Emergency Services

Clean & Flush: Every Homeowner’s Guide to Water Heaters

If you’re like a lot of people, you might forget to flush your water heater every few months. Maybe you didn’t even know that was something you’re supposed to do! We want to teach you just how easy and important it is to keep your storage tank water heater in good working condition. Here’s what you should know about flushing your water heater!

Why Should I Flush My Water Heater?

Over time, depending on the type of water heater you have and the hardness of your water, sediment can build up in your water heater and become clogged! Obviously this would be a pretty big problem to have if it ever happened to your water heater. When you flush your hot water heater you drain the minerals and sediment that can build up inside of your storage tank. Flushing your water heater every few months can help your water heater last longer and work more efficiently.

water heater in a basement

The instructions are simple when flushing a storage tank water heater! We’ll tell you how to take care of it now and in the future!

1. Turn your hot water heater’s thermostat off.

Don’t just turn your water heater to pilot but be extra cautious turn it all the way to “off”. The thermostat on a gas water heater is typically located towards the bottom of the tank.

If you own an electric hot water heater then you’ll have to turn off the switch to your water heater in the breaker box.

2. Turn off the gas or electrical power to the water heater.

If you have a gas water heater, make sure that you turn the gas valve to “off” from the gas pipe leading to the heater.

3. Turn off the cold water supply to the hot water heater.

The next step is to turn off the cold water valve. This is usually located near the top of your water heater.

4. Turn on the hot water faucets in a sink or tub.

hot water coming from a faucet
This is an important step! You’ll want to leave hot water running somewhere in your home to help prevent creating a vacuum during the process. If you have a floor above you, it’s best to turn on the faucet there.

5. Open the pressure relief valve.

To help with water flow, it’s best to open the pressure relief valve. Make sure that you have a bucket to catch the water that comes from the drainage pipe. It will rush out but be careful because it’s probably very hot! After this step, make sure that you let your water tank cool down.

6. Get a garden hose and connect it to the drainage spigot.

Get a garden hose and attach it to the drainage spigot with the other side of the hose leading outside or in a bucket.

7. Turn spigot on and let it drain until the water is clear.

Make sure that when you turn on the spigot and drain the water that it no longer has sediment. A bucket will come in handy to see the color of the water and the amount of sediment being deposited in one location.

8. Flush your hot water tank

To finish the rest of the job, turn on the cold water spigot you turned off earlier. Let it run until the water coming out is clear.

9. Put everything back to where it was originally.

Now that you’ve successfully flushed your water heater, it’s time to put back everything where you found it!

  • Turn off the drainage spigot and take off the hose.
  • Close the pressure relief valve.
  • Turn off the water you had running from a faucet.
  • Turn on the cold water spigot.
  • After filling your water tank, let out any excess air from the pressure relief valve.
  • Turn on a faucet in your home with hot water again to remove any air left in the system. It will still most likely be cold since your hot water heater wouldn’t have heated up the water yet.
  • Turn the gas valve back on.
  • Turn your hot water heater on by flipping the breaker switch or lighting the pilot light.
  • Check a faucet again later to make sure the water is being heated again.

Now you know how to clean your water heater! Don’t forget to do it again in the next few months depending on the hardness of your water and the type of water heater you own.

man fixing a hot water heater with tools

Call the Experts If You Need Help!

If you need help installing or repairing all types of water heaters, then we’ve got you covered. Doesn’t matter if you need a brand new one installed or just help to flush it, we can help you! Give us a call and we’ll give you the friendly help and service you need!


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