Why Should I Flush My Water Heater (And How Often Should I Do This)?

Flushing your water heater is important in extending your heater’s lifespan and making sure it works properly. How many times should you flush your water heater over a certain time period?

The water heater is one of the most useful yet often forgotten appliances in a household. Since it’s normally situated out of sight, people forget that it exists and they just take the hot water that comes from the system as a natural phenomenon. Only when something goes wrong with the hot water are homeowners reminded that they have a heater that they need to check on.

Without proper maintenance, your water heater will start to malfunction and be less optimized in doing its job. A good indicator that your heater is starting to lose efficiency is when your water bill increases since the heater will need more water pressure to heat your system. To ensure that your water heater doesn’t break down anytime soon, it’s a good idea to perform maintenance every six months.

How Does Water Heater Maintenance Work?

Water heaters are maintained through two essential tasks: draining and flushing. The difference between the two lies in the state of your water source. If your water supply is turned off, you are draining the water heater. If your water supply is on, you will be flushing the water out.

When you drain your water tank, your main objective is to empty it completely. Flushing, on the other hand, replaces the water in the tank, washing away sediment buildup for better functionality.

Draining and flushing can be done at least once a year, but professionals recommend regular draining to remove dirty water stock and flushing every six months.

How Do You Drain the Tank?

Homeowners usually flush first before draining their water heater tanks. Licensed plumbers will suggest that you do the opposite for better heater care. Shut off your water supply first, then slowly drain the water away from your heater tank. Attempting to drain the tank while your water is still running can cause the heating elements in your heater to burn out.

After draining the tank, let the water heater cool off for a bit, preferably overnight. Once that’s done, connect a hose with the drain’s valve and turn the wheel until the valve starts to open up. Turn the faucet on as you wait for the dirty water to be flushed out from the house’s system. This will help cool down the water’s temperature while also speeding up the draining process by removing a portion of the water.

How Do You Flush Out the Heater?

After successfully draining your tank, you can now start flushing it out. First, turn your water supply back on so that the dirty water in the tank gets flushed out together with sedimentary buildup and other dirt particles that may have made its way into the tank. Clean water will refill the tank, and it is important to carefully check the tank for leftover dirt and sediment. Sediment usually sticks to the bottom of the water heater, so keep an eye out for that part. It might take three to four tries before the water is perfectly clean.

If you’re already satisfied with the water’s quality, close the valve and remove the hose that you connected to the drain valve earlier. After you turn the water back on, the tank will refill by itself. Turn off the faucet that you used earlier to cool down the drained water, and you are officially done applying maintenance on your water heater.

A Final Word on Flushing Your Water Heater

Maintaining your water heater system can be a little time-consuming, but it isn’t that challenging. You should be able to spare a few hours to ensure your heater stays working properly and maximizes its lifespan. However, the best way to protect your water heater is still to have it serviced by a professional plumbing business.

Patrick’s Hot Water can provide outstanding care for your water heater through full inspections that can find potential causes of damage such as rust, leaks, and faulty components. They can also handle repairs, installation services, and other concerns with your water system while offering affordable rates for quality services.

(Source: Direct Energy)