fully clogged, open the hot water taps in your kitchen and bathroom to allow hot water to flow out of the tank. Keep the cold water intake valve open to allow the hot water to cool down to a more comfortable temperature. It is necessary to cut off the fuel source (gas or electricity) in order to prevent the water from warming.

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How to Unclog a Water Heater Drain Valve

  • There are a variety of methods for draining a clogged water heater tank, and the degree of the blockage will play a significant factor in selecting which approach is most effective.
  • Begin with the simplest item on the list and work your way down to the more difficult items.
  • Take note that the water in the tank is most likely quite hot, so take precautions to avoid getting burned by following the safety guidelines stated above.

Before you begin, make sure that the water heater’s power supply is turned off.- Turn the on/off control knob for gas water heaters to off.- Turn the circuit breaker off for electric water heaters.


  • If your drain valve is clogged, the first thing you should do is to wait it out. Occasionally, the weight of the water within the tank will be sufficient to dislodge the blockage on its own. Here’s what you should do: Continue to leave the drain valve open while the hose is connected.
  • Close all hot water faucets in the home except for one.
  • Continue to wait for about an hour to observe whether the tank begins to drain.

Wire Coat Hanger

  • If waiting doesn’t work to unclog your drain valve, the next step is to use a wire coat hanger to clear the obstruction. Close the drain valve and take the hose out of the system.
  • Under the drain valve, a small pail or a couple towels are a good idea to keep the water from backing up.
  • Make use of a sturdy wire, such as a wire coat hanger, for this project.
  • Drain the tank by opening the drain valve and inserting the wire through the valve hole into the tank.
  • Move the wire in a circular motion to try to dislodge any debris that has accumulated.
  • If you are successful, the water will begin to flow out of the tank
  • otherwise, nothing will happen.
  • Once you have a steady flow of water, you may close the valve and connect a hose to allow the tank to drain completely.
  • Before your tank is totally empty, the valve may become clogged again
  • however, you may just repeat the operation.

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Hose Stomp

  • Stomping on the hose may help if your drain valve is still not working properly. As soon as you have connected the hose to the drain valve, stand firmly onto the hose around 2 feet away from your water heater
  • If the sediment is the source of the blockage, an air bubble will be blasted back into the tank, clearing the obstruction and unclogging the valve.
  • You shouldn’t be surprised if the drain valve becomes clogged once more when you are attempting to drain the tank. Basically, you just have to keep repeating the process until the tank is totally emptied.

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Back Flush

  • If none of the procedures listed above were successful, it may be necessary to attempt back cleansing your water heater. Here’s how it’s done: Make use of a fill hose from a washing machine. On both ends of these hoses, there is a female connector.
  • DON’T forget to close the drain valve and attach one end of the wash machine hose to the valve. Connections for the other end of the hose can be made to a nearby washtub faucet (washtub faucets are usually threaded), or to a garden hose, which can be connected to an exterior faucet.
  • Turn the water supply to the faucet on.
  • OPEN the water heater’s drain valve and allow the water to flow into the tank for 10 to 15 seconds
  • OPEN the water heater’s drain valve and allow the water to flow into the tank
  • In order to unclog the valve, water from the hose should be used to drive the silt away from the valve.
  • Close the drain valve and turn OFF the water at the faucet to prevent a puddle from forming. Unplug the hose from the faucet (leave the line attached to the drain valve, or use a garden hose to drain the tank)
  • OPEN the water heater drain valve and allow the water to drain from the tank.
  • It’s possible that your blockage is too severe or that your drain valve is malfunctioning, in which case you’ll need to replace your drain valve.

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Replace the Drain Valve

  • If backflushing does not resolve the issue, it may be necessary to replace the drain valve. It IS feasible to change the drain valve while your tank is still full with water if the procedure is followed correctly. Here’s how it’s done: Replacement drain valve (preferably brass) should be purchased.
  • Put teflon tape on the threads of the replacement drain valve to prevent corrosion.
  • Check to make sure that ALL of the faucets in your home are closed. When this happens, your water heater will generate a vacuum, which will prevent the water from ″pouring out.″
  • Place a bucket and a few towels beneath the drain valve to catch the water.
  • To open the drain valve, use an adjustable wrench to turn it.
  • Remove the drain valve one turn at a time. Keep in mind that some water will be dripping from your tank.
  • Even if your tank is completely blocked, you will very certainly have some water escaping from it. If, on the other hand, the problem is a defective drain valve, you will almost surely have water.
  • Insert the replacement drain valve as soon as possible. This shouldn’t take more than a few seconds.
  • To drain your tank, just connect it to the new drain valve using a garden hose
  • We propose that if you’re going to go to the trouble of replacing your drain valve, you consider replacing it with a ball valve to save time and money (see below). Your drain valve will never clog again, and you will never have to worry about it again.

Many water heaters are equipped with low-cost plastic drain valves. You should replace it with a high-quality brass valve, such as this one from Rheem, if you find yourself in this situation.

Replace the Drain Valve with a Ball Valve

  • It is substantially larger than a conventional drain valve to operate a ball valve. Replace your drain valve with a ball valve to not only clear your tank, but you’ll also prevent sediment from blocking it in the future as a result of the replacement. The following steps will show you how to replace your drain valve with a ball valve: Purchase a brass 3/4″ Ball Valve as well as two 3/4″ dielectric nipples for your project needs. (The nipples have been covered with acrylic to keep them from rusting). Each nipple will be attached to one of the ball valve’s two halves.
  • Application of Teflon tape to the thread of nipples that screw into the ball valve is recommended.
  • Keep in mind that the ball valve’s handle should be turned away from the tank when it is opened. Teflon tape should be applied to the second side of one of the nipples (just three of the four threads on each of the two nipples will be lined with teflon tape).
  • Check to make sure that ALL of the faucets in the home are closed. When this happens, your water heater will generate a vacuum, which will prevent the water from ″pouring out.″
  • Place a bucket and a few towels beneath the drain valve to catch the water.
  • Loosen the drain valve by turning it with an adjustable wrench.
  • Remove the drain valve one turn at a time. Prepare yourself for some water to spill out of your tank
  • even if your tank is completely clogged, you will almost certainly have some water spill out. If the problem is caused by a defective drain valve, you will almost likely have water on your hands.
  • Insert the new ball valve as soon as possible. This shouldn’t take more than a few seconds.
  • Connect a garden hose to your tank and drain the contents
  • You should either replace the ball valve with a conventional drain valve or remove the handle for the sake of safety once your tank has been drained completely. It is possible that the handle will be accidentally opened, resulting in the draining of your tank. As a result, there might be water damage and/or major burns.

Due to the fact that ball valves are bigger than drain valves, they are capable of draining the most obstinate obstructions.

See also:  How Often To Change Water Filter

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Move Your Tank Outside

  • In the event that you are planning on replacing your water heater and do not want to invest the time necessary to unclog your drain valve using the techniques listed above, putting your tank outdoors to drain is the best option for you. What you need to do is as follows: Disconnect the water supply
  • Remove the power cord from the wall outlet.
  • Make use of a hand truck to transport your water heater outside
  • and
  • To drain the water from the top of the tank, carefully turn your water heater on its side and allow it to drain.

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Water Heater Flush: How To Do It Safely and Easily

  • Your water heater is responsible for delivering all of the necessary hot water to your home when you require it.
  • You may only understand how crucial a piece of equipment is when it is not functioning properly or is backed up in some way.
  • In order to guarantee that your water heater is operating at peak performance, you must ensure that it is thoroughly flushed and cleaned.

For the purpose of assisting you in understanding the fundamentals of water heater flushing, we will first discuss why it is so important and how frequently you should perform it.After that, we’ll walk you through a broad guideline for cleansing your own water heater so that it can operate at peak performance.

Why Do You Need to Do a Hot Water Heater Flush?

  • Water heaters begin to acquire silt and accumulation that is naturally contained in the water supply over lengthy periods of time of usage.
  • Sediment can accumulate in the heater and clump together, resulting in decreased efficiency or damage to the device, depending on the circumstances.
  • This is particularly prevalent with water heaters in Phoenix, which has water that is extremely sediment-rich.

When you flush out your heater, you are preventing excessive sediment building and ensuring that you are able to use the unit more efficiently while experiencing less fear about failure.It is conceivable that a simple flush of your water heater can fix some of the most frequent problems you are encountering with your water heater.

Water Heater Flush Cost

As you’ll see, a water heater flush is really inexpensive when you consider that it can be completed in a matter of minutes by following a few simple procedures.

How Frequently Should You Do a Hot Water Heater Flush?

  • If you consider how important your water heater is, you should not put off cleansing your system for an extended period of time.
  • Every water heater has a varied lifespan, but making sure you clean out your water heater on a regular basis can help it last as long as it was designed to.
  • A flushing of your heater should be done every couple years or so, on average.

In order to guarantee the optimum performance from your unit, flushing it once a year is recommended, and the following instructions will demonstrate how simple it is to do.

Steps for Performing a Water Heater Cleanout/Flush

Shut Off Gas

  • Your heater, like any other item in your home, will require some level of electrical power to operate properly.
  • Depending on your unit, you may only need to complete one of these procedures during a water heater flush, or you may need to complete all of them.
  • By turning off your gas, you can assure that the machine is not getting any gas and will not overheat or leak as a result.

In most cases, turning off the electricity to your unit may be accomplished through your circuit breaker, which should include a switch labeled for the heater.As you work on the equipment, this will help to avoid any electrical problems from developing.Keeping this step in mind will help to provide a safe working environment for whoever is responsible for finishing the flush.

Open a Hot Water Faucet

  • This is accomplished by tricking your system into believing it is required to be running, which requires you to open a hot water tap in your home.
  • Despite the fact that water will flow out, it will not be heated at the time of the process.
  • In addition, this procedure is critical because it prevents a vacuum from accumulating in the pipes, which might result in the formation of undesired air bubbles in your water system.

Turn Off the Cold Water Valve

  • Your water heater will have a supply valve that will connect to the unit and be used to feed cold water to the unit.
  • You will want to turn off this valve while you are completing the flush.
  • It should be positioned on or near your unit, and it will usually be towards the top of the unit’s interior.

It will have the appearance of a typical faucet valve, with the possibility of being dyed blue to indicate cold water.It is important to turn this valve off during the flush process to avoid water running into the unit, which would make the whole procedure a lot messier.

Connect a Hose to the Heater

  • Find the location of your spigot as the next step.
  • This will be located at the bottom of the unit and will seem to be a standard hose faucet in appearance.
  • You may want to set a bucket below this before proceeding with the rest of the project because it may begin to drip as soon as the lid is removed.

It is necessary to locate a garden hose that can be screwed onto this spigot since this is the most convenient method of draining the system.If your water heater is located higher up in your home, gravity should be able to facilitate the flow of water.If the unit is located in your basement, a pump may be required to assist in the removal of the water from the unit.Make certain that the hose’s end is placed in some form of pail or containment area to prevent it from spilling everywhere.

Water Heater Flush for Sediment: Drain the Tank

  • It is at this point that you may begin draining the unit by turning the faucet to which the hose has been connected.
  • It is possible to see the circumstances that your heater may be encountering when the water drains out of the tank during this period of time.
  • If the water is largely clear and typical in appearance, it is likely that your water heater is in good working order.

Water that is deeper in color and that contains silt, on the other hand, might be a much greater problem.The inside of the tank might be in far worse shape than you can remedy with a simple water heater flush for sediment if you are emptying the tank and a large amount of solid material is coming out of the tank.This is the point at which you will most likely want to consult with a professional to evaluate the tank for more significant problems and accumulation.Keep in mind that if you’re flushing a tankless electric water heater, you’ll most likely skip this step.

Flush the System

  • Now that the water has been removed from the system, you will begin the process of flushing the unit.
  • Keep in mind that you already switched off the cold-water spigot.
  • This is what you will be turning back on in order to allow the new water to clean out the system properly.

It is recommended that you drain the old bucket and thoroughly inspect it for sediment before refilling it with the fresh cleansed water.Remove the tank’s fill valve and flush it for a few minutes until the water pouring out seems clean and typical.This will signal that the system has been completely cleansed and that the procedure is nearly completed.Always remember to switch off the cold-water supply before unhooking the hose and removing the bucket from the sink.

Reactivate Power and Gas

  • Now that the flushing has been completed, it is time to clean up.
  • The first step is to cut off the drain to which the hose was attached in order to prevent any water from escaping through it.
  • Also, remember to turn off the hot water tap in your house that you opened at the beginning of this process as well.

Replace the cold water supply valve and let the tank to re-fill with cold water.When your tank is full, you’ll want to open the pressure valve on the tank to allow the air to leave for the machine to function properly.Open the hot water faucet in your home once again to allow any trapped air to escape.Finally, re-start the gas and water lines heading to the storage tank.Allow around 30 minutes for the water to boil up before checking to see whether the water coming out of your residence is hot enough when needed.


  • Congratulations!
  • This means that you have done all of the necessary procedures to cleanse your water heater in a reasonably short period of time.
  • Now that you have a better understanding of the procedure, you will be better prepared the next time your heater requires flushing.

The time spent flushing your heater will guarantee that it operates at peak performance and that it serves you for many years to come.You might also be interested in reading our posts on ″Choosing an HVAC Company in Maricopa″ and ″Must-See Historical Sites in Scottsdale″ if you like this one.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you flush a water heater?

It is recommended that you flush your water heater at least once a year, especially if you reside in a region with hard water and do not have a water softener installed. If your softener is in good working order, you can get away with flushing it once every couple of years, but flushing it more regularly won’t hurt.

How much does it cost to flush a water heater?

If you’re not sure in your ability to complete the task yourself, plan to pay around $100. When you consider how detrimental sediment may be to your water heater, this is a relatively insignificant expenditure.

What happens if you don’t flush your water heater?

If you fail to clean your water heater on a regular basis, sediment can accumulate in the tank and cause problems such as clogged drain lines.

How long does it take to flush a water heater?

While your first flush may take a little longer than usual, you’ll soon be able to complete the entire procedure in under an hour and a half.

Basic Water Heater Maintenance – Draining the tank

  • If you want to be honest with yourself, you may acknowledge it – and I will, in fact, begin by admitting that I haven’t emptied my water heater in several years.
  • I’m fortunate in that the water is not very ″hard″ where I live.
  • Sand, minerals, and other materials contained in water are what is referred to as ″hard″ water.

As a result, if I were still a resident of Phoenix, I would be in for some major difficulties.While little amounts of silt that settle to the bottom of the tank are not a major concern, over time, they can accumulate and become a problem for the tank’s operation.The loss of accessible water in both gas and electric water heaters can result in a reduction in heat transmission to the water, as well as a potential blockage in the drain line, which makes it nearly hard to empty the water heater completely.

Step 1: The most important step, that is most often overlooked (Orange)

  • Electric Water Heater (Left Side): Disconnect the electricity to your electric water heater and tape the circuit breaker to the off position on the wall.
  • There are some instances where a kind and courteous builder, electrician, or plumber may have done you the favor of installing a real outlet, allowing you to simply unplug it.
  • If you neglect to turn off the power and leave the heating element(s) exposed, you will almost certainly burn them to a crisp.

Water heater using natural gas (right side): There are two schools of thinking on this: some believe that you merely need to turn off the gas, while others believe that putting it to pilot is more than sufficient.Using the pilot setting at my home is no problem, while in a customer’s home, I would cut off the gas not just at the thermostat, but also at the main supply line.

Step 2: Turn off the cold water supply to the tank.

Step 3: Attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. (Red)

  • Here are a few simple comments about this: when hot water is pushed through inexpensive hoses, they tend to become very soft and are more likely to leak.
  • Make certain that the water is routed through the home to a handy drain, sump pump, or other drainage system, rather than directly into your crawl space.
  • In certain circumstances, if a drain is entirely unavailable or the water heater is located at a higher elevation than the drain, you may always resort to the bucket brigade or purchase a pump to assist in propelling the water out and away from the home.

Step 4: Time to drain the water

  • First, turn on a nearby hot water faucet, and then turn on the drain valve on your water heater to drain any remaining water.
  • Open any faucet that has hot water running through it once you have completed this procedure.
  • Allow the tank to empty by opening the drain valve on the bottom of the tank.

You may anticipate it to provide between 9 and 17 GPM, depending on the size of the hose and the pressure applied.As an example, if you have a 50-gallon tank, the water should be running at maximum pressure for 3 to 6 minutes; if the water is flowing slowly, trickling, or otherwise ineffective, switch on the cold water supply to the tank.Turning on the cold water supply should, in theory, assist you in blasting through the blockage faster.

Step 5: Rinse and Repeat

  • Drain your water heater by opening a nearby hot water faucet first, and then the drain valve on the back of the water heater.
  • Open any faucet that has hot water connected to it once you have completed this step.
  • Allow the tank to empty completely by opening the drain valve.

You may anticipate it to provide 9 to 17 GPM, depending on the size of the hose and the pressure applied.The water should be running at full pressure for 3 to 6 minutes if you have a 50 gallon tank; if the flow is sluggish, trickling, or otherwise ineffective…switch on the cold water supply to the tank.It is possible that turning on the cold water supply will aid in clearing the blockage.

Step 6: The final few steps

  • It’s time to go backwards, or at least to retrace our tracks…
  • To begin, you must switch off the drain valve and detach the line from the drain.
  • Pour cold water into the tank by opening the cold water supply valve approximately halfway and allowing it to gently fill while checking for leaks.

While this is taking place, I recommend unscrewing the aerator on the open faucet and thoroughly washing it.You can turn off the hot water faucet and re-install the aerator after the water starts to flow out of the hot water faucet, indicating that the tank is full.Once you’ve turned on the cold water supply valve to its maximum capacity, you’ll be able to restart the electricity or gas to heat the water.

A few final notes:

  • Is it really necessary to clean out your tank once a year?
  • The practice is recommended, particularly if you have well water or naturally hard water.
  • In the event that you are following our monthly maintenance checklists, we did mention it as an annual item simply because it is easier to recall than

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