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How to Safely and Effectively Flush Your Water Heater

April 1, 2021
by dmirza
Flushing Your Water Heater

Flushing your water heater annually prolongs its lifespan and maximizes the unit’s energy efficiency.


A running household relies on a functional and efficient water heater. With time, sediments line the base of your water heater tank. Although these particles do not discharge from your faucet or showerheads, they hamper your heater’s performance.

And why is it important?

Once mineral deposits settle in your tank, they create an insulating layer between the water and the heating element. The harder your heater works to produce hot water, your electricity bill will soar as energy consumption rises.

Why Should You be Flushing Your Water Heater?

When the mineral content in your local water supply is high, you should flush your heater every six months. Periodically flushing out your water heater is important because this process:

  • Eliminates minerals, dirt, and other built-up sediments
  • Improves your heater’s efficiency
  • Postpones replacing heater units
  • Prevents clogging of drain valves
  • Safeguards your water heater from developing rust and leakages

If you notice your faucet or showerhead taking longer to discharge hot water, flushing your water heater will help. Similarly, a drop in water pressure or a significant increase in utility bills all point towards a dirty tank.

Process Of Correctly Flushing Your Water Heater

Are you still debating over should I flush my water heater or not? In such cases, it is refreshing to know that the process is simple to execute. For your reference, enumerating below the correct way of going about this routine maintenance task:

Turn Off the Water and Heat Supply

By closing the valve that feeds water to your tank, you are preventing more water from entering. Moreover, the water in your tank gets a chance to cool down.

If you have a gas heater, switch off the gas supply and for an electric heater disconnect the power supply. Before flushing your water heater, it is also advisable to turn your water heater’s thermometer to off mode.

Drain the Water

Some water heater models have a protective cover for their drain valve located at the bottom. If that applies to you, remove the protective covering before attaching a garden hose to the valve. Position the hose such that it drains the water into a drum or your driveway.

Open your Drain Valve

Open the drain valve so the water empties safely. The water may exit slowly nearing the end because of the sediments on the base of the tank. If this happens, turning on the cold water inlet leading into your tank helps loosen the sediment coating.

Repeat the process of flushing your water heater till the water exiting is clear and not a dirty brown. Restore the supply of water and heat to your unit once you complete the flushing process.

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