How To Clean Gas Water Heater

How To Clean A Water Heater The Simple Way

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

How To Clean Your Water Heater: The Basics

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

The most effective technique to avoid this is to flush the system on a regular basis.

How Often Should You Flush Your Water Heater?

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

As a result, if you do not have a water softener installed, you may want to flush the heater as frequently as once or twice a month or two in order to prevent problems.

Signs It’s Time To Flush Your Water Heater

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

You Can’t Get Hot Water

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

Your Water Heater Is Making Strange Sounds

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

Your Water Smells Funny

While sediment accumulation is often the most serious issue you should be concerned about when cleaning your water heater, germs can also form within a tank that has not been flushed in a long period of time if the tank has not been cleaned.

This bacteria has the potential to cause a strange odor in your water. Not only will you need to flush the tank, but you’ll also need to sterilize it, which we’ll go over in more detail in the next section.

How To Clean Your Hot Water Heater: The Process

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.

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

How To Clean A Gas Water Heater: Special Considerations

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

Cleaning A Tankless Water Heater: Special Considerations

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

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

Clean sediment out of water heater

– Turn off water at shut off- Turn gas control to pilot-pilot stays lit but no burner flameTwo ways to proceed:Best if you do1 followed by21) -Turn off water at shut off- Open bathtub spigot to let air enter water heater- Open water heater drain- Drain water from tankWhat if water heater is clogged? – After tank is drained, turn on water at shut off- Continue flushing tank until water runs clean2) Fill tank- turn water ON – Open water heater drain at bottom of tankCheck that water runs clean.If you do this first, it can stir up sediment instead of flushing tank- Close tank drain- Refill tank- When water comes out bathtub spigot, tank is full- Turn off bathtub spigot- Reset pilot control- Flushing does not work if sediment builds up

Steps for flushing ELECTRIC water heater

– Turn off water at shut off- Turn off circuit breaker- Elements that still have power will burn out when water leaves tankTwo ways to proceed:Best if you do1 followed by21) -Turn off water at shut off- Open bathtub spigot to let air enter water heater- Open water heater drain- Drain water from tankWhat if water heater is clogged? – After tank is drained, turn on water at shut off- Continue flushing tank until water runs clean2) Fill tank- turn water ON – Open water heater drain at bottom of tankCheck that water runs clean.If you do this first, it can stir up sediment instead of flushing tank- Close tank drain- Refill tank- When water comes out tub spigot, tank is full- Shut tub spigot- Turn on circuit breaker-Do NOT turn on circuit breaker before tank is full, or elements will burn out

How To Clean and Flush a Water Heater

Please keep in mind that this content may contain affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, we may gain a small profit on purchases made via our links. Cleaning your water heater on an annual basis is the most effective approach to ensure that it is as safe and trustworthy as possible. Learn how to flush a water heater by following these steps: In related news, here’s how to clean a TANKLESS water heater.

Drain the Water Heater

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

Open the drain valve and turn on the hot water faucet nearest to the tank to allow air to circulate through the tank.

It is true that larger hot water heater sizes will take a little longer to drain, but it should not take more than a few minutes in most cases.

The moment has come to upgrade your water heater’s drain valve from the less robust plastic version with the more durable brass version. Remove the drain valve and replace it with the brass valve, which should be done with a big adjustable wrench.

Cleaning and Flushing the Tank

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

  1. A short 3/4 inch plumbing nipple should be screwed into the drain hole.
  2. Make sure a bucket is placed right below the plumbing nipple, or that you have a garden hose connected to the opposite end of the nipple (or let it drain into a properly installed drain pan).
  3. Connect a hose to the cold water input valve and turn it on for a few minutes until the water flowing out of the hose is clear.
  4. Some material, such as rust or calcium deposits, may be present in the bucket.
  5. Although it is beneficial, you should still physically flush and clean a water heater, but you will not have to do it on a regular basis.

Completing the Project

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

As soon as all of the air has been withdrawn from the tank, reconnect the electricity or turn on the gas control valve to the “On” position again.

How to Flush Your Hot Water Heater

If you’re busy with home tasks, it’s easy to ignore the importance of flushing your hot water heater. In my own case, I had never considered doing so until Jeremy included it in his really useful house maintenance checklist. However, cleaning out your hot water heater on a regular basis is a vital duty. It is important to clean out the muck and mineral deposits that have accumulated in your hot water heater to ensure that it runs more effectively and that its life is prolonged, so saving you money in the long run.

However, fortunately, it turned out to be really simple.

I detailed the procedure as I went through, in case you find yourself in a similar situation. 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.

  1. In most cases, the thermostat for a gas hot water heater may be found in the bottom of the tank.
  2. 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.
  3. 2.
  4. 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.
  5. 3.
  6. 4.
  7. Turn it all the way off.

Fill a sink or tub with hot water by turning on the faucet.

As a result, you will be less likely to have a vacuum build in the pipes while draining the hot water tank.

Connect the garden hose to the drain spigot on the wall.

Depending on whether or not your hot water heater is located in the basement, you may require a portable pump in order to pump water from the basement to the first floor of your home.

Turn on the spigot and drain the water.

If your tank is clogged with silt, you may need to thoroughly drain it.

I decided to drain it anyhow.

Flush your hot water tankTo flush your hot water tank, just switch on the cold water tap that leads into your hot water tank.

This might take some time.

Here’s a photo of the water that was flowing out of my tank when I first started flushing the toilet: As you can see, there was still some silt (which can be seen at the bottom) pouring out of the hole.

Flushing should continue until there is very little or no sediment left in your water. Turn off the cold water faucet that feeds into your hot water tank and leave it shut.

Finishing Things Up

Following your satisfaction with the purity of your water, it’s time to return everything to their original state.

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

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

How to Flush Sediment Out of a Water Heater

The information contained in this article is provided solely for the purpose of providing general information and does not constitute professional advice. With respect to this material, LANDMARK HOME WARRANTY makes no claim to be an expert in the subject matter, and you should conduct your own research and/or seek the advice of appropriately qualified professionals with respect to your specific circumstances before taking action. LANDMARK HOME WARRANTY makes no claim to be an expert in the subject matter, and you should conduct your own research and/or seek the advice of appropriately qualified professionals with respect to your specific circumstances before taking action.

  • Every homeowner understands the need of regularly cleaning and maintaining their systems and appliances.
  • The removal of silt from a water heater can extend its lifespan and increase its efficiency.
  • By removing sediment from your water heater, you may save money while also heating your water more quickly.
  • Learn more about how a water heater works so that you can better understand how to clean out your tank.

1. Turn the Water Heater Off

If you have an electric water heater, make sure the power switch is turned off before continuing. Ensure that your water heater is a gas heater, such as the one seen in the photo above, by setting your thermostat to “pilot.” This shuts down the heating element in your water heater, allowing the water to cool down as a result. Ensure that no one in your home is currently attempting to take a shower, wash dishes, or do a load of laundry before beginning this home repair chore.

2. Turn the Cold Water Valve Off

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.

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  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

How to Dissolve Water Heater Sediment

Minerals naturally found in water separate and settle in the bottom of a water heater when it is heated. Over time, the silt accumulates, decreasing the performance of the unit in terms of heating and storing water, as well as the possibility of damage to the water heater. Even while this occurs in all water heaters and with all types of water, it occurs more quickly with hard water because it has a larger concentration of natural minerals.

Draining and cleaning your gas water heater with a cleaner is the most effective technique to dissolve the sediment and keep your unit operating at peak performance levels. When dealing with electric equipment, you’ll need to employ a flushing procedure to get rid of the silt.

Gas Water Heater

  • The cold water supply line should be located on your unit, and the valve handle should be turned counterclockwise (toward the left) until it is in the off position. To turn off the gas to the unit, locate and close the cutoff valve to the gas line. Allow 20 to 30 minutes for your water heater to cool down before using it.


  • In order to drain the water heater, connect a long garden hose to it at its base. The hose should be connected in the same way that it would be connected to the hose bib on the outside of your home. Place the other end of the hose in a tub if one is available, or run it outdoors or into a large bucket if none is available.


  • Then, open the drain valve on your hot water heater and turn on the hot water in one or more taps around your home to its maximum setting. Keep waiting until there is no more water dripping from either end of the hose or from your faucet


  • Disconnect the water line from the top of the tank and place a funnel in the opening created by the drain valve and the water line disconnector. Pour clean water into your water heater through the funnel according to the size of your water heater and the guidelines for the cleaning agent you’ve chosen. For a 40-gallon tank, you will normally pour 2 gallons of clean water into the tank and then mix an additional 2 gallons of water with the cleaner before adding the cleaner to the tank. This mixture should also be poured through the funnel.


  • Re-ignite the pilot light by re-opening the gas line. Set your tank’s thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and let this solution to rest for two hours, or for the amount of time advised by the cleaner’s manufacturer.


  • Using a funnel, remove and re-attach the water supply line. Remove the burner from the stove. Open both the cold-water valve and the drain valve at the same time, making sure that the hose is still linked to the drain valve, and drain the solution out of your water heater. To flush out the tank, leave the drain valve open for 10 to 15 minutes while the water is still running through it


  • Shut off the water heater’s drain valve, disconnect the hose, and allow it to refill.


  1. If you have hard water in your house, you should get a professional to install a water softener. As a result, many of the minerals present in hard water will dissolve, allowing you to go longer periods of time between flushing and cleaning your water heater.

Electric Water Heater

  • To switch off your water heater, first turn off the circuit breaker, and then cut off the water supply. Allow 20 to 30 minutes for the water in the unit to cool down before continuing.


  • Join an outside hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the unit and direct the other end of the hose outdoors to either a large bucket or an adjacent tub to collect any excess water. Open a hot water faucet in your home just a smidgeon more than usual. Afterwards, open the drain valve and let all of the water in your water heater to drain out.


  • Turn on the cold water supply while the garden hose is still attached and the drain valve is left open to allow the water to flow. Allow water to circulate through the device to flush out any silt that may have accumulated. It indicates that the unit is clean when the water pouring out of the end of the hose is crystal clear.


Close the drain valve and take the hose out of the system. Wait for the unit to replenish for about an hour before attempting to use the hot water again.

Things You Will Need

  • The following items are required: garden hose
  • Large bucket
  • Funnel
  • Residential water heater cleaning
  • Water softener


  1. After you have drained the water heater, the water that comes out of your faucet may be harsher or quicker than usual. This is due to the fact that your pipes are being refilled. Allow it to run for one to two minutes and it will return to regular operation. Some cleaning solutions for residential water heaters are designed particularly for use with gas water heaters. If the instructions are unclear or if you have any issues, you should contact the manufacturer.

How to Flush a Water Heater

Time a few of hours Complexity IntermediateCost$51–100


Have you cleansed your water heater in the last several months? This crucial task should be completed at least once a year in order to eliminate silt that has accumulated at the bottom of the tank. This is especially true if you reside in a hard-water location, which is common in the Midwest. Because it’s out of sight, it’s easy to forget about it, but accumulated sediment affects the heating effectiveness of your water heater, which results in higher energy bills.

Tools Required

  • Female PVC trap adapter 1-1/4 in. x 1-1/2 in.
  • 2″ brass nipple
  • 24-in. piece of 1/2 in. I.D. vinyl tubing
  • 3/4 in. MIP x 1/2 in. barb fitting
  • 3/4 in. x 3-in. nipple
  • Brass ball valve
  • Brass elbow
  • Dielectric nipple
  • Garden hose adapter
  • Shop vacuum adapter
  • 1-1/4 in. x 1-1/2 in. female PVC trap adapter

If you haven’t cleansed your water heater before, or if you haven’t done so in a long time, you might be in for a nasty surprise in the shape of sediment buildup, which can limit the life of your heater significantly. A popping or rumbling sound emanating from your water heater is one symptom that you have an excessive accumulation of sediment. The sound you’re hearing is the sound of steam bubbles rising through the sludge. When sediment builds up in a gas water heater, it causes hot spots that can damage the tank and lead it to fail prematurely.

As a result, understanding how to drain and flush a water heater will pay dividends in the form of cheaper energy costs and a longer heater life.

Project step-by-step (8)

  • A 1-1/2-inch PVC x 3/4-inch FIP adapter (A) is glued to the end of a female PVC trap adapter (B).
  • Please keep in mind that this will allow you to attach your vacuum to 3/4-inch tubing. The barbed fitting (C) attaches to vinyl tubing with an inside diameter of 1/2 inch.

Drain Water Heater Liquid

  • Shut off the water heater by turning off the gas or electricity. Make sure that the hot water faucet is running full blast for around 10 minutes to lessen the water temperature in the tank
  • Otherwise, the water will boil. Closing the cold water valve at the top of the tank and connecting a garden hose to the existing drain valve and routing it to a floor drain are the first steps.
  • Using a kitchen strainer to capture the silt will help prevent the sediment from clogging the floor drain.
  • Make sure that a hot water faucet on an upstairs floor is turned on, as well as the water heater drain valve Wait until sediment jams the valve and causes flow to be reduced before flushing. Close the hot water faucet and the water heater drain valve on the second floor. Remove the temperature-pressure release valve and replace it with the vacuum adapter
  • Then repeat the process. Connect the shop vacuum hose to the vacuum and turn it on
  • Note: This creates suction in the tank, preventing you from getting drenched when you remove the old drain valve.

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Remove the Old Valve

  • By rotating the plastic nut below the knob, you may unscrew and remove the valve while exerting suction via the TPR port with a shop vacuum, and then replace it.
  • Tips: If it breaks off in pieces, saw the fractured area with a hacksaw blade until you come across metallic threads. After that, chisel away at the parts using a hammer and screwdriver.

Assemble the New Valve

  • In order to assemble all of the 3/4-inch fittings, you must first remove the handle from the ball valve
  • A new drain valve made of a 3/4-inch full-port brass ball valve with threaded ends, a 3-inch x 3/4-inch galvanized nipple, and a 3/4-inch G.H. garden hose adapter (such as the BrassCraft/Plumbshop No. HU22-12-12TP) is an excellent solution.
  • Note: As soon as you open the drain valve, the sediment will most likely plug it, preventing you from completely shutting the valve once the water has been drained out. A sediment buildup and a leaky water heater will be the result. It is not only possible for an ancient drain to get clogged, but it is also impossible to suck material via its narrow hole. Because of this, you’ll need to construct a new drain valve.

Install the New Valve

  • In order to use the new full-port valve, make sure it is closed. One end of the garden hose should be connected to the valve, and the other end should be directed into a colander put over the floor drain.


After you have flushed the water heater, remove the ball valve handle, especially if the water heater is in a location where people may stroll by and accidently hit the handle. Upon opening, hot water might be released, resulting in severe burns. In order to prevent it from falling out of the handle, twist knot it to the valve. Step 6: Organize your thoughts and feelings about the situation.

Flush the Tank

  • Disconnect and flush the tank by removing the suction hose from the TPR port
  • Advice from the experts: The majority of the silt will be flushed out through the full-port valve. To remove the remainder, open the cold water valve at the top of the tank in short bursts, blasting the water toward the drain until it runs clear.

The seventh step is to suction out the sediment.

  • Remove the full-port valve and use a shop vacuum adaptor and 1/2-inch vinyl tubing to suction out any leftover silt from the system. Upon completion, close the ball valve and leave it in place, but remove the lever handle to avoid an inadvertent opening of the valve. Replace the TPR valve and blow-off tube, and then reinstall them.

Step 8: Refill the Water Heater with water.

  • Fill the water heater with fresh water
  • Turn on the gas or electric

How to Clean Commercial Water Heaters from Sediments

Unfortunately, but unfortunately true, while your business water heater is in operation, minerals naturally accumulate at the bottom of the device. In the event that you do not thoroughly clean out your water heater, the dirt that has accumulated might become a serious problem! Leaving free-floating debris in your heater for an extended period of time might degrade its efficiency and result in an unexpectedly large repair expense. As a result, what can you do to counteract this? Maintain the cleanliness of your water heater on a regular basis!

Cleaning Out Your Water Heater: the Basics

  • You should either switch off the power that is linked to your water heater or set your gas water heater to the lowest feasible setting, depending on your water heater. Connect a hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of your water heater tank, and then run the line to a convenient drainage location. Next, you must open the drain valve on your water heater to allow the water to drain. Turn on the hot water in one or more of the faucets in your home and leave the water running until no more water is flowing out of the end of your hose. Relight the pilot’s cigarette lighter. Remove the hose and reconnect it to the water supply line. Drain the water by closing the drain valve. If you want expert assistance, get it immediately.

Contact General Plumbing Today

Do you have any further questions on how to clear the particles out of your business water heater? When you are experiencing problems with your plumbing or water, it is critical that you address the problem immediately before the situation worsens! This is where the expertise of the pros comes in. We at General Plumbing are committed to providing you with the prompt and efficient service that you require and deserve.

Contact us now to learn more. At General Plumbing, we have dozens of years of combined expertise in dealing with practically all forms of plumbing maintenance and repair. Contact us now. Call (561) 771-0086 to speak with a member of our staff about taking advantage of our services now.

HVAC Basics: How to Clean a Hot Water Heater

Performing an annual flush of your water heater is one of the most critical activities you can do for your home. Sadly, many homeowners fail to complete this chore. What is the significance of this? For the simple reason that it aids in the removal of silt and other debris that might develop at the bottom of the heater, allowing it to function more effectively and save you money. Take a look at some helpful hints from Solution Based Plumbing, Heating, and A/C on how to clean a hot water heater in this week’s blog post.

HVAC Basics: How to Clean a Hot Water Heater

Although there are several procedures involved in flushing your hot water heater, many homeowners find them to be simple enough to complete on their own. You should strive to complete this task once a year, but if you are unable to do so on a yearly basis, you should not wait more than three years before flushing the toilet. A skilled HVAC specialist can always flush your heater for you if you prefer not to do it yourself. When learning how to clean a hot water heater, the following are the most important steps to remember:

  • Turn off the heater and disconnect the gas or electricity supply to the device. Turn off the cold water supply valve to the faucet. When it comes to kitchen appliances, the cold water spigot is often found at their top
  • Activate hot water in a different location. Running hot water through a bathroom sink or tub will assist in flushing the heater. This will avoid the occurrence of a vacuum. Open the emergency relief valve. When cleaning the heater, it may be beneficial to open the pressure relief valve to allow water to flow more freely. Make sure to place a bucket underneath the valve before turning it on, and to allow the water in the hot water tank to cool down once it has been turned on. Connect a hose to the tank and drain the contents. Connect a garden hose to the drainage faucet at the bottom of the hot water heater and place a bucket underneath the other end of the hose to catch any water that comes out. If your heater is located in the basement, you may require a portable pump to operate it. Start by turning on the drainage spigot and letting it drain until the water is completely clear and free of debris. It is possible that you may have to totally drain the tank
  • Flush the tank. Put the spigot back in the cold water and let the water flow through the hose for a few minutes, or until it’s completely clear. Continue flushing until there is no more sediment in the water, then stop the spigot once again
  • Finish off the process. Afterward, you may return everything to its original state.
  • Reduce pressure by closing the pressure release valve, turning off the faucet, and disconnecting the line. Removing the water from the sink or tub once it has been turned on
  • Fill the tank with cold water by turning on the spigot, then open the pressure release valve to relieve pressure. Turning on the hot water spigot in a sink or tub will help to remove any trapped air from the system. It should be possible to get cold water out. Turn off the water supply
  • Reconnect the gas or electricity if necessary. If hot water is not flowing out of a sink or tub after 20 minutes, wait another 20 minutes.

Need Help Flushing Your Heater? Call Us for an Appointment

Do you require assistance with cleaning your hot water heater? Are you unsure of how to flush the toilet? It’s time to set an appointment with Solution Based Plumbing, Heating, and A/C to get your plumbing and heating needs met. Call the office at 215-584-2098 or use the contact form on our website to get in touch.

Cleaning Hot Water Heater Tips – How to Clean Dirty Parts

Cleaning a hot water heater is just as vital as doing regular maintenance on it, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. When troubleshooting a hot water heater, the first thing you should evaluate is whether or not the water heater is clean and in what kind of environment it is operating. The DIY cleaning guide will assist you in locating the answers to your questions about how to clean the gas water heater elements, such as the flame arrestor, gas burner, venting system, thermocouple, and flame rod, as well as how to use vinegar for cleaning purposes.

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A dirty environment may drastically impact and limit the performance of your water heater.

So how do you clean the inside of a hot water heater?

Water heater powered by natural gas It is simple to locate the necessary items since they are likely to be found among the tools that you use on a daily or weekly basis, such as a vacuum cleaner, air compressor, wire brush, flashlight, wrench, grit paper, cloth, and soapy water. Keep in mind that the majority of repairs and maintenance should be handled by experienced specialists. Before contacting for assistance, consider the following steps you may do on your own:

  • Maintain the cleanliness of your water heater, especially if you have seen leaks from leaking water pipes. Remove debris, household cleansers, paint, and other combustible objects from the area around the water heater
  • A visual assessment of the exterior and interior components should be carried out on a frequent basis before any maintenance is carried out.

Cleaning a hot water heater is essential, especially if there are any flammable materials that have been spilt or leaked nearby.

It is critical that all of the flame’s resources, including the main burner and the pilot, be extinguished.

Cleaning gas water heaters

When cleaning a gas-powered hot water heater, one of the most critical procedures to take is to thoroughly clean the combustion chamber and burner components. Periodic cleaning is required for the main burner, pilot burner, and flame arrestor, with the time between cleanings being no more than six months. In addition, cleaning the air intake screen is crucial because the air pulled in from the bottom of the water tank heater is used to fuel the gas combustion process. Keep this region clear of debris and dust, as well as combustible materials, in order to ensure that adequate gas combustion does not take place.

Here’s how it’s done.

Cleaning the flame arrestor

The flame arrestor, which is a component of the FVIR technology, is responsible for keeping the flame contained within the combustion chamber. It is critical to keep the flame arrestor in good working order and to keep the space under the tank clean in order to draw in enough air for combustion. The cleaning of the flame arrestor may be necessary if there is a problem with inadequate combustion air being supplied to the engine. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Entrance door should be removed. Disconnect main burner, pilot tube, and thermocouple, if applicable
  • Remove the burner component from the oven. Using a stiff brush, thoroughly inspect and clean the flame arrestor. To clear the dust or debris from the flame arrestor, use compressed air or a vacuum cleaner with blowing capability to blast it away. Once you have finished blowing down and through the arrestor ports, use the vacuum beneath the flame arrestor to gather any debris that has accumulated. Reassemble the burner assembly
  • Connect the feedline, pilot, and thermocouple back together. Bring the access door back into service
  • Restart the operation

Your water heater’s extra screen against lint, dust, and oil (called the LDO screen), which is placed at the base of the heater and must be cleaned or washed on a regular basis, should be cleaned or washed as well. This section is critical since it is where all of the combustion air is channeled into the heater. Cleaning the air intake screen will enhance the efficiency of your vehicle while also saving you money on repair calls.


Make certain that the chimney path is free of obstructions and clear before connecting a gas vent to it, especially if the chimney has already been used to vent other appliances. If you have “direct venting,” your water heater will draw fresh air straight from the outside through a specially designed intake air pipe that is sealed. Due to the extremely corrosive nature of chemicals and chemical vapor, clean combustion and a safe atmosphere must be ensured by preventing air contamination with chemicals and chemical vapor.

How to clean a water heater main burner

Carbon deposits, commonly known as sooting, accumulate on the main burner’s heat exchanger. If your burner is dirty or blocked, you may clean it with soap and hot water, which is a simple and effective method. Simply follow the instructions outlined in the next section:

  • Then, with the control knob on the gas valve turned to the OFF position
  • Remove the inner door component from the frame. Remove the main burner feed line, the pilot assembly, and the thermocouple from the burner. Taking the burner assembly out of the combustion chamber is essential. Identify and remove any dirt or debris from the burner surface as well as the burner ports. Remove the main burner orifice, check it, and clean it as necessary. After that, clean the pilot assembly (or electrode) of any dirt that may have accumulated, since this might prevent the ignition spark from firing. If rust has collected on the surface, sandpaper can be used to remove it

Ensure that the chimney path is clean and free of obstacles before installing a gas unit and attaching a vent to the chimney. This is especially important if the chimney was previously used for solid fuel appliances or fires.

Cleaning the thermocouple/flame rod

Find out what a water heater thermocouple is used for, how to install and remove it, and how to properly maintain it. Make advantage of this article. Cleaning the thermocouple on a regular basis will guarantee that the element operates properly. Consequently, the thermocouple fails to identify the flame from the pilot and produce accurate readings (poor flame sensor current), leading in a pilot outage and no water heating as a result of corrosion, soot, dirt, and grime accumulation. Solution: Sand the end of the thermocouple, which is in contact with the flame, using ultra-fine steel wool or sandpaper and then wipe it clean with the towel to remove any particles that may have accumulated on it.

In the case of tankless water heaters that are equipped with a flame rod or electrodes, the same cleaning procedure should be followed. Always remember to cut off the electricity before doing any work.

Cleaning a water heater using a vinegar

Water heater cleaning with vinegar is a simple task that is advised for removing sediments and limescale deposits from the tank’s internal components. The problem with the deposits is that they diminish the efficiency of the unit and cause it to work harder than it should be to function properly. It is possible that regular flushing will not be sufficient to remove the buildup and deposits; however, vinegar can assist in breaking down and loosening the deposits into little pieces, making it simpler to flush them out.

The drain valve and garden hose are sufficient for basic cleansing, but you’ll also need access to the tank and a place to dump the vinegar if you’re doing this.

The remainder of the method is exactly the same as it was before this.

  • For starters, drain a few liters of water from the water heater tank by using the garden hose connected to the drain valve. Close the drain valve as well as any other faucets. To begin, take out the anode rod, which is placed at its top, and pour the vinegar down the funnel
  • Then repeat the process. Replace the anode rod if it has deteriorated
  • If necessary, repair or replace the anode rod. Fill the tank with cold water by turning on the cold water supply and stirring the water/vinegar solution. Allow it to sit for a couple of hours before flushing it out of the tank. Be warned that some big parts may clog the drain valve if not handled properly.

For those who own or are planning to purchase a tankless water heater, it is advised that they purchase a tankless water heater cleansing kit that can be simply attached to isolation valves using rubber hose. The utility pump, hose, and bucket are normally included in the set, but vinegar and other cleaning agents must be purchased separately. Isolation valves (available for purchase on are an excellent addition to any system since they allow for simple and quick repair and maintenance, including tankless flushing.

Why cleaning hot water heater

There are several issues that might arise as a result of unclean and clogged heater components. If you clean your hot water heater on a regular basis, you can avoid the following problems.

  • No flame will be produced by the main burner or pilot
  • The flame on the burner is yellow. The pilot flame is inadequately sized.

The following are the possible causes: a filthy and blocked pilot line, burner line, orifice.

  • Smoking and carbon formation
  • Smells associated with combustion
  • Sooting
  • And slow hot water recovery The flame of the burner floats and rises off the ports.

The following are the possible causes: blocked air supply or flue pipes, clogged burner.

Cleaning an electric water heater

Water heater powered by electricity If you have an electric water heater, sediment accumulation at the tank bottom can generate unpleasant sounds, and if it is left there without being cleaned, it can result in the tank failing permanently. Because sediments can accumulate on the heating components, following the manufacturer’s recommendations for draining, flushing, and cleaning the water heater, or replacing it if required, is recommended. Get Quotes from Highly Qualified Water Heater Professionals!

Related articles

  • Instructions on how to maintain a tank-style water heater Keeping an electric water heater in good condition
  • Instructions on how to empty a water heater
  • Instructions on how to cleanse a water heater
  • Tips for extending the life of a hot water heater
  • How to winterize a tankless water heater
  • Cleaning hints and techniques
  • How to properly vent a gas water heater How to increase the safety of your water heater at home
  • How to minimize water damage and save money on expensive repairs
  • Protecting a water heater from corrosion is a difficult task.

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