How to Flush Your Hot Water Heater
If you’re busy with home tasks, it’s easy to ignore the importance of flushing your hot water heater. In my own case, I had never considered doing so until Jeremy included it in his really useful house maintenance checklist. However, cleaning out your hot water heater on a regular basis is a vital duty. It is important to clean out the muck and mineral deposits that have accumulated in your hot water heater to ensure that it runs more effectively and that its life is prolonged, so saving you money in the long run.
However, fortunately, it turned out to be really simple.
I detailed the procedure as I went through, in case you find yourself in a similar situation.
Here’s how it’s done:
How Often Should You Flush Your Hot Water Heater?
It is recommended that you cleanse your hot water heater every one to three years, depending on your model. Really, it’s such a simple job that it wouldn’t be a hassle to complete it at least once a year.
How to Flush Your Hot Water Heater
Hot water heaters are available in two different configurations: gas and electric. Due to the fact that I have a gas hot water heater, following instructions will be specific to flushing a gas hot water heater. While there are some similarities between gas and electric, the most significant distinction is that with gas, you will be shutting off the gas to your appliance; with electric, you will be turning off the power to your appliance. 1. Turn the Thermostat on your hot water heater to the “Off” position.
- In most cases, the thermostat for a gas hot water heater may be found in the bottom of the tank.
- If you switch off your hot water heater and it’s an older type, you’ll have to re-light the pilot light, which might be a hassle.
- If you have a gas hot water heater, locate the gas pipe that runs from the tank to your thermostat and pilot light and switch the valve to the “off” setting.
- Turn it all the way off.
Fill a sink or tub with hot water by turning on the faucet.
As a result, you will be less likely to have a vacuum build in the pipes while draining the hot water tank.
Connect the garden hose to the drain spigot on the wall.
Depending on whether or not your hot water heater is located in the basement, you may require a portable pump in order to pump water from the basement to the first floor of your home.
Turn on the spigot and drain the water.
If your tank is clogged with silt, you may need to thoroughly drain it.
I decided to drain it anyhow.
Flush your hot water tankTo flush your hot water tank, just switch on the cold water tap that leads into your hot water tank.
This might take some time.
Here’s a photo of the water that was flowing out of my tank when I first started flushing the toilet: As you can see, there was still some silt (which can be seen at the bottom) pouring out of the hole.
Flushing should continue until there is very little or no sediment left in your water. Turn off the cold water faucet that feeds into your hot water tank and leave it shut.
Finishing Things Up
Following your satisfaction with the purity of your water, it’s time to return everything to their original state.
- Disconnect the drainage spigot and the hose from the drain
- Turn off the water supply to your sink or tub that you had switched on at the start of the process. To begin, turn on the cold water tap that feeds your hot water heater. To get the air out of the system, turn on the hot water faucet in a sink or bathtub for a few minutes. At this point, you should be able to get cold water out of the faucet. To turn it off, press the button. Restart your hot water heater if you have accidentally turned off the gas supply. If you have accidentally switched off your hot water heater’s thermostat, re-light the pilot light (it’s simple — I may write an article on it in the future), and then turn the thermostat back on. For electric water heaters, locate the breaker switch on your electrical panel that supplies electricity to your hot water heater and turn it off. Allow around 20 minutes for the water to warm up. Start by turning on one of your house’s hot water spigots to confirm that hot water is flowing out
Boom. You’ve taken the time to flush your hot water heater. Make a note on your calendar to repeat the process in a year.
How to Flush a Water Heater
Time a few of hours Complexity IntermediateCost$51–100
Have you cleansed your water heater in the last several months? This crucial task should be completed at least once a year in order to eliminate silt that has accumulated at the bottom of the tank. This is especially true if you reside in a hard-water location, which is common in the Midwest. Because it’s out of sight, it’s easy to forget about it, but accumulated sediment affects the heating effectiveness of your water heater, which results in higher energy bills.
- Female PVC trap adapter 1-1/4 in. x 1-1/2 in.
- 2″ brass nipple
- 24-in. piece of 1/2 in. I.D. vinyl tubing
- 3/4 in. MIP x 1/2 in. barb fitting
- 3/4 in. x 3-in. nipple
- Brass ball valve
- Brass elbow
- Dielectric nipple
- Garden hose adapter
- Shop vacuum adapter
- 1-1/4 in. x 1-1/2 in. female PVC trap adapter
If you haven’t cleansed your water heater before, or if you haven’t done so in a long time, you might be in for a nasty surprise in the shape of sediment buildup, which can limit the life of your heater significantly. A popping or rumbling sound emanating from your water heater is one symptom that you have an excessive accumulation of sediment. The sound you’re hearing is the sound of steam bubbles rising through the sludge. When sediment builds up in a gas water heater, it causes hot spots that can damage the tank and lead it to fail prematurely.
As a result, understanding how to drain and flush a water heater will pay dividends in the form of cheaper energy costs and a longer heater life.
Project step-by-step (8)
- A 1-1/2-inch PVC x 3/4-inch FIP adapter (A) is glued to the end of a female PVC trap adapter (B).
- 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.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter
Complete your do-it-yourself tasks like an expert! Become a subscriber to our newsletter! Do It Right the First Time, and Do It Yourself! Step number three.
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 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. More information on why you should flush sediment out of your tank may be found here. 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.
Do you want to learn more about water heaters and why yours might not be working as effectively as it should?
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.
If your water heater stops working and you have a Landmark Home Warranty protection plan, you may be able to have it fixed or replaced for the price of a service call if the problem is covered by the conditions of your contract.
Give us a call right away or submit a service request online today!
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.
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!
Water Heater Flush: How To Do It Safely and Easily
Your water heater is responsible for delivering all of the necessary hot water to your home when you require it. You may only understand how crucial a piece of equipment is when it is not functioning properly or is backed up in some way. In order to guarantee that your water heater is operating at peak performance, you must ensure that it is thoroughly flushed and cleaned. For the purpose of assisting you in understanding the fundamentals of water heater flushing, we will first discuss why it is so important and how frequently you should perform it.
Why Do You Need to Do a Hot Water Heater Flush?
Water heaters begin to acquire silt and accumulation that is naturally contained in the water supply over lengthy periods of time of usage. Sediment can accumulate in the heater and clump together, resulting in decreased efficiency or damage to the device, depending on the circumstances. When it comes to water heaters in Phoenix, where the water is extremely sediment-rich, this is a regular occurrence. When you flush out your heater, you are preventing excessive sediment building and ensuring that you are able to use the unit more efficiently while experiencing less fear about failure.
Water Heater Flush Cost
As you’ll see, a water heater flush is really inexpensive when you consider that it can be completed in a matter of minutes by following a few simple procedures.
How Frequently Should You Do a Hot Water Heater Flush?
If you consider how important your water heater is, you should not put off cleansing your system for an extended period of time. Every water heater has a varied lifespan, but making sure you clean out your water heater on a regular basis can help it last as long as it was designed to. A flushing of your heater should be done every couple years or so, on average. In order to guarantee the optimum performance from your unit, flushing it once a year is recommended, and the following instructions will demonstrate how simple it is to do.
Steps for Performing a Water Heater Cleanout/Flush
Your heater, like any other item in your home, will require some level of electrical power to operate properly. Depending on your unit, you may only need to complete one of these procedures during a water heater flush, or you may need to complete all of them. By turning off your gas, you can assure that the machine is not getting any gas and will not overheat or leak as a result. In most cases, turning off the electricity to your unit may be accomplished through your circuit breaker, which should include a switch labeled for the heater.
Keeping this step in mind will help to provide a safe working environment for whoever is responsible for finishing the flush.
Open a Hot Water Faucet
This is accomplished by tricking your system into believing it is required to be running, which requires you to open a hot water tap in your home. Despite the fact that water will flow out, it will not be heated at the time of the process. In addition, this procedure is critical because it prevents a vacuum from accumulating in the pipes, which might result in the formation of undesired air bubbles in your water system.
Turn Off the Cold Water Valve
Your water heater will have a supply valve that will connect to the unit and be used to feed cold water to the unit. You will want to turn off this valve while you are completing the flush. It should be positioned on or near your unit, and it will usually be towards the top of the unit’s interior. It will have the appearance of a typical faucet valve, with the possibility of being dyed blue to indicate cold water. It is important to turn this valve off during the flush process to avoid water running into the unit, which would make the whole procedure a lot messier.
Connect a Hose to the Heater
Find the location of your spigot as the next step. This will be located at the bottom of the unit and will seem to be a standard hose faucet in appearance. You may want to set a bucket below this before proceeding with the rest of the project because it may begin to drip as soon as the lid is removed. It is necessary to locate a garden hose that can be screwed onto this spigot since this is the most convenient method of draining the system. If your water heater is located higher up in your home, gravity should be able to facilitate the flow of water.
If the unit is located in your basement, a pump may be required to assist in the removal of the water from the unit. Make certain that the hose’s end is placed in some form of pail or containment area to prevent it from spilling everywhere.
Water Heater Flush for Sediment: Drain the Tank
It is at this point that you may begin draining the unit by turning the faucet to which the hose has been connected. It is possible to see the circumstances that your heater may be encountering when the water drains out of the tank during this period of time. If the water is largely clear and typical in appearance, it is likely that your water heater is in good working order. Water that is deeper in color and that contains silt, on the other hand, might be a much greater problem. The inside of the tank might be in far worse shape than you can remedy with a simple water heater flush for sediment if you are emptying the tank and a large amount of solid material is coming out of the tank.
This step will be skipped if you are flushing a tankless electric water heater, which is the most common scenario.
Flush the System
Now that the water has been removed from the system, you will begin the process of flushing the unit. Keep in mind that you already switched off the cold-water spigot. This is what you will be turning back on in order to allow the new water to clean out the system properly. It is recommended that you drain the old bucket and thoroughly inspect it for sediment before refilling it with the fresh cleansed water. Remove the tank’s fill valve and flush it for a few minutes until the water pouring out seems clean and typical.
Always remember to switch off the cold-water supply before unhooking the hose and removing the bucket from the sink.
Reactivate Power and Gas
Now that the flushing has been completed, it is time to clean up. The first step is to cut off the drain to which the hose was attached in order to prevent any water from escaping through it. Also, remember to turn off the hot water tap in your house that you opened at the beginning of this process as well. Replace the cold water supply valve and let the tank to re-fill with cold water. When your tank is full, you’ll want to open the pressure valve on the tank to allow the air to leave for the machine to function properly.
Finally, re-start the gas and water lines heading to the storage tank.
Congratulations! This means that you have done all of the necessary procedures to cleanse your water heater in a reasonably short period of time. Now that you have a better understanding of the procedure, you will be better prepared the next time your heater requires flushing. The time spent flushing your heater will guarantee that it operates at peak performance and that it serves you for many years to come.
If you enjoy what you’re reading, you may be interested in reading more of our posts, such as ” Choosing an HVAC Company in Maricopa ” and ” Must-See Historical Sites in Scottsdale “
Frequently Asked Questions
It is recommended that you flush your water heater at least once a year, especially if you reside in a region with hard water and do not have a water softener. If your softener is in good working order, you can get away with flushing it once every couple of years, but flushing it more regularly won’t hurt.
How much does it cost to flush a water heater?
If you’re not sure in your ability to complete the task yourself, plan to pay around $100. When you consider how detrimental sediment may be to your water heater, this is a relatively insignificant expenditure.
What happens if you don’t flush your water heater?
If you fail to clean your water heater on a regular basis, sediment can accumulate in the tank and cause problems such as clogged drain lines.
How long does it take to flush a water heater?
While your first flush may take a little longer than usual, you’ll soon be able to complete the entire procedure in under an hour and a half.
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
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.
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.
Flushing a Water Heater: Why Should I Flush My Water Heater?
Regular maintenance is required for your water heater, just as it is for other devices such as your automobile. Water heaters accumulate sediment, calcium, and minerals over time, which settles to the bottom of the tank and causes it to get clogged. It is at the bottom of the tank where the water heater’s heating element is located. The water heater will have to work harder to heat the water if the heat is being blocked by silt and other foreign objects. There aren’t any negative consequences to flushing a water heater.
How Often Should I get My Water Heater Flushed?
It is advised that you clean your water heater at least once a year to keep it running efficiently. This will aid in the prevention of the possible difficulties that silt might cause over time if left unchecked.
What Happens if I don’t Flush My Water Heater?
It is possible that leaving sediment buildup in your water heater would not only make it work harder, but it may also result in some major complications. For example, if the sediment builds up to a significant level, you may see it coming out of your faucets and drains. Sediment, on the other hand, can produce much more significant problems over time. Things like a ruptured pipe, a lack of water pressure, or even the failure of the tank itself are all possibilities. These issues often manifest themselves over a period of two to five years.
Do I Need to Flush a Tankless Water Heater?
Yes. Tankless water heaters, despite the fact that they do not store as much water as traditional tanks, can nevertheless accumulate sediment, necessitating regular cleaning and maintenance.
How do I Flush My Water Heater?
- Shut down the gas or electricity if you have a gas water heater, or the electricity if you have an electric water heater. Allow the water heater to cool for a short period of time
- Turn off the water supply. Start by turning on the hot water from a nearby faucet to avoid a vacuum from building and to make it easier for the tank to drain
- To drain the water, connect an empty bucket or drain hose to the valve and run the hose down to the drain. During this procedure, you may need to empty a bucket numerous times. Drain the water heater tank by opening the drain valve and allowing the water to run until the tank is completely drained. If you haven’t allowed the water heater to cool down properly, the water can get quite hot at this point
- Proceed with caution. Remove any remaining sediment by restoring the cold water supply and allowing it to drain. Carry on like this for a couple of times to get rid of all the silt
- Drain the water by closing the drain valve. Reopening the water supply valve will allow you to refill the water heater tank. Start the water heater by turning it on.
In the home, removing the water heater’s tank is possible, but it might be hazardous. If you are unsure about flushing your water heater yourself or want to ensure that it is done correctly, call a professional expert to have your water heater cleansed in no time at all.
How to Flush Your Water Heater – PlumbingSupply.com
By cleaning out your water heater, you may improve the efficiency and extend the life of your water heater. In particular, if you do not have a water filter on the incoming line of your house’s water supply, this is critical to remember. Because sediment in the cold water entering the water heater is heavier than the water, any sediment will fall to the bottom of the water heater and accumulate there. In many situations, the water heater actually serves as a filter for the hot water lines in your home, which is something it was not intended to accomplish in the first place.
- However, even though water enters the water heater from the top of the tank, there is a tube (known as the water heater dip tube) that causes the water to flow down to the bottom of the container.
- The dip tube, on the other hand, also pushes any sediment present in the cold water to settle to the bottom of the tank.
- It has been shown that sediment at the bottom of a gas water heater tank can actually function as an insulator between the burner and the water it is heating.
- It is possible for the bottom element of an electric water heater to become buried in silt, causing it to work more harder than necessary and eventually fail.
- The following should be noted: If you have an older gas water heater and have never flushed it before, flushing it may not be the best option.
Flushing out the tank could eliminate silt that is sealing a leak, which could cause much worse difficulties in the future. If you are at all confused about whether or not you should do a water heater flush, you should get advice from a qualified plumbing technician.
How do I flush my water heater?
Although flushing your water heater is a simple procedure, there is a high danger of harm due to contact with extremely hot water and surfaces. Please keep this in mind: Prior to commencing, please take all required steps to protect yourself and others, or hire/consult with a plumbing specialist. Additionally, please keep in mind that these instructions are generic in nature and are supplied solely for the convenience of our clients. PlumbingSupply.com® bears no responsibility for your actions in following these instructions.
The first step is to switch off the electricity to your water heater at the breaker box.
To conserve energy, bring the thermostat down to the vacation mode setting (or as low as it will go without completely shutting down your gas water heater).
This can be accomplished by either waiting for the heater to cool down for a few hours or by having someone take a shower, do laundry, or wash some dishes at this time, causing all of the hot water to be used up (after all, you already paid to heat it!) and replaced by cold water.
Removing the cold water supply valve from the water heater – this valve is often positioned at the top of the water heater’s inlet side, on the INLET side of the water heater.
It is important to note that the hose outlet must remain lower than the amount of water in the tank in order for the water to properly drain out of the tank.
If you have children, pets, plants, or bushes, you should position the other end of the hose in a safe location where hot water will not be harmful to them.
Alternatively, a water heater drain pump can be used to expedite the procedure.
This is far faster than waiting for the water heater to drain naturally.
(or the hot side of any faucet close to your water heater).
Step 6.Now, return to the water heater drain valve and slowly open it until it is completely open, as shown.
The water coming out of the water heater can be allowed to drain into a clean bucket to see how much sediment is being flushed out.
If you are using a pump, turn it off and seal the drain valve once the water heater has been completely emptied.
This can assist in dislodging any more sediment that may be present in the bottom of the water heater.
Make a visual inspection of the drain water to see whether there is still material present or whether the water is clean.
If there is still some sediment in the water, repeat Steps 7 and 8.
Step 10.While the tank is empty, it may be a good idea to inspect your anode rod as well as your temperature and pressure (T P) relief valve (if applicable).
We also recommend that you remove the T P valve and check it for probable corrosion caused by particular water conditions, and that you replace it if required.
The water heater tank should be filled when you are ready to replenish it.
Check to see that the drain is completely closed and that it is not leaking.
Using a funnel, remove any debris that has accumulated in the drain valve and turn off the cold water supply at the top of the water heater.
Take note that if the drain valve is not operating correctly, it may also be necessary to replace it.
In order to determine the length of the pipe nipple, consider the amount of insulation that is utilized between the water heater tank and the decorative outside cover.
Step number twelve.
Make sure you turn on a couple additional faucets (on the hot side) in the home and leave them running until the water is flowing freely there as well.
Following your confirmation that all of the air has been sucked out of the water pipes and the water heater, you can restart the water heater and begin heating the water once more.
If your water heater is powered by natural gas or propane, simply turn the thermostat back up to the appropriate temperature setting once more.
This material is intended to be general in nature and may not be applicable to all applications.
When in doubt about your ability to accomplish one of these tasks or when you have more concerns about the material offered, seek the advice of a qualified expert immediately. Always double-check local code rules and the appropriate authorities before starting a project of any kind.