When it comes to household chores, flushing your water heater may not be on the top of your list. But flushing your water heater regularly will help it to run more efficiently and will help to prolong its life. When a water heater isn’t flushed regularly, it allows for mineral sediment buildup to occur which can lead to rust in your water heater. Here’s how to flush your water heater.
You’ll need to start by turning off your tank’s water supply. Simply turn off the water line that feeds the water into the tank. This prevents any additional water from filling the tank and will also allow the existing water to cool. Depending on whether you have a gas or electric heater, you will then need to turn off the gas supply or switch-off the breaker located on your electrical panel. This will prevent any fire hazards by cutting off the heating element. It’s also a good idea to turn your water heaters thermometer to the “off” position.
You will then need to attach a garden hose onto the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater. Be aware that some models may have a protective cover over the drain valve which you will need to remove. You can either run the hose directly into a drain, a large bucket or even onto your driveway where it can drain safely.
The next step is to open the drain valve and allow the water to drain. The water will be hot so be careful not to burn yourself. You may notice that the water begins to run out slowly towards the end. This can be a sign that there is a sediment build-up that needs to be flushed out of the tank. You can do this by turning on the cold-water inlet that leads into your hot water tank. The cold-water inflow will loosen any sediment and drain it out of the water heater.
It’s a good idea to repeat this process until you’ve managed to flush out all of the sediment. You want to make sure that the water in the tank is clear and not a brownish color. If your water heater is particularly dirty, you may require a long narrow brush to help loosen and remove any remaining sediment. If you’re unsure, call a professional plumbing and electric company to flush out and maintain your water heater. Water heater maintenance is important to prolong the lifespan of your heater.
Once your water heater has been flushed out it’s time to turn off the drain valve and then disconnect the drain hose. Remember to close the pressure relief valve. You can then turn on the cold-water inlet and allow the tank to fill. Once the tank is full, it’s time to open the pressure relief valve to remove any excess air from the tank.
If you have a gas heater, you’ll need to turn the gas supply back on and relight the pilot light. For an electric heater, simply flip the breaker back up on your electrical panel. It’s important to also set the thermostat correctly to set the optimal temperature for your water heater. Finally, give your water heater about 20 minutes to warm up and then turn on a faucet to confirm that hot water is coming out.
Flushing out your water heater can be a daunting task. Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric offers a wide range of water heater maintenance and installation services. Trust the professional’s when it comes to flushing out your water heater.
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