How to Flush Your Water Heater

Flush For Longer Water Heater Life

Is your water heater making knocking noises? Have you noticed colder water or higher gas or electric bills?

Your water heater may need to be flushed. This is something that should be done once a year. If you haven’t ever done this, drop what you’re doing now and read the rest of this article.

Water Heaters Collect Sediment

As water comes into your water heater unit, it carries minerals with it. These minerals settle to the bottom of your water heater tank. After time, they build up enough that they start to prevent the efficient heating of the water in the tank. This causes increased water heating bills and can result in knocking noises that will irritate you and probably scare your children.

Flush The Sediment From Your Water Heater

As a part of the routine maintenance of your home plumbing system, you should flush your water heater once a year. To do this safely and cleanly, follow the steps below. If it sounds like too much of a task for you, call a certified plumber to do it for you. It’s a relatively cheap service and will increase the life of your water heater unit.

How to Flush Your Water Heater

  1. Grab some heavy duty gloves. Your water heater is HOT!
  2. For gas water heaters, turn the setting to “Pilot.” For electric water heaters, turn the water heater off at the circuit breaker.
  3. Turn off the cold water intake valve on the water heater.
  4. Allow the water heater 30 minutes to cool down. This water is typically warmed to 140 degrees Fahrenheit so don’t rush it.
  5. Now, connect a garden hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of your water heater.
  6. Place the other end of the hose somewhere that water and sediment can drain and that is downhill or level with your water heater’s drain valve.
  7. Open a hot water faucet somewhere in your house to prevent a vacuum in your pipes.
  8. Turn the tab on the drain valve to the left.
  9. Remove the tab on the pressure relief valve.Water Heater Drain Valve
  10. Let the water and sediment drain out of your water heater.
  11. Now turn the cold water intake valve back on to flush any remaining sediment out of your water heater.
  12. Once the water is running clear, turn off the cold water intake valve.
  13. Disconnect the garden hose and replace the tab on the pressure relief valve and close the drain valve.
  14. Turn your cold water intake back on to let the water heater tank fill.
  15. Return your heat setting to your desired setting.

You’re Done!

Perform this procedure once a year to get the longest life out of your water heater.