Flushing Your Hot Water Heater In Six Steps

Everyone has a spring cleaning to-do list of items that need to be done every spring in order to keep your home looking great and functioning at the highest level possible. One thing that needs to be added to your list is flushing your hot water heater. While this is a relatively easy task, it is one that needs to be done every 1-3 years depending on the age of your tank. Here are the steps you should follow when flushing your hot water heater.

Turn Off Gas/Electricity 

If your unit is a gas water heater, turn the gas off prior to flushing the tank. For electric water heaters, you will need to make sure the electricity is turned off by locating and flipping the switch in the breaker box. Usually located at the bottom of the gas run tank is a knob that has the temperature of the water heater. Make sure this is in the “off” position before moving forward with the process.

Turn Cold Water Supply Off

There will be a knob with cold water supply to the tank that also needs to be turned to the off position. This is how the tank is filled with water, but while flushing your hot water heater, you do not want it to fill up. Once it is off, you can move to the next step.

Empty the Tank

To empty the hot water heater tank completely, turn on a faucet or bathtub inside your house with the hot water running. Allow the water to continue running until it is no longer hot.

Connect a Hose and Drain

You will need to connect a hose to your water heater spigot and run the other end of the house outside of your garage or into a bucket to finish the draining process on the tank. Allow the water to run out until it is clear and no longer full of sediment. Depending on the amount of build-up in your tank, you might need to let this continue until the tank is completely empty.

Turn On Cold Water Supply

The next step is to flush out the bottom of your tank to make sure you have removed all of the sediment from inside. To do this, turn on the cold water supply knob and allow it to run until your hose is draining clear water once more.

Finishing Up

When your water is clear again, you can remove the water hose and tighten the spigot, turn off the water inside your home and turn on the cold water supply into the tank. Depending on the type of unit you have, you can turn on the gas line or the electricity once more. It will take about twenty minutes for your water to be ready for use once more once you have completed flushing your hot water heater.

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