How to Flush a Water Heater
Article to be downloaded article to be downloaded According on the type and supply of water, water heaters should be cleansed every one to three years on average.This aids in the prevention of the accumulation of mineral deposits.Your water heater will work more effectively as a result, which will often result in a longer service life for the heater.To flush your water heater, follow the instructions on this page.
- 1 Locate the breaker/fuse box if the heater is powered by electricity, or the thermostat if the heater is powered by gas. First and foremost, you will need to locate and switch off the primary power supply for your water heater before you can begin emptying it. In most cases, the breaker box, also known as the fuse box, is a tiny, grey power panel (about the size of a shoebox) with a sliding door. In most cases, it is fastened to a wall by screws. In some homes, the thermostat for the gas heater is situated in the garage, while in others, it may be found on the exterior of the house
- the thermostat for the gas heater is often a red knob positioned on the outside of the heater near where the gas line enters the unit. There should be three settings on the knob: ″Pilot,″ ″On,″ and ″Off.″
- 2 Disable the circuit or fuse that supplies electricity to the electrical water heater, or set the gas water heater’s thermostat to ″Pilot″ position. According to the circuit or fuse you block, either the water heater or the entire house will be without electricity as a result. There should be modest on/off switches visible. These are referred to as ″branch circuit breakers,″ and they are responsible for providing protection against electrical overload to the many circuits that power your home. If you know which branch circuit breaker is responsible for powering your water heater, you can turn off that specific switch.
- If you are unsure of which specific circuit breaker is providing electricity to your heater, look for a bigger switch labeled ″Main″ above the branch circuit breakers to find.
- The primary circuit breaker should have a greater amperage rating, such as 100, 150, or 200 amps, to protect the system.
- Smaller numbers will be assigned to the branch circuit breakers, ranging from 10-60 amps.
- Open your fuse box and you will discover round, glass-topped forms or tiny tubes with metal ends
- if you open the box and find round, glass-topped shapes or small tubes with metal ends, you have a fuse box rather than a circuit breaker box. In this situation, you will need to unscrew and remove the fuse that is supplying electricity to your water heating system (similar to turning off the branch circuit breaker). Identify a huge rectangular box with a handle/lever at the top of the panel if you are unclear about which fuse to remove. Take a firm grip on the handle and pull it straight out, but be careful since the metal pieces may be hot. The electricity to your entire home has been turned off at this point.
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- 3 The cold water supply can be turned off by twisting the water shut-off valve counterclockwise. This valve should be situated at or near the cold water inflow pipe, which should be located towards the top of the tank. Ball valves and gate valves are the two types of valves that are often used. A ball valve can be closed and opened with a single 90-degree turn, whereas a gate valve requires many revolutions.
- Some gate valves have a ″stop″ before they may be fully closed or opened, so be sure you turn the valve past that stop before closing or opening it completely.
- It is permissible to leave the gas and propane supply valves for non-electric heaters open.
- Make a note of the temperature setting on your natural gas or propane (LP) water heater, and then change the thermostat, which is the huge red dial on the front of the control, to the lowest setting, often known as ″Pilot.″
- You should turn off the heat ahead of time and allow the water to cool overnight before emptying it if you intend to utilize the water for other reasons.
4 Turn on the hot water tap in your sink or tub to get started. This will prevent a vacuum from building in the lines, which would otherwise keep the water trapped within. As an illustration, consider the case of a straw that has been partially covered to retain water.
- 5 Connect a garden hose to the drain cock, also known as a valve, which is positioned at the base of the heater. It is generally in the shape of a standard garden hose fitting, such as a garden faucet, or a circular dial with a threaded hole in the center. You may need to remove a cover to access the drain cock. If you don’t have a garden hose, you can use a bucket to collect the water and physically dump it somewhere safe. Don’t overfill the bucket since the hot water will weaken less expensive plastic buckets or even burn you if you overfill it.
- 6 Extend the garden hose to a location where the water from the heater may be discharged without danger. Either connect your hose to an exterior drain or to the driveway of your house. It is possible to drain the water into buckets and use the water for other uses once it has been allowed to cool overnight. Because of the presence of sediment, it should not be used for fragile plants or to wash your car. If you are draining hot water, you should also be cautious about the materials you use. High temperatures can cause low-quality hoses and buckets to weaken, resulting in leaks. Drain directly into a suitable basement drain or sump hole to make the operation as simple as possible.
- To avoid scorching water from blasting and spraying out of a drain cock and hose connection in the event of a pressure leak, especially if the water heater serves the second floor or is located in the basement, cover them with a cloth or rag before turning on your faucet.
- Drain the heater by opening the flow cock to enable the water to drain from the heater. Take into consideration opening the pressure-relief valve, which is often located on the unit’s top, to allow water to flow freely. The pressure-relief valve, on the other hand, should not be opened without first putting a bucket under the discharge pipe. Opening it may result in water draining onto the floor unless something is placed beneath the discharge pipe to catch the water as it drains. The pressure relief valve is often a lever that must be moved to the ″up″ position in order to be opened.
- Make certain that the water flows at a pace that can be regulated wherever the water is draining to
- Keep in mind that if you don’t allow the water to cool down before using it, it will be quite hot as it exits the tank.
- Be aware that if the drain cock is made of plastic and the heater is many years old, it may be difficult to open and, if forced, may shatter.
- 8 After a few minutes of flushing, fill a ″test″ bucket with the water that is remaining in the toilet. After allowing the water in the bucket to remain undisturbed for a minute, check to see if it is clear or if any sand-like material has settled to the bottom of the bucket. The tank should be drained until the water is clear, even if it seems to be foggy or there is sand-like material on the bottom of the bucket (free of sediment or discoloration). If the tank is completely empty but you believe sediment is still there, switch on the cold-water supply to allow additional water to enter the system. Fill the tank partly with water and then empty it completely. Continue to follow this procedure until the discharge is clear.
- If the water is clean and there is no evidence of silt, you may go to the following stage
- otherwise, stop.
1 Disconnect the garden hose from the drain cock and close the drain cock. If the pressure-relief valve has been opened, it must be closed. In addition, make sure you shut off the hot water tap in your sink or bathtub.
2 Reconnect the water supply and let the tank to fill.When the tank is completely full and the pressure has returned to normal, slowly reopen the pressure-relief valve to allow the extra air to be released.The water heater will not ″ping″ as cold water re-enters the system during regular operation as a result of this.Close the pressure-relief valve once again once all of the compressed air has been exhausted.
3 Close the drain on the water heater. To drain air from the bathroom, turn on the hot water faucet. Do not switch on the electricity just yet. You run the risk of damaging the heating element if you switch on the electricity without filling the tank. Start by turning on the hot water tap in the bathtub or washbasin and waiting for a steady stream of water to come out.
- Reconnect the water supply and wait until the hot water line begins to run consistently after it has been turned back on. It is safe to turn on the circuit breaker or fuse box after the hot water tap has been flowing at maximum volume for a while.
- 5 Turn off the water supply to the tub. Once you’ve waited around 20 minutes, check for hot water in the bathtub. To evaluate whether or not the water heater is operational, pay close attention to its sound.
- Question Add a new question Question Is it ever necessary to use any additives, such as distilled vinegar, during the flushing and draining process? However, this is a professional-level work, and the type of acid needed will depend on the design of the heater.
- Question Would it be permissible for me to switch off the cold water valve at the tank and take a shower in order to drain a little amount of hot water from the tank before connecting the hose to the drain valve? I just don’t want to waste all that hot water by flushing it down the toilet! That is not going to work. It will not be possible to use hot water if you close the cold water valve at the top of the faucet. Turning off the heating (gas or electric) and taking a shower is the best option. As the hot water is used up and replaced by cold water, the water will gradually get colder.
- Concerning the Question What should I do if the water is hot when I turn it on but becomes chilly after a few minutes? There are several possibilities for what it may be. It is necessary to replace at least one of the components 90% of the time (normally the lower one). Additionally, the thermostat, dip tube, sediment, and other components are included.
- More information can be found in the following answers: Advertisement When a pressure relief valve is opened, it is possible that it may be damaged and will need to be replaced. In order to avoid harming this safety component, open the highest faucet/sink on the home to bleed air out of the heater and lines before re-connecting the water supply lines.
- The frequency at which heaters are flushed varies. If yours is more than a few years old or if you have recently moved into a new home, it should be flushed. How much sediment you detect will assist you decide how frequently it is necessary to cleanse that heater.
- If the heater is powered by gas, do not turn off the gas supply to the heater.
- Draining your water heater should be done using a garden hose.
- If your home has a salt-based water softener, flush it once a year or every six months.
- Be sure to cut off the power at the circuit box before emptying an electric appliance.
- If you want to recycle water, make sure to prepare ahead of time.
- If you want to avoid sediment accumulation, consider installing a whole-house filtration system. Also, remember to remove your aerators from your faucets while your tank is clean and full and to run a little clean water through each before reinstalling.
- Thank you for submitting a suggestion for consideration! Advertisement Be cautious, since the water might be quite hot.
- Do not turn on the water without entirely filling the reservoir. This will result in damage to the heating element.
- You must take care not to break the drain cock.
- Performing regular flushing will help to maintain your heater clear of dirt, but most plumbers advise that if the valve hasn’t been opened in more than five years, it’s better not to try to move the handle since the valve may fail.
- You should seek the services of a qualified plumber if you do not feel comfortable performing this task yourself.
- Do not turn off the gas or the pilot light on the water heater
- instead, turn it to the lowest possible setting. You will not have to go through the relighting steps
- instead, you will only need to crank up the gas control valve.
Things You’ll Need
- Garden hose that will last
- huge bucket that will last
- drainage area that will work
a pair of gloves
About This Article
The following is an overview of how to flush a water heater.To begin, switch off the water heater’s power supply using a breaker or thermostat.Turn the water shut-off valve on your heater clockwise to turn off the cold water supply, and then turn the heater off.Afterwards, switch on a hot water faucet in one of your sinks or bathtubs to avoid a vacuum from accumulating in the pipes.
After you’ve completed this step, connect a garden hose to the drain valve on the bottom of your heater and direct the water outdoors or into a bucket as needed.Last but not least, open the drain valve to allow the water to flow from the heater.Please continue reading to find out how to get your heater back up and running when you’re finished!Did you find this overview to be helpful?The writers of this page have together authored a page that has been read 1,037,492 times.
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 accumulate sediment and buildup that is naturally found in the water supply after extended periods of time of use.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.
Why do I need to flush my water heater?
By cleaning out your water heater, you may improve the efficiency and extend the life of your water heater.In particular, if you do not have a water filter on the incoming line of your house’s water supply, this is critical to remember.Because sediment in the cold water entering the water heater is heavier than the water, any sediment will fall to the bottom of the water heater and accumulate there.In many situations, the water heater actually serves as a filter for the hot water lines in your home, which is something it was not intended to accomplish in the first place.
You may be wondering how this occurs.However, even though water enters the water heater from the top of the tank, there is a tube (known as the water heater dip tube) that causes the water to flow down to the bottom of the container.When a water heater does not have a dip tube, cold water entering the tank from the top would pass straight down the tank to the hot water outlet, resulting in cold water being circulated through your hot water lines.The dip tube, on the other hand, also pushes any sediment present in the cold water to settle to the bottom of the tank.Sediment buildup at the bottom of your water heater tank can impair the energy efficiency of heating the water since you are heating the sediment along with the water, which reduces the effectiveness of heating the water.It has been shown that sediment at the bottom of a gas water heater tank can actually function as an insulator between the burner and the water it is heating.
The silt slows down the heat transmission from the burner to the water, causing the tank to get overheated and the steel and glass lining to deteriorate.It is possible for the bottom element of an electric water heater to become buried in silt, causing it to work more harder than necessary and eventually fail.Consequently, to keep your water heater in excellent operating condition, it is typically advised that you clean the tank and do regular maintenance on it once a year at the very least.The following should be noted: If you have an older gas water heater and have never flushed it before, flushing it may not be the best option.
In the course of time, sediment build-up might have weakened the steel tank and glass liner, and some of the sediment could actually be closing small holes in the steel.Flushing out the tank could eliminate silt that is sealing a leak, which could cause much worse difficulties in the future.If you are at all confused about whether or not you should do a water heater flush, you should get advice from a qualified plumbing technician.
How do I flush my water heater?
Although flushing your water heater is a very straightforward activity, there is a high danger of harm from contact with overly hot water and surfaces when performing this task.Prior to commencing, please take all required steps to protect yourself and others, or hire/consult with a plumbing specialist.Additionally, please keep in mind that these instructions are generic in nature and are supplied solely for the convenience of our clients.PlumbingSupply.com® bears no responsibility for your actions in following these instructions.The manufacturer’s instructions pertaining to your water heater should always be followed rather than relying on generic information if you have access to or can obtain a copy of your water heater’s owner’s handbook.
Step 1: If you have an electric water heater, switch off the electrical power to the water heater at the breaker box.Step 2: Turn on the water heater again.To conserve energy, bring the thermostat down to the vacation mode setting (or as low as it will go without completely shutting down your gas water heater).Step 2: Allow the water heater to get to room temperature.
This can be accomplished by either waiting for the heater to cool down for a few hours or by having someone take a shower, do laundry, or wash some dishes at this time, causing all of the hot water to be used up (after all, you already paid to heat it!) and replaced by cold water.Alternatively, the heater could be turned off and the water turned on.The third step is to turn off the cold water supply to the water heater – this valve is often found at the top of the water heater, on the INLET side of the heater.To drain the water heater, connect the garden hose to the drain outlet valve, which is located at the bottom of the unit.Do not open the drain valve yet.
Place the other end of the garden hose in a handy drain spot or somewhere outdoors, such as on your lawn or garden area, to catch any excess water.It is important to note that the hose outlet must remain lower than the amount of water in the tank in order for the water to properly drain out of the tank.If you do not want to wait for the water heater to cool down, make sure you choose a hose that can handle the heat of the water heater.If you have children, pets, plants, or bushes, you should position the other end of the hose in a safe location where hot water will not be harmful to them.
Also, be in mind that the hose and hose outlet may be too hot to handle with your bare hands.Alternatively, a water heater drain pump can be used to expedite the procedure.It takes between 2-1/2 and 10 minutes to empty a 50-gallon water heater tank, depending on the water heater drain pump you choose.
This is far faster than waiting for the water heater to drain naturally.Step 5: Turn on the hot water faucet on the side of your kitchen sink (or the hot side of any faucet close to your water heater).As a result, air will be able to flow back into the water heater, preventing any vacuum within it from preventing the water from flowing out of the drain.Return to the water heater drain valve and carefully open it all the way up until it is completely open.Step 6.
- If you are utilizing a water heater drain pump, turn the pump on after you have opened the drain valve on the water heater itself.
- The water coming out of the water heater can be allowed to drain into a clean bucket to see how much sediment is being flushed out.
- This can assist you in determining how frequently you may (or may not) need to flush your system, as well as whether or not you would want to consider putting a filtration system in your plumbing system.
When the water heater has been completely emptied, switch off the pump (if one is being used) and close the drain valve.To do this, open the cold water supply valve located on top of the water heater and turn on the water for 5-10 minutes.This can assist in dislodging any more sediment that may be present in the bottom of the water heater.Step 8: Turn off the cold water supply at the top of the water heater and open the drain valve once again (restart the pump if it is being used) to allow the water to drain out of the tank.Make a visual inspection of the drain water to see whether there is still material present or whether the water is clean.
Steps 7 and 8 should be repeated as needed until the drain water is clean of any material.If there is still some sediment in the water, repeat Steps 7 and 8.9.Once you are certain that all of the sediment has been emptied from the tank, turn off the pump, close the drain valve, and remove the garden hose from the tank.The anode rod and the temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve should be checked now that the tank is empty.If your water heater is more than five years old, we recommend that you replace the anode rod.
- We also recommend that you remove the T&P valve and check it for probable corrosion caused by particular water conditions, and that you replace it if required.
- During this time, if you have a gas water heater, you may also want to check the gas vent for any problems.
- When you are ready to refill the water heater, turn on the cold water supply valve located on the top of the water heater and begin filling the water heater tank with cold water.
- Check to see that the drain is completely closed and that it is not leaking.
- If the drain valve leaks, it is possible that sediment particles has been lodged inside of it.
- Using a funnel, remove any debris that has accumulated in the drain valve and turn off the cold water supply at the top of the water heater.
- To re-fill the water heater, re-open the cold water supply valve located at the top of the water heater.
- Please keep in mind that if the drain valve is not operating correctly, it may also need to be repaired or replaced.
- You may often utilize a standard 3/4″ fipt input hose bibb with a short pipe nipple to accomplish this task.
- In order to determine the length of the pipe nipple, consider the amount of insulation that is utilized between the water heater tank and the decorative outside cover.
Remove the present drain valve to calculate the length of nipple that will be required to clear the aesthetic cover of the drain valve opening.Step number twelve.As the water heater fills, return to the faucet that was used in Step 5 to allow air to enter the water heater and turn on the hot side of the water heater until water flows easily through the faucet without releasing air with the water.
- Make sure you turn on a couple additional faucets (on the hot side) in the home and leave them running until the water is flowing freely there as well.
- Remember to turn on the faucet in an upstairs room as well if you have a two-story home with many floors.
- If you are confident that all air has been removed from the water pipes and the water heater, you may restart the heating process for the water.
- If your water heater is electric, just re-energize the circuit breaker that controls the water heater.
- If your water heater is powered by natural gas or propane, simply turn the thermostat back up to the appropriate temperature setting once more.
- Please keep in mind that the material presented here is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of plumbing-related repairs, troubleshooting, and purchase considerations.
- This material is intended to be general in nature and may not be applicable to all applications.
- When in doubt about your ability to accomplish one of these tasks or when you have more concerns about the material offered, seek the advice of a qualified expert immediately.
Always double-check local code rules and the appropriate authorities before starting a project of any kind.
How to Flush 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.
- Turn on the spigot and drain the water.
Empty the tank until the water flows clean and there is no longer any silt in it.If your tank is clogged with silt, you may need to thoroughly drain it.As you can see in the photo above, the water was a touch brown when I initially started draining it, and there was a lot of sediment at the bottom of the bowl.I decided to drain it anyhow.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.
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.IN THE EVENT THAT YOU USE ANY AND ALL OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS WEBSITE, LANDMARK HOME WARRANTY ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL LIABILITY.Every homeowner understands the need of regularly cleaning and maintaining their systems and appliances.
Many homeowners, on the other hand, are unaware that cleaning a water heater once a year will effectively eliminate a buildup of silt from the bottom of the tank.The removal of silt from a water heater can extend its lifespan and increase its efficiency.Sediment can act as a barrier between the heating elements of a water heater and the water, making it more difficult to heat your home’s showers, dishwasher, and clothes washing machine effectively.By removing sediment from your water heater, you may save money while also heating your water more quickly.
Find out more about why you should flush sediment out of your tank by visiting this page.Find out how a water heater functions so that you can better understand how to clean 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
Close the cold water valve and turn it off.When cold water is introduced into the tank and dispenses with the hot water, the water heater circulates the hot water around your home.You may entirely empty your tank of water if you don’t have any cold water coming into it from outside.If you skip this step, you’ll wind up with water constantly flowing into the tank and down the drain, which might result in a significant increase in your monthly water bill.
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.
You are almost through with your water heater cleanup once you have thoroughly emptied it and removed all of the debris from the tank.In order to refill your tank, close the drain valve and remove the hose from the tank.Turn the cold water valve back on and the heating elements back on by turning the knobs on the thermostat.Check to see that your faucets are still turned on, and after the water is flowing normally again, turn them off.You’ll need to wait around 30 minutes before checking for hot water.
The water heater should have reheated the liters of water contained within the tank once more, this time without sediment!Do you want to learn more about water heaters and why yours might not be working as effectively as it should?Make use of our article on the most frequent water heater issues and how to identify and solve them!When it comes to water heaters (up to 70 gallons), Landmark Home Warranty provides plans that will cover them if they fail due to regular wear and tear.
Some insurance policies even provide coverage for sediment damage!If your water heater stops working and you have a Landmark Home Warranty protection plan, you may be able to have it fixed or replaced for the price of a service call if the problem is covered by the conditions of your contract.Give us a call right away or submit a service request online today!If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or [phone number].
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.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?
- Shut down the gas or electricity if you have a gas water heater, or the electricity if you have an electric water heater.
- Allow the water heater to cool for a short period of time
- Turn off the water supply.
- 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
- To drain the water, connect an empty bucket or drain hose to the valve and run the hose down to the drain.
- 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
- proceed with caution.
- 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
- Drain the water by closing the drain valve.
- Reopening the water supply valve will allow you to refill the water heater tank.
- 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.
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.
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