Draining and Flushing Your Water Heater

Considering how essential the health of your water heater is to your home, maintaining this vital piece of equipment needs to become part of your yearly routine. Part of that maintenance – Draining and flushing. Flushing your water heater is crucial to maintaining your appliance’s health.

Here’s what to expect and what tools to use when you give it a thorough draining and inspection this season.

Is Flushing My Water Heater Necessary?

While draining and flushing your system might seem like quite the chore, we recommend never skipping such maintenance. Otherwise, it can lower the lifespan of your heater. In addition, it is advisable to flush your water heater regularly to prevent mineral buildup. If you do not flush your water heater, the minerals can accumulate on the heating element and interfere with its efficiency and lifespan. In extreme situations, it can even cause your water heater to fail.

When Do I Flush?

General recommendations dictate that your household flush and drain the systems once a year to assist in descaling the tank. However, if you live in an area with poorer water quality, are using hard water, or provide a water supply to your home with a well, we recommend draining the system every six months.

Draining Your Tank

Firstly, turn off the cold water supply. This is usually found where the main water supply line enters your home. Afterward, turn off the water heater’s thermostat. This prevents the appliance from turning on and trying to heat water as you work on it. For gas-powered appliances, close the gas supply before moving on.

You will need to open the drain valve to drain the water from your tank without flooding your home. This valve is likely located near the bottom of your water heater’s tank. Then, connect a hose to this valve and use it to drain the water supply into whatever reservoir (Or the outdoors) you choose. As an added tip, turning on the hot water faucets can help drain the tank a little quicker.

Clean Your Water Heater

After the sediment has been completely drained from your water heater, rinse the tank to remove any sediment remaining. Run water through the tank whilst cleaning until it runs clear. Then, turn off the water supply. Be sure to clean the drain valve since you’ve just loosened up oodles of sediment.

Be sure to leave the faucets open during this process as well; otherwise, air could end up trapped within your lines, or sediment to clog them while you’re cleaning. Causing one problem while solving another would be quite the inconvenience.

From there, once the tank is cleaned and your lines are clear, reset the water tank and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You’ve successfully managed to do some essential home maintenance and likely extended the lifespan of your water heater just a little longer. If you need further help, feel free to contact us at Conyers Plumbing.