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DIY: Flushing Out Your Water Heater

The Plumbing Authority Heating & Cooling

Maintaining your home’s appliances, especially the major ones, is the best way to extend the lifetimes on them. For starters, performing regular maintenance will eliminate the need for more frequent repairs, but it will also alert you to any potential problems.

One thing you should always keep in mind with your water heater is the accumulation of sediment. For most homes, the water flowing through the pipes is hard water, which means it’s filled with minerals such as magnesium and calcium.

These minerals are heavier than the water, so over time they collect and sink to the bottom of your water heater tank. Eventually, this sediment can form a barrier between the water and the heating element in the tank making it harder to heat water, and it can cause rust to develop inside of the tank and lead to early corrosion. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to avoid this premature failure of your water heater. All you have to do is flush it out at least once a year, and it’s easy enough to do on your own.

How To Flush Out Your Water Heater

Step 1

Turn the water heater off. If you have a gas water heater, you’ll need to switch it to the pilot setting, if you have an electric water heater then you’ll need to flip the power switch. This will shut off the heating element of your water heater so that you aren’t dealing with scalding hot water.

Step 2

Shut the cold water valve off. This will make sure that no water flows into the tank so that you can completely drain it and remove the sediment.

Step 3

Let the water cool which could take up to two hours depending on the size of your water heater tank.

Step 4

Attach a hose to the drain valve on the side of your water heater tank and place the end into a bucket or another drain. Make sure neither will overflow, or you could have a major leak on your hands.

Step 5

Open a few hot water faucets in your home. This will prevent a vacuum from forming, which will allow the tank to drain freely.

Step 6

Once you know that the water has a place to go once it’s left the tank, then you are ready to begin the draining process! Open the drain valve on your tank slowly and wait for it to empty.

Step 7

The final step is when you actually get to clear the sediment out. Now that all of the water has drained, you can remove the sediment from the base of the tank.

Now reverse all of the previous steps you took to shut the water heater down, and you should be good to go!

If you encounter any complications while draining your water heater and clearing it of sediment, call the professionals at The Plumbing Authority. We’ve been in this industry for a long time and know how to navigate all of the obstacles that you may encounter. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you!

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