How to Flush a Water Heater
Time a couple 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
- You may now hook your vacuum to 3/4-inch tubing, which is convenient. To connect 1/2-inch I.D. vinyl tubing, use the barbed fitting (C).
- 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
- Open a hot water faucet on an upper floor, as well as the water heater drain valve, if applicable. Keep allowing the tank to empty until silt jams the valve and decreases the flow rate. Closing the hot water faucet and the water heater drain valve on the second floor will conserve energy. Remove the temperature-pressure release valve and replace it with the vacuum adapter
- Then repeat the procedure. Then, connect the shop vacuum hose to the vacuum and start it.
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
- The silt will jam the drain valve as soon as it is opened, making it impossible to completely close the valve once the water has been emptied. A sediment buildup and a water heater that leaks are the results. Using an outdated drain will not only cause clogs, but it will also prevent you from sucking any dirt or debris through the narrow aperture. Because of this, you’ll need to create a new drain valve.
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 full-port valve will flush out the majority of the silt, which is a good thing to know. If there’s any remaining water, open the cold water valve at the top of the tank and blow it down the drain in quick bursts.
- 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.
Opening faucets around your house might help to prevent a vacuum from accumulating within your plumbing system and pipes. Turn on the “hot” setting on your faucets and let them to run for a few minutes. You won’t notice a lot of water pouring out of them since you’ve switched off the cold water valve to your water heater, which means that no warm water is being displaced by the cold water.
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?
You are almost through with your water heater cleanup once you have thoroughly emptied it and removed all of the debris. In order to refill your tank, close the drain valve and disconnect the line from the tank. Reconnect the cold water valve and re-engage the heating components by turning the knobs on the thermostat control panel. Double-check to see that your faucets are still turned on, and then turn them off after the water flow has returned to normal. In order to test for hot water, you will need to wait around 30 minutes.
- More information about water heaters, as well as the reasons why yours may not be working properly, can be found here.
- Water heaters (up to 70 gallons) are covered under Landmark Home Warranty plans if they break as a result of normal wear.
- It is possible that if your water heater stops working and you have a Landmark Home Warranty protection plan, you will be able to have it fixed or replaced for only the cost of a service call charge, if the problem is covered by the conditions of your agreement.
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. There may also be instructions for pilot lighting printed on a label attached to the tank.
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
The silt and accumulation that naturally occurs in water heaters accumulates over time as a result of their frequent use. Sediment can accumulate in the heater and clump together, resulting in decreased performance or damage to the device, depending on the situation. When it comes to water heaters in Phoenix, where the water is extremely sediment-rich, this is a particularly typical problem. In addition to preventing excessive sediment building, flushing out your heater will guarantee that you are able to use the unit more efficiently and with less concern about failure.
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.
Make certain that the hose’s end is placed in some form of pail or containment area to prevent it from spilling everywhere.
Water Heater Flush for Sediment: Drain the Tank
It is at this point that you may begin draining the unit by turning the faucet to which the hose has been connected. It is possible to see the circumstances that your heater may be encountering when the water drains out of the tank during this period of time. If the water is largely clear and typical in appearance, it is likely that your water heater is in good working order. Water that is deeper in color and that contains silt, on the other hand, might be a much greater problem. The inside of the tank might be in far worse shape than you can remedy with a simple water heater flush for sediment if you are emptying the tank and a large amount of solid material is coming out of the tank.
This is the point at which you will most likely want to consult with a professional to evaluate the tank for more significant problems and accumulation. 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
Congratulations! All of the necessary stages to cleansing your water heater have now been performed, and all in a reasonably short period of time. You will be better prepared the next time your heater requires a flush now that you are familiar with the procedure. It is worth taking the time to flush your heater in order to guarantee that it operates at peak performance and lasts as long as possible. More articles on ” Choosing an HVAC Company in Maricopa ” and ” Must-See Historical Sites in Scottsdale ” may be found on our website if you enjoy what you’re reading right now.
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 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.
How to Drain, Flush, and Refill Your Gas Water Heater
Although flushing your water heater is a straightforward procedure, there is a substantial danger of damage associated with contact with overly hot water and surfaces. Prior to commencing, please take all required steps to protect yourself and others, or engage or speak with a plumbing specialist. In addition, please keep in mind that these guidelines are for informational purposes only and are supplied only for the benefit of our customers. PlumbingSupply.com® disclaims any and all responsibility for your actions in following these instructions.
- The first step is to turn off the electricity to your water heater at the breaker box if you have an electric water heater.
- Step 2: Allow the water heater to get to room temperature before continuing.
- Alternatively, the heater can be turned off and the water turned on.
- Connection of a garden hose to the drain outlet valve at the bottom of the water heater, but do not release the drain valve at this time.
- Remember that the hose outlet must be kept lower than the water level in the tank to ensure that all of the water is thoroughly discharged from the tank.
- The other end of the hose should be put in an area where hot water will not hurt anything, such as children, pets, plants, or bushes.
- If you want to expedite the procedure, you may also utilize a water heater drain pump.
This is far faster than waiting for the water heater to drain through gravity.
As a result, air will be able to flow back into the water heater, preventing any vacuum within it from preventing water from draining out of the drain.
The water flowing out of the water heater can be allowed to drain into a clean bucket to see how much sediment has been cleaned out.
If you are using a pump, switch it off and seal the drain valve when the water heater has been completely emptied.
This can assist in dislodging any further sediment that may still be present in the bottom of the water heater after the first flush.
If there is still sediment in the drain water, check to see if it is clear or if it needs to be filtered.
If the water still contains sediment, 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 (see step 10) If the water heater is more than five years old, we recommend that you replace the anode rod.
During this time, if you have a gas water heater, you may also wish to inspect the gas vent.
Check to see that the drain is completely closed and that it is not dripping or running.
Shut off the cold water supply valve at the top of the water heater and clear the dirt out of the drain valve using a stiff bristled brush.
It is important to note that if the drain valve is not operating correctly, it may also need to be repaired.
The length of the pipe nipple will be determined by the amount of insulation that is employed between the water heater tank and the aesthetic exterior cover of the building.
Make sure you turn on a couple additional faucets (on the hot side) in the home and leave them running until water is flowing freely there as well.
Step 13: Once you are certain that all of the air has been removed from the water pipes and the water heater, you may restart the heating process.
You may simply crank the thermostat back up to the correct temperature setting if your water heater is powered by gas or propane.
This material is intended to be general in nature and may not be applicable to all circumstances.
When in doubt about your ability to accomplish one of these tasks or when you have more concerns regarding the material offered, seek the advice of a qualified expert. Always double-check local building codes and the appropriate authorities before starting a project.
- Make sure the gas valve on the water heater is in either the “Off” or “Pilot” position. When the valve is in the latter position, the pilot light continues to burn, but when the valve is in the former position, all gas flow is stopped. Allow for approximately two hours of cooling time in the tank. The temperature of the water within the heating device is usually approximately 120 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to preventing harm, allowing for cooling water to be used on plants or lawns while the system is being drained saves time and money. Turn the valve for the cold water supply to the off position, preventing water from getting into the tank. There are some units that feature a handle that can be used as a rapid release, and others that need you to turn the spigot. The label “Cold” is located on the top of the hot water heater to assist you in identifying the proper pipe. Connect a garden hose to the faucet located at the bottom of the tank to collect rainwater. Extend the hose all the way to the exterior
- Drain the hot water heater tank by opening the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank. Allocate enough time for the tank to drain entirely, washing off flakes of mineral deposits and cooled water along with it. Turn on a hot water faucet close to your water heater to help create some back pressure, which will aid in the draining process. Turn off your cold water faucet and turn on your hot water faucet. Water may now stream into the tank and exit out the drain valve, further cleansing it. Allow for approximately five to ten minutes with both valves open
- Then close the drain valve and unplug the garden hose. While the tank is being refilled, leave the hot water tap open. Due to the release of trapped air through the tap, you may hear sputtering and popping as water displaces trapped air in the tank. Once a constant stream of water is flowing through the faucet, turn it off. Reset the gas valve to the “On” position. It may be essential to relight the pilot light.
How to Flush or Drain a Water Heater
Remove mineral sediment and scale from your water heater tank twice a year by flushing it out. Your water heater will heat more efficiently and last longer as a result of this improvement. This professional advise demonstrates how to flush and drain a water heater through the use of videos, pictures, and easy-to-understand language. What is the significance of flushing or partially emptying a water heater? For the simple reason that it reduces the accumulation of mineral deposits within the water heater.
- A very thick, crusty layer can grow at the base of a gas water heater, and the heating components of an electric water heater can be completely covered by these sediments.
- It eventually results in rusting as well.
- They can also block the valve that is used to flush or drain a water heater tank, causing it to not function properly.
- The hypothesis goes like follows: A small crack in the base may have filled with silt, which can assist prevent leaks, especially in a gas water heater where the flame has been roasting the steel bottom.
- In the event that your water heater has not been cleaned in several years, it would behoove you to consult with a few of plumbers in your neighborhood for their recommendations.
- Flushing or partly draining a water heater at least once a year from the time it was initially installed is the most prudent approach to follow in this situation.
- If you decide not to undertake the repair yourself, you could expect to pay a plumber between $80 and $100.
- Diagrams of Electric and Natural Gas Water Heaters It is necessary to drain a water heater tank in order to replace or repair it, as well as to remove mineral deposits from the tank, through the drain valve located at the bottom of the water heater.
- If you use this valve, keep in mind that the water will be hot until the water has had time to cool before the water is released.
- The water heater’s gas or electricity should be turned off. Close the cold water intake valve and turn it off. Connect a hose to the water heater’s drain valve and route it to the location where the water will be drained
- Open a hot water faucet in a convenient location around the house. Open the water heater drain valve (caution: hot water will be released! )
- Close the valve after flushing 3 to 4 gallons (if emptying, continue until the tank is empty)
The water heater should be turned off with either gas or electricity. Make sure to close the cold water entry valve. To drain the water heater, connect a hose to the drain valve and route it to the location where the water will be drained. Open a hot water faucet in a convenient location throughout the house. Activate the water heater drain valve (with caution, since hot water will be released); Then close the valve (if you’re emptying it, keep going until it’s completely empty).
How to Flush or Drain a Water Heater Tank
Listed below are the procedures to be followed while flushing or emptying a water heater. This video provides a wonderful summary of the subject: To turn off the gas or electrical power to the water heater, depending on whether it is a gas or an electric water heater, follow these steps: The “Pilot” setting on a gas water heater is as simple as turning the gas control to “Pilot.” 2 Turn off the cold water inlet valve, which is responsible for regulating the supply of water into the tank.
- Make certain that this is the incoming cold water valve and not a valve for the outgoing hot water supply (the pipe should be cold).
- The supply to this water heater is controlled by a lever valve.
- 3 Using a hose, connect it to the tank drain valve, which is located in the bottom of the water heater, and direct it to a drain, the outdoors, or a large bucket.
- Fill the tank with water by connecting a hose to the water heater’s drain valve.
- As the water drains, this prevents a vacuum from building in the system.
- To avoid scorching, exercise extreme caution.
- 5Depress the drain valve on the water heater.
Once this is done, close both the drain valve and the PT valve.
In the event that you are totally draining the water heater, leave the drain valve open until the tank is completely empty.
7Refill the water heater with fresh water.
Return the water supply valve to its original position to re-fill the tank.
Then, reopen the hot water faucet to allow any remaining air to escape from the tank and pipes.
Allow the water to clear for a few minutes before turning off the faucet. 8Restart the water heater if necessary. If you have a gas water heater, relight the pilot light, or switch on the electric circuit if you have an electric water heater.
Water Heater Won’t Drain
If your water heater is draining slowly or not at all when you open the drain valve, you should try opening the pressure-relief valve to see if it helps (see the illustration at the top of this page). This has the potential to dislodge the vacuum that is keeping the water from leaving. In most cases, if the water heater won’t drain or drains slowly, the problem is most likely due to an excessive amount of sediment building up in the water heater. The drain valve of a water heater can become clogged with sediment.
First Steps in Breaking a Drain Valve Clog
1Detach the water heater from the mains. Depending on whether the water heater is gas or electric, switch off the gas valve or the circuit breaker that supplies electricity to the water heater. Secondly, connect an outside hose to the drain valve and run it outside, making sure that the hose’s end is below the level of the water heater. Turn on a hot water faucet someplace in the home or open the pressure-relief valve on the water heater to dislodge the vacuum that has built up inside the tank.
If the water flows freely, the valve is functional.
4 In the event you believe that the drain valve has become clogged, you can attempt to shoot water and air bubbles back into the tank by repeatedly walking on the hose a few feet away from the tank.
If it does not, continue reading.
How to Back-Flush a Water Heater
A hose is connected between the drain valve and an outdoor faucet, and water is squirted back into the water heater through the drain valve in order to backflush it. For this project, you’ll need two male threads connected together with a double-female garden hose coupler (which can be purchased online for approximately $8).
How to Flush a Water Heater Video
Take a look at this video, which demonstrates the procedure of cleansing your hot water heater.
Back-Flushing a Water Heater Step-by-Step
1First, perform the steps outlined above for preparation. 2Close the drain valve on the water heater by twisting it in the clockwise direction. 3Connect the male end of the garden hose to an outdoor hose faucet or a washtub faucet by means of the female hose coupler that was previously installed. Hose Coupler with a Double Female EndBosch4 Turn on the faucet to fill the hose with water pressure and fill the hose with water. 5Depress the drain valve on the water heater. A torrent of water should be forced into the water heater, forcing deposits away from the water heater’s valve.
7Remove the hose from the water faucet and attempt cleansing the tank once again with the hose. If the water heater’s drain valve is still not functioning properly, the next step is to either replace the drain valve or to replace the water heater.
How to Replace a Water Heater Drain Valve
As previously discussed, flushing a water heater is an important part of performing basic DIY water heater maintenance. Unfortunately, the drain valve on a water heater can become clogged with mineral deposits to the point where it must be completely replaced. Step-by-step instructions on how to replace it can be found here. Valve for the drain of a water heaterB K Water heater drain valves are available for purchase at most hardware stores and on the internet for about $8 per valve, depending on the model.
Water heaters have a drain valve that is located at the bottom of the tank.
Having a helper use buckets to collect and dump water that is pouring from the water heater while you remove and replace the valve will be the norm in most cases, but it may be necessary in some cases.
Expect to get drenched as a result.
This will take some time.
To accomplish this, turn off the cold-water supply to the water heater and make sure no one comes into contact with any of the hot water fixtures or appliances in the house while the valve is being changed.
After that, turn off the circuit breaker on an electric water heater or the gas valve on a gas water heater to prevent the water from reheating further.
Allow for the water in the water heater to drop down to a safe temperature before using it once more.
Before you begin the task, make sure you have two buckets, a pipe wrench, a screwdriver, and the new valve on hand to make the job easier.
Wear leather-palm gloves and have a helper as well as lots of rags on hand before you begin.
The water will begin to seep as the seal loosens, then spray, and ultimately pour warm (or hot) water!
Remove the valve completely from the system.
Insert a screwdriver into the hole and move it around to break up any deposits that have accumulated.
Disconnect the tank’s water supply with a hose until the water begins to flow clean of sediments.
In addition, if you’ve opened the water heater’s pressure-release valve or any hot water taps, make sure you close those as well.
8 In order to restart an electric water heater, turn the circuit breaker back on, or open the gas valve and ignite the pilot (or use the electronic ignition) in order to restart a gas water heater, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Now is the time to request free quotes from area professionals: 1-866-342-3263