How To Flush Out Your Water Heater
You depend on your trusty hot water heater to perform when you need it for showers, laundry and household chores. In fact, it is likely one of the most used appliances in your home. What you may not know is that in order to perform at its best, your hot water heater needs a little help from you. A yearly flushing will extend its life, save energy costs, and give you clear, clean water, too.
Why does the hot water tank need to be flushed?
Your hot water heater works hard to keep up with your demands for hot water. That means that it draws in cold water from your water source, heats it and then sends it through your pipes to the shower or sink whenever you turn the faucet on. Cold water entering the hot water tank typically contains a variety of minerals and sediment that settles to the bottom or buildups on the inside of your water tank. Over time, this buildup can interfere with the efficiency of your hot water heater. Sediment, like calcium and lime, can work as an insulator on the bottom of the tank preventing the burner from heating the water effectively. This causes stress on your water heater and raises your energy costs as the water heater needs to work harder and longer to keep the water in your hot water tank at the desired temperature. It also shortens the lifespan of your hot water heater. Experts recommend flushing your hot water tank at least once a year.
How do you flush a hot water tank?
A hot water tank is flushed by emptying the tank completely and then refilling it with cold water. Here's what you need to do:
- Turn off your hot water heater and allow the water to cool overnight.
- Turn off the power source to the hot water heater. Electric hot water tanks can typically be shut off at the fuse or breaker box, while gas hot water heaters should have a thermostat on the side of the heater.
- Turn off the cold water supply.
- Open a hot water faucet in your sink or shower. This will prevent an airlock from forming and preventing the tank from draining.
- Attach your garden hose to the outlet valve at the bottom of the hot water heater.
- Run the hose out a door or window, or into a drain so that the water can be safely funneled away from the home.
- Open the outlet valve on the bottom of the hot water heater and drain the tank.
- Close the outlet valve and turn off the faucets.
- Turn the cold water supply back on and let the water tank fill.
- Turn your hot water tank back on.
Sediment in the hot water tank may clog your hose, making it difficult to flush the tank properly. This calls for more serious work and is best left to a professional. If you encounter excess sediment, or would rather have a professional do the entire job for you, contact Amanda Plumbing Sewer & Drain today. Our professionals are always ready to help and can have your hot water tank sediment-free in a flash.