How to Flush Your Water Heater
It’s that time of year again; spring cleaning has begun! When we finally begin to tackle the household chores we tend to put off year-round, flushing your hot water heater is easy to overlook. Flushing your hot water heater is an important task. Getting rid of the gunk and mineral deposits that accumulate will not only help your hot water heater run more efficiently but prolong its life as well, which saves you money. Our Oxford plumber has simple step-by-step instructions for you on how to flush out your own water heater!
Hot water heaters come in two varieties: gas and electric. The biggest difference between flushing a gas water heater and an electric water heater is that with gas, you will be turning off the gas to your appliance; with electric, you’ll be turning off the electricity. If you find yourself running into any issues during this process our 24-hour hot water service is here to help!
How to Flush Your Water Heater?
- Turn the knob on your water heater’s thermostat to “Off.” The thermostat on a gas hot water heater is usually found near the bottom of the tank. To turn off an electric hot water heater, you will need to find your home’s breaker box and turn the switch off that gives power to your hot water heater.
- Turn off gas to the water heater. This step is only necessary if you have a gas hot water heater. To turn off the gas find the pipe leading to your thermostat, and turn the valve to the off position.
- Turn off the cold water supply to the hot water heater. The cold water valve is usually near the top of your hot water heater. You will need to switch it to off.
- Turn on the hot water in the sink or the tub. Leave the hot water running in the sink or tub during the entire flushing process. This will help prevent a vacuum from forming in the lines while you’re draining your hot water tank.
- Connect a garden hose to drainage spigot. Before you turn on the spigot, make sure the other end of the hose leads outside into a bucket or container of some sort.
- Turn on the spigot and drain. You should drain your tank until the water runs clear and has no traces of sediment. You may need to drain it completely.
- Flush. To flush your hot water tank, simply turn on the cold water spigot leading into your hot water tank and let it run for a few minutes until the water that is exiting your hose runs clear.
- Turn off the drainage spigot and disconnect the hose.
- Turn off the water in your sink or tub.
- Turn on the cold water spigot leading to your hot water heater.
- When the tank is full, open the pressure relief valve to let off any excess air.
- Turn on the hot water spigot in the sink or tub to get the air out of the system. Cold water should be coming out of the faucet at this point. Turn it off.
- Turn the gas back on that you had shut off.
- If you have an electric hot water heater, flip the breaker switch on your electrical panel that gives power to your hot water heater.
- Wait about 20 minutes for the water to heat up. Turn on a hot water spigot somewhere in your house to ensure hot water is coming out.
You’re done! You have successfully flushed your water heater! If you have any questions, concerns or difficulties then one of our emergency plumbers will be there in a flash to help you! If you’re interested in more plumbing tips or services please give us a call at 770.860.8110.