How To Clean Your Water Heater

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.

Cleaning and Flushing the Tank

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

  • A short 3/4 inch plumbing nipple should be screwed into the drain hole.
  • Make sure a bucket is placed right below the plumbing nipple, or that you have a garden hose connected to the opposite end of the nipple (or let it drain into a properly installed drain pan).
  • Connect a hose to the cold water input valve and turn it on for a few minutes until the water flowing out of the hose is clear.
  • Some material, such as rust or calcium deposits, may be present in the bucket.

Although it is beneficial, you should still physically flush and clean a water heater, but you will not have to do it on a regular basis. As a result, rather than cleaning once a year, it is recommended that you do it every three years or such.

Completing the Project

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

As soon as all of the air has been withdrawn from the tank, reconnect the electricity or turn on the gas control valve to the “On” position again.

How To 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.

See also:  How To Use A Water Filter

Step8: Return Your Tankless Heater To Its Operational State

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

How To Clean Out Your Water Heater: Conclusion

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

How To Clean An Electric Water Heater: Special Considerations

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

How To Clean A Gas Water Heater: Special Considerations

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

Cleaning A Tankless Water Heater: Special Considerations

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

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Don’t be concerned if you find all of this to be a bit overwhelming.

If you live in or around the Phoenix, Arizona region, we would be delighted to assist you with the upkeep of your water heater. For additional information on our straightforward pricing and worry-free service, please contact us.

How to 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 an Electric Water Heater

Did you know that, on average, a water heater may last you up to a decade in your household? Electric heaters have an even longer usable service life, with some models having a beneficial service life of more than 15 years. However, these are only applicable to systems that have been correctly installed and are subjected to regular maintenance. Those who do not achieve these requirements are more likely to experience early breakdowns and failure. Units that treat water that has a high concentration of dissolved minerals are more prone to failure.

Cleaning it on a regular basis will assist to extend the life of your water heater.

So be sure to keep reading because we’ll go over everything in further depth below.

Safety First: Turn Off Your Water Heater

Prior to cleaning your electric water heater, make sure that you turn off the power supply to the unit first. Especially given the fact that at least 30,000 non-fatal shock episodes occur in the United States each year, this is for your own protection. In addition, you should put on a pair of rubber insulating gloves to increase your protection against arcs and shocks. Check the tank itself for a power button if you want to turn off your heater completely. In certain cases, the “OFF” setting on the thermostat may be appropriate for your particular heater brand.

Examine your electrical panel for the switch that supplies your electric water heater.

The water heater switch should be clearly labeled on the interior of the panel, and the label should be easy to read.

To turn off the light, slide or flip the switch to the “OFF” position. This should cause the electricity to your water heater to be disconnected. You’re now ready to tackle the task of cleaning your electric water heater.

1. Clean the Exterior Side of the Hot Water Tank

Make use of your vacuum cleaner to clear the heavy layers of dust and filth that have accumulated on the outside of the water heater tank. Cleaning the bottom of the tank using a crevice attachment will be easier with this attachment. Also, remember to vacuum the area behind the heater and around any pipes that may be there. After that, clean and dry the heater with a clean, dry towel to finish it up. This will aid in the removal of as much dry dirt as possible from the environment. Then, using a moist towel, wipe off the outer surfaces of your water heater to clean them.

  • Finish up this step of your electric water heater maintenance by cleaning off the tank with a dry cloth.
  • Although you may believe that your high water costs are typical, it is possible that they are the result of tank leaks.
  • Once your tank and its pipes have been thoroughly cleaned, it will be much simpler to discover problems like as holes and cracks.
  • If there are none, that’s fantastic.
  • If the leaks are severe enough, a plumbing professional may still be able to save your tank from being destroyed.
2. Drain the Tank

One of the most important tasks in doing good water heater maintenance is flushing away sediment that has accumulated in the tank. Because of this, it is recommended that you empty your water heater at least twice a year. Flushing it will aid in the removal of sediments that can build up inside your tank and cause limescale to develop. Starting with the cold-water valve, which may be found at the very top of the tank, turn it off to get started. Then, towards the bottom of the tank, check for the drain valve, which looks a little like a faucet in appearance.

Connect one end of a garden hose to the valve and the other end to the valve.

To empty the tank’s contents, turn the valve to the open position.

This will allow air to enter your tank, which will then force the water out of the drain valve as a result of the air.

3. Refill the Tank

Take this step seriously, especially if you live in one of the nine-in-ten households in the United States that has hard water. Hard water has a high concentration of dissolved minerals, which are responsible for the formation of the previously stated limescale.

Another possible cause of low water pressure is hard water. In any event, it is necessary to replace the tank with cold water many times during the tank emptying procedure. This will aid in the removal of even more loose sediments.

4. Brush the Insides of Your Tank

For those who have more time, you may additionally brush the internal liner of your tank in order to remove additional sediments. This would need the use of a specialized brush, such as the type used to clean refrigerator coils, in order to do this. If you need this, you should be able to get it at your local hardware shop. You’d also have to take off the drain valve itself, because that’s where you’d be inserting the thin brush anyhow. Use a gentle brush, scrape, and push motions to gently remove the hardened minerals from the tank’s bottom and lower sides.

Take your time, though, because the more of these minerals you can remove from your heater, the more effective it will become.

5. Flush It One Last Time

If you believe you have eliminated all of the sediments, flush the tank one again. Do not change anything about the hole — do not attach the valve or the garden hose at this time since their openings may be too tiny. Make careful to place an empty bucket beneath the opening to capture any flushed water, though. In theory, the water should be able to flush the shattered bits of hardened minerals from the tank. If you’ve been able to remove a significant amount of debris, you may need to empty your bucket several further times.

It’s just a matter of reassembling the drain valve components in their right locations.

Set Your Electric Water Heater Thermostat to 120 Degrees

If you accidentally turned off the thermostat at the beginning, turn it back on to 120 degrees. Make sure the thermostat is set to 140 degrees if you haven’t changed the setting when you first turned it on to clean it. Most electric water heaters are set at this temperature as their default. One of the primary reasons for lowering the temperature is to minimize the amount of energy consumed by your heater. You may save between 3 and 5 percent on your water heating rates for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit you lower the temperature of your water heater.

Please keep in mind that there is a “very tiny danger” of stimulating the growth of legionellae bacteria.

See also:  How To Clean Gas Water Heater

Unless you or a member of your family has worries about their immune systems, you may set your thermostat to 140 degrees.

Keep Your Water Heater’s Pressure Relief Valve in Good Condition

A component known as a “temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve” is included with most water heaters. This little device, similar to a tea kettle, permits steam or water to escape from the heater if the temperature or pressure inside the heater rises to an unsafe level. They should be opened if the temperature rises beyond 210 degrees Fahrenheit or if the pressure exceeds 150 psi (pounds per square inch). A TPR valve should not fail because if it does, the tank may explode owing to the high temperature or pressure in the tank.

  1. This is also for your own safety, thus it should be included in your water heater’s preventative maintenance schedule.
  2. Especially if you have really hard water, you should check your TPR valve at least twice a year.
  3. The TPR valve, in contrast to the drain valve, is located higher on one side of the tank, or in some heaters, at the top of the tank.
  4. The TPR valve should be connected to a pipe (if you don’t have one, a garden hose will suffice).
  5. After that, pull or press the lever until you hear a rushing sound similar to that of air rushing.
  6. Water should trickle into your bucket or run out of the pipe or hose and into the floor drain as soon as it is connected.

Due to the fact that the valve is blocked, it will be unable to release steam or pressure when it is intended to do so. You must get it changed as soon as possible to avoid excessive pressure building up in your tank.

Know When to Replace the Anode Rod

The anode rod is a mechanism that “sacrifices” itself in order to protect the lining of the interior of your water heater. Its aim is to divert corrosive materials away from your tank and onto itself instead. Consider it as a magnet, attracting mineral and metal ions that produce oxidation and rust as they pass through it. Your tank’s liner will disintegrate prematurely if this sacrificial rod is not used. However, it is also because of this “sacrifice” that anode rods have a lifespan of between three and five years.

  • You are not required to replace it on a yearly basis, but you should examine it at least once a year at the absolute least.
  • One end of the anode rod is attached to the top of your heater, while the other end is attached to the bottom of your heater.
  • In order to check the rod’s condition, you’d have to take it apart and examine it closely.
  • If you see this and you are aware that you have not replaced the rod in several years, it is time to replace it.

Prevent Hard Water From Cutting Your Heater’s Life Short

Hard water does not pose a significant hazard to health and safety, but it can limit the service life of your water heater. Additionally, it has an impact on the efficiency and performance of water heaters. In fact, according to one research, water heaters that utilize hard water consume significantly more energy than those that use soft water. Homes with soft water also have cheaper expenditures for cleaning supplies since they use less of the items. In addition, scientists determined that extended contact to hard water might cause pipe corrosion.

Corroded pipes can leak metals over time, which can pollute your drinking water as a result.

The savings on your water heating and domestic cleaning bills will be significant at the same time.

Follow This Guide on How to Clean an Electric Water Heater Now

The above information is the last and only tutorial you will require on how to clean an electric water heater. As you might guess, following these water heater maintenance recommendations will take time and work. They are, however, well worth the investment because they may help you save money on energy while also extending the life of your heater. So, as soon as you get the opportunity, give your busy water heater some much-needed TLC! You should be aware that if you notice leaks or other problems when cleaning your water heater, we are here to help.

Request an appointment with us right away, and we’ll dispatch a qualified plumber to your location right away! If you want emergency plumbing services, you may also contact us immediately via phone.

How to Flush 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.

  1. Do you want to learn more about water heaters and why yours might not be working as effectively as it should?
  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 Clean Out a Water Heater Tank

Greetings, Maintenance Personnel: My duplex has a water heater that holds 40 or 50 gallons. Can you tell me the technique for emptying out the tank? Because our water is somewhat hard, I’m confident that it contains silt. However, other than a drain valve, I am unable to locate a clean-out for the tank.


Greetings, Frank: A yearly tank draining and cleaning is suggested to ensure that your domestic water heater lasts as long as possible. An overview of how to remove sediment from a tank that does not have an associated clean-out outlet is provided below. To begin, shut off the gas or electricity supply to the tank. Alternatively, open a hot-water valve, such as a bath-water valve, and let it run for about 10 minutes to allow the water to cool down in the tank.

  1. Open a hot water sink faucet or bathtub faucet to release water pressure in the tank after turning off the cold-water inflow valve for the tank.
  2. Attach a hose to the bottom drain valve, which is located at the bottom of the tank.
  3. Open the bottom drain valve to allow the tank to be drained of any remaining liquid.
  4. 6.
  5. Perhaps you will receive a refrigerator coil cleaning brush, which is long and thin and is easy to enter into the drain opening at the bottom of the refrigerator tank.
  6. This will make future tank cleaning a lot less difficult.) When all of the water has been drained out and before removing the drain hose, it is occasionally advised that you close all of the hot water faucets and periodically open and reopen the cold-water tank valve.
  7. Then re-close the cold-water input valve to complete the process.
  8. Disconnect the drain hose from the drain valve and close the drain valve.
  9. At this point, you should be ready to replenish the hot water tank.
  10. (Having the water tank’s faucet open will allow air to be sucked out of the tank.) 10.

The hot water faucet in the unit will indicate that it is full when it stops spewing air and just water is flowing out of the faucet instead of air. If possible, open additional hot water valves as well to aid in the removal of trapped air from the water lines.

How to Flush Your Water Heater

Water heaters can lose their efficiency over time, resulting in greater heating costs as well as increased water bill costs. The silt that has accumulated in the tank is the source of their decreased efficiency since it is obstructing heat transfer and absorbing some heat at the same time. It is also possible that this sediment will cause harm to your water heater as well as obstructions in your water lines. An easy solution to this problem is to do a simple flush of your water heater. Most experts advocate having this done once a year at the very least.

Check with your manufacturer’s guarantee about maintenance to ensure that completing the maintenance yourself will not violate your warranty.

Steps to flush the water heater

Close or reduce the heater’s heating system or gas supply to prevent the water heater from going on and heating an empty tank of water. Setting your gas water heater’s thermostat to “off,” “pilot,” or “vacation mode” is one option; but, if you have an older system, it may be necessary to cut off the gas to the water heater as well as turn off the water heater itself. In certain older gas water heaters, if the gas has been turned off, you may need to relight the pilot light, and you should be familiar with how to do so and where it is situated before doing so.

  • If there isn’t a switch or unplug option, you may have to turn it off with a circuit breaker if there isn’t another means to stop the flow of energy to the water heater.
  • The main water valve to the house in some residences; in others, a shutdown valve near the water heater may be used instead.
  • Connect a garden hose to the tank’s drain spigot, which is located towards the bottom of the tank.
  • Place the other end of the hose in a location that is capable of handling the volume of water and the heat generated by the currently hot water in the water heater tank, if necessary.
  • When you have determined that the water temperature is cold enough, repeat the previous procedure and switch off the water supply to the heater to complete the process.
  • Allowing the tank to empty through the hose is accomplished by opening the drain valve.

If you don’t hear any water running and you don’t see any water draining from the end of the hose, you may have something blocking the air from flowing, such as a backflow preventer, or sediment has clogged the drain, and you will need to open the pressure release valve to allow air into the system to work properly.

Most Check the hose to make sure there isn’t any leakage along the way, and that the other end is still draining at the location you’ve picked, and that the water draining isn’t going to overflow the draining area after you’re finished.

At the end of the draining process, you want the water to be completely clear or mainly clear.

It may be necessary to turn on the water for approximately 15 seconds, then turn off the water and wait for a few minutes before repeating the process a few times to entirely remove any silt that has become lodged on the interior of the drain.

Observe the water draining to ensure that all sediment has been removed and that the water being drained is free of obstructions. When you have done flushing the system, turn off the water supply to the tank.

Now that the system is cleaned out, it’s time to put everything back:

  • Close the drain valve and take the hose out of the system. Re-open and close the pressure valve (if you already opened it
  • If not, double-check that it is still closed)
  • Restart the water heater by turning the water back on. Open all of the hot water taps in the house to confirm that the water is flowing and that there is no trapped air. The water may appear cloudy at first, but wait until the silt has disappeared. The faucet should be turned off after the water is clear. Turn on the heating source, which may entail re-igniting the pilot light if the water heater is a gas model and the pilot has gone out. Make careful you only turn it on when the tank is completely full. It is dangerous to turn on an electric water heater while the tank is not completely filled because the heating element will burn out
See also:  How To Replace Water Heater Expansion Tank

Preserve a record of the date you conducted or had this service completed so that you may keep a record for yourself and potentially your insurance company in the event something goes wrong. This will help you remember when you completed the task last year, and if you experience any problems with your water heater before the year is up, there may be more serious issues with your water lines or water heater that should be addressed by a professional before it becomes an expensive repair with water damage.

Spring Clean Your Water Heater

Does spring cleaning seem to be creeping its way to the top of your list of things to do? Walton Gas advises you to include water heater maintenance in your must-do list of household tasks this week. Despite the fact that it is one of the most crucial equipment in the home, the water heater is sometimes overlooked. We tend to overlook this little gadget that works silently in the corners of a garage or closet, but it is really important. That is, until there is no hot water left in the tank. To maintain your natural gas water heater operating safely and effectively, it is only necessary to do simple and inexpensive maintenance once a year for a few minutes each time.

  1. Maintenance that is performed on a regular basis helps to keep the hot water flowing and increases the life of your water heater.
  2. 1.
  3. It is possible that your water heater is housed in a utility closet, laundry room, or other place that also serves as a storage space.
  4. To keep everything clean and safe, follow these steps:
  • Clear the area surrounding your water heater to ensure that there is ample room for optimal ventilation and that you have a clear view of the unit when it is in operation. Your water heater may not be detected as leaking until it is too late if the view is obscured in any way
  • Install shelving and hooks to keep objects such as laundry detergents and other household items away from the water heater so that it may be used more efficiently. Storage of combustible items should be no closer than 18 inches from the water heater. It is best not to store objects that are susceptible to moisture damage near the water heater such as books, papers, or periodicals.

2.Clean the vents with a vacuum. An air vent on the bottom of the water heater, which helps draw in oxygen and speed up the heating process, is common on many models of water heater. It is possible for this vent to become clogged with dust and other debris throughout the course of the year. In order to clean the vent, a vacuum should be used to suck up the dirt and empty it out. Use this tip to vacuum the vents in your home as part of your spring and autumn cleaning routines. 3. Inspect and test the TPR valve.

  • It automatically opens when it detects a dangerous buildup of pressure or an abnormally high temperature inside the water heater tank, allowing the pressure to be released.
  • The TPR valve should be tested once a year, according to the water heater manufacturer.
  • Pulling the lever on the valve will open it.
  • If you don’t, the valve will need to be replaced immediately.
  • 4.
  • In addition to decreasing the energy efficiency of your water heater, sediment accumulation in the tank might choke your water pipes.
  • 5.
  • Navigate to the water heater tank and locate the temperature dial.
  • You should anticipate to save up to 5 percent on energy bills for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit if the temperature is decreased.

Simply by doing a few minutes of simple labor, you will be able to sit back and enjoy the pleasant hot water that will be flowing and heating more efficiently — and in a safe manner. You have a full year before this maintenance must be conducted once more.

Schedule a service call.

In the event that you are concerned that your attempts at water heater maintenance will fail and result in more issues than they will solve, don’t just disregard the work. Instead, hire a plumber in your area to come out and fix the problem. The professionals at Athens PlumbingWell Services recommend that a water heater maintenance service call include burner inspection and cleaning, tank flushing and anode rod examination, thermostat settings assessment, and other services. Be aware that every three years, a professional examination of the anode rod is necessary, which is responsible for attracting and removing sediments from the water that is heated.

How Do I Flush My Water Heater and How Often Should I Drain It?

Thank you for visiting the Direct Energy series, “Take Charge of Your Home!” While hiring a professional to do household maintenance may provide convenience and peace of mind, many of these tasks may be completed by the homeowner without the need for specific tools or knowledge. And, in the process, you’ll save money, learn more about how your house operates, and experience a sense of satisfaction from completing a well-executed DIY project! You may take your water heater for granted, but it is one of those items that is simple to overlook.

  • It’s possible that you only think about it when something goes wrong.
  • This is especially true for tankless water heaters.
  • The most effective strategy to safeguard your investment is to have your water heater serviced by a certified plumber on a yearly basis.
  • In contrast, the last step – cleansing the tank — is something you may want to do on a regular basis, perhaps once every few months, depending on the mineral level of your local water supply.

Should I Drain My Water Heater Periodically?

Flushing out the lime and other particles in the water heater tank on a regular basis helps to increase the efficiency and longevity of the heater. Sediment can build up and calcify in water heaters that have been ignored, making it difficult to clean out. Eventually, this can get so severe that the entire unit may have to be replaced. However, by flushing your tank on a regular basis, you can avoid silt from causing difficulties. – Mineral content is present in all water to varying degrees. Because limestone is abundant under the surface of the groundwater, if you live in a location with a lot of limestone beneath the groundwater will pick up calcium and magnesium deposits, resulting in “hard” water.

When using natural gas heaters, it is possible to have uneven heating on the tank, which might lead to leaks over time. When it comes to electric heaters, scaling might cause the bottom heating element to burn out. In addition, silt accumulation might jam the drain valve in any case.

When Do I Want to Flush My Hot Water Heater?

For the most part, homeowners should clean their water heaters every six months or so; however, if you have particularly hard water, you may want to flush it more frequently. Depending on the mineral level of your local water supply, it may be essential to flush your hot water heater as frequently as every few months or even more frequently.

Before You Begin a Water Heater Flush

You must first figure out how to switch off your gas water heater before you can begin draining the tank. It’s possible that a vacation location will do the trick. It’s also a good idea to find out whether the pilot light has to be turned on manually. In this case, the original owner’s handbook is the greatest source of information, because pilot lighting processes differ from one model to another. If you don’t have a handbook, search on the water heater’s label for the manufacturer’s name and model number, and then try to get the manual online using those details.

How to Flush Your Water Heater

Following the completion of your calculations, it’s time to do the flushing procedure.

  • Step 1: Shut off the cold water supply to your water heater and remove the tank from the tank. Depending on the age of your home, you may need to cut off the water where the main water supply line enters your property. A shut-off valve for the water supply should be installed between your main supply line and the water softener
  • Otherwise, the water will not be softened properly. Step 2: Turn off or lower the temperature of the water heater thermostat. Some water heaters are equipped with a “vacation” setting. In order to avoid the heater turning on once all of the water has been drained out, especially for natural gas heaters, it is best to avoid doing so since heating it without water might cause damage to the tank. Additionally, before continuing, you should turn off the gas supply valve. Step 3: Connect a garden hose to the drain valve on the tank, which is located towards the bottom of the heater. The other end of the hose should be connected to a drain or to a safe location outside the house. In the event that you want to let the water drain outdoors, make certain that it is far enough away from your foundation so that it does not run into your home’s crawl area. Also, keep it away from bushes or other landscaping. In order to avoid dealing with hot water altogether, switch off the water heater at the end of each day to allow it to cool overnight before draining it, or just run your hot water tap for several minutes before getting started
  • Step 4: Open all of the hot water faucets. This will allow the water to drain from the tank more quickly. Put another way, it has the same effect as placing your finger tip on the end of a soda straw and then raising out of a drink. The vacuum maintains the liquid locked within until you remove your finger from the vacuum. Step 5: Open the drain valve on the water heater and let the tank to empty. Remember to keep an eye on the water as it pours out of the hose to keep an eye on how much sediment is coming through. Check that the water is flowing in the direction you want it to, and keep any young children or curious dogs from getting too close. If you open the drain valve and no water comes out, it’s possible that sediment has clogged the valve. In this case, you’ll need to open the temperature pressure release valve to release pressure from the tank and drain any water that has accumulated in the hot water pipes downstream from the water heater. Next, use a wet/dry vacuum to remove part of the obstruction from the drain valve — at the very least enough to begin the water flowing again. Wearing gloves and being careful not to get sprayed with hot water are recommended. If the obstruction is severe enough that it will not budge, remove the temperature pressure release valve and suck out the water with the wet/dry vac before replacing the drain valve
  • If the blockage is not severe enough to budge, replace the drain valve. Step 6:After the tank has been drained, switch on the cold water supply to assist rinse away any sediment that may have accumulated at the bottom of the tank during the draining process. After a few minutes, check the end of the line to make sure it’s clear and then switch off the water supply to the house. As a test, gather a glass of water from the drain hose after about one minute of flushing, and then turn off the water supply to the toilet and sink. Wait a few minutes to check whether sediment begins to settle at the bottom of the glass, and if it does, or if the water has become coloured, repeat the process once again. 7. Disconnect the hose from the drain valve and use a wet/dry vacuum to remove any silt that has accumulated around the hole. 8. As a result, it will not clog the valve when you turn it off. A little won’t hurt, but you want to make sure there’s enough space around the valve to prevent it from leaking. Reconnect the cold water supply once you’ve finished shutting down the drain valve. Step 8: Keep the hot water faucets open until the water starts to come out of them. Step 9: This will prevent any trapped air from accumulating. Don’t be startled if you notice rust or sediment coming out of the drain in the beginning. It will be safe to turn off the faucets once the water has cleared, which will normally take around a minute. Step 9: Adjust the water heater’s thermostat to the temperature you want it to be. You should also restart the pilot light on your gas water heater if it is equipped with one. To do so, reopen your gas supply valve and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to do so. The time it takes to fill the tank should be between 15 and 20 minutes, while the actual time depends on the size of your water heater, its overall efficiency and whether it’s powered by natural gas or electricity.

How Do I Drain My Tankless Water Heater?

However, tankless water heaters are equally subject to harm from mineral silt, as stated above for traditional tank water heaters. To flush tankless water heater technology, an entirely separate procedure must be followed, and a pump is necessary to circulate water throughout the system. Tankless water heater flush kits with thorough instructions can be found at most hardware stores for a reasonable price. With an electricity plan from Direct Energy, you can see how your do-it-yourself home renovation tasks may help you save money on your energy bills.

In some regions, you may even be able to obtain free power every weekend!

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