A standard tank water heater uses more water than you probably realize. Every time you use hot water in your home, the tank turns on to replace what you’ve used. Depending on how much water you use and how frequently, it becomes easy for sediment to accumulate in the tank. This can lead to premature failure of the hot water heater tank. If you’re wondering how often you should flush your hot water heater, the answer is about once per year to avoid risks. Read on to learn how and why.
Here’s how to flush your water heater
Water heaters come in two types: gas and electric. The biggest differences between the two is whether you’re turning off the electricity or the gas that powers the appliance. A gas hot water heater has the thermostat near the bottom of the tank. For electric models, you want to locate the home’s breaker box and switch off the power to the water heater. With both, you want to make certain the power is off before you begin the flushing process.
A standard tank water heater contains about 30 to 80 gallons. It’s recommended to do annual flushing to extend the life of the tank. Here’s how to do it:
- Find the hot water heater and turn it off
- Inspect the outside of it, looking for any indications of rust on the tank, connections or valves
- Switch off the cold water feed that leads to the heater by setting the valve to OFF
- Use a drain hose that is connected to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank
- Have the hose run to an appropriate spot, such as a floor drain or into a bucket
- Allow the water to flow out until the tank is empty
- Switch the drain valve so it is off
- Turn the valve for the cold water feed back on
- Go around to each fixture in the home—all the sinks and showers—and run the hot water until no air comes out of the fixture
- Switch the water heater’s power back on
- Wait for about 20 minutes for the water to become hot again
- Turn on a faucet somewhere in the house and ensure hot water is coming out
If this all sounds like a lot of work for your weekend, you’ll want to call up the professionals. They’ll be able to address any problems facing your water heater and provide maintenance services that will help you save money in the long run.
We hope this guide on how to flush your water heater is helpful. Orchard Plumbing offers complete and comprehensive services for both residential and commercial plumbing, as well as sewer and drain services. We offer award-winning service and satisfaction is guaranteed! If it leaks, or if it’s broken, we can repair it. If you just want a new one, we will put it in for you and make sure it’s functioning properly. Give us a call today to learn more and get a free estimate!