How to Flush a Water Heater

Did you know that your water heater builds up sedimentary deposits over time? It's true, and it's potentially dangerous. People who fail to flush their water heaters run the risk of permanently damaging them. In extreme situations, they're prone to explode. That's why it's imperative to learn how to clean your system. Here's a guide on how to flush a water heater.

Why You Should Do It

You can tell when your appliance has built up sediment deposits. It'll grow louder due to the water sloshing around these chips. You'll hear a loud rattling sound that signifies your water heater needs flushing. The other warning sign is that your water takes longer to heat. The sediments soak up the hot water, reducing the core temperature of a device designed to dispense warmth. That also adds to the cost of your utility bill. Performing the flush also extends the life of your water heater.

Before You Begin

You must take care of a few items before performing the actual flushing of the water heater. You'll need to buy some parts first. A new drain valve is the key to removing the dangerous sediments. You should find them in home improvement stores. You'll attach the valve to garden hose to perform the task.

Also, you'll want to take care of two common sense tasks. You'll need to shut out the electricity to your water heater to avoid electrocution. You'll also turn off the incoming water supply while your water heater is inactive. Otherwise, you'll have a mess and potential water damage to your floor. Finally, let your water heater rest long enough for it to cool. This is not a task to attempt while the heater is hot to the touch.

Flushing the Water Heater

The first step is to attach your water hose to the new drain valve. Then, you should turn on all the faucets and spigots in your home. The goal is to drain all the hot water out of the unit before performing the flush.

Now that the tank is empty, the goal is to get rid of all the sediment build-up in your appliance. You want to turn the water valve to begin the flushing process. Be gentle with it since the valve is easy to break. The water heater must drain completely before you can go ahead. Note that the flush could take some time. That's because the build-up slows the draining.

As the flush is completed, you should use a bucket to capture the last of the water. See if it still contains some sediment. If so, you'll want to repeat the process. The other way to test this is to add water back into your unit. Then, drain some of it into the bucket. If it's clear, you're done. If it's not, you still have an unclean water heater. In that case, flush it again.

Regular flushing helps maintain your water heater and makes an important difference in your utility bills and the safety of your home. Follow the steps above to remove the sediment that's causing problems with the proper operation of your water heater.