How to Flush a Water Heater

Maintaining a water heater will prevent untimely repairs and extend the life of the appliance. One of the ways that you can maintain your water heater is by flushing the tank once every six months. Sediment buildup inside the heater’s tank not only clogs your water lines, but it can impact the heater’s energy efficiency. Flushing the heater can prevent buildup and protect the appliance.

Ideally, you’ll want to call a licensed plumber to perform this task. However, at Rooter Hero Plumbing, we know that sometimes you may want to save money and take care of this maintenance procedure yourself. Here is a step-by-step guide to flushing your electric or gas water heater.

Step 1

Turn off the gas or electricity running into the appliance. Failure to complete this step can result in injury.

Step 2

Next, turn off the cold water inlet.

Step 3

Connect a hose (a plain garden hose will suffice) to the unit. Make sure the end of the hose where water will drain is placed in an area that is away from your hands or anything else that you do not want scalding water to touch.

Step 4

Open the pressure relief valve and open the drain valve. Let the tank drain completely to remove all the sediment.

Step 5

When all the water has drained, close the drain valve, remove the hose, and then close the pressure relief valve. Make sure to complete in order. DO NOT TURN THE ELECTRICITY OR GAS ON YET.

Step 6

Next, open all hot water spigots in the home (kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, etc.) and turn on the cold water inlet.

Step 7

When water begins to flow through the fixtures, turn them off one by one and then turn the electricity or gas back on only when all the faucets/spigots are closed.

Word of Caution

Although this flushing the water heater seems like a straightforward process, there are things that can go wrong during the process. For example, sometimes air in the line in a gas unit will cause the pilot light not to light, and electric tanks may not turn on if the tank isn’t completely full. If the water heater isn’t hooked back up correctly, water damage can occur. To avoid common problems associated with flushing a water heater, we recommend calling a professional plumber to perform this service for you.

At Rooter Hero Plumbing, we offer preventive maintenance services at affordable prices, so you get the quality service you deserve!