How And Why To Flush Your Hot Water Heater

by Grace Motley

Your home water heater is one of those appliances you rely on each and every day, so making sure that its efficiency and longevity are maintained is of utmost importance. Replacing an old water heater can prove costly, so caring for your existing one can go a long way in saving you money and guaranteeing the quality and constant availability of hot water in your home. There are several inexpensive ways you can ensure you always get the most out of your water heater, one of which is flushing it at least once annually.

Why flushing your unit is important

Water usually contains solid materials such as sand and grit that end up settling at the bottom of the heater. Such sediments can then block the drain valve at the bottom of your water tank, contaminate your hot water supply and even increase the energy used by your unit significantly. In addition, iron and magnesium sediments can cause your hot water taps to rust, necessitating costly replacements. Calcium deposits at the bottom of your water heater tank can also clog up the valves and taps, causing them to malfunction. Flushing your water heater annually is necessary to eliminate any accumulated sediments and improve the efficiency of your unit.

Flushing an electric water heater

Before draining water from your electric hot water heater, you should ensure that you deactivate it by shutting off the circuit breaker on the unit or removing its fuse in your electrical panel. This will ensure that the heating elements will not get turned on while the water tank is empty, protecting them from burning out. Turn off the water supply to your heater and then open the water drain and pressure release valve to allow all the dirty water and sediments from the bottom of the tank to come out.

Flushing a gas water heater.

Begin by turning the gas dial on your gas powered unit to the lowest setting and then turn off the cold water supply valve. Before beginning the flushing process, attach a hose to the drain tap and place a bucket beneath it to capture the water and sediments that come out. You should then open the drain valve which is usually located at the bottom of the tank to let all the water in the tank out. Should the drain valve get clogged during the process, you can reopen the cold water supply on the unit to allow water pressure to remove the clog.

If you need heating installation, you can call a professional. Until then, flush your water heater yearly to keep it running free of malfunctions.