How To Flush Your Hot Water Heater

Posted on: 29 March 2017

Every once in a while, your hot water heater needs to be flushed. Flushing your hot water heater allows the minerals that are deposited in your tank to be removed. These mineral deposits can damage your hot water heater, as well as your pipes and faucets, and can even cause your water to smell a little off. Here is what you need to do to flush your hot water heater and remove these mineral deposits from your tank.

#1 Turn Off The Power

The first thing that you need to do is turn off the power to your unit. If it is an electric heater, then turn off the power source to your water heater. If you have a gas water heater, turn off the gas supply valve to your water heater. Your water heater should not be on while you are flushing the minerals out of it.

#2 Turn Off The Water

The second thing you need to do is turn off the water supply to your hot water heater. You don't want new water to flow into your tank while you are cleaning it. There should be a cold water inlet valve located at the top of your water heater that you can turn off. If you can't find this valve, you can also turn off the master water supply to your home.

#3 Connect A Hose

You are going to take a garden hose and attach it to the drain valve, which should be located on the bottom of your water heater and look like a normal garden hose hook-up that you can open and close. Direct the hose outside or into a bucket.

#4 Drain The Water

Now it is time to set-up to drain the water. You are going to want to have a place for the water from your water heater to go to, be it outdoors or into a big bucket. If you are running the water into a bucket, make sure you have enough buckets on hand to handle the entire capacity of your water heater.

Turn on the valve to let the water out. You don't have to turn it all the way up; you can just turn it on a little bit to make sure that you can control the flow of water. Remember that you are removing water from a hot water heater, so it may be very hot, even scalding

#5 Let In Air

Now you need to let air into your hot water heater. You can do this by simply turning on a hot water faucet in your house. This will let air into the system. You can also open up the pressure release valve that is located on your hot water heater itself to let air into the system.

#6 Wrap Everything Up

Now it is time to wrap everything up. Close the water release drain valve, turn the water supply back on, and turn the power back on. Allow some time for the water heater to refill itself before you try to use it again. This process should help protect your hot water heater and reduce wear and tear on your water heater and plumbing system. 

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Knowing When It’s Time to Call the Plumber

My name is Jason Lawrence, or around my house I’m sometimes known as “Daddy Fix-It.” My wife Sarah and I have four children all under the age of ten. I didn’t start out as a guy who was handy around the house, but I am learning to become a do-it-yourselfer for sure. Did I mention that I’m a bit stubborn? There are times I struggle with projects a little too long, and it takes my wife stepping in to convince me that it’s time to call a professional. I’ve become especially handy with plumbing projects. I don’t know why kids think toys belong in the toilet and doll hair is good for the bathtub drain, but around here those are weekly events. I’m going to share some of my experiences, how I fixed some of our plumbing problems, and when it becomes time to call the plumber.

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