The Importance of Flushing Sediment from Your Water Heater Annually
Your home’s storage-tank water heater requires very little maintenance other than flushing sediment once a year. Taking this relatively simple step will ensure more efficient water heating and will minimize clogs in fixtures caused by sediment in the water. However, if you don’t feel comfortable undertaking this maintenance step, a qualified plumbing professional can do the job for you while also checking other aspects of your water heater.
So, How Do You Do It?
First turn off the water heater, with a switch if it’s electric or by moving the dial to “pilot” mode if it’s a gas-fueled model. Allow the water heater to cool down for a few hours before connecting a hose for drainage. Then, attach a regular garden hose to the water heater faucet connector and run it outside or into a household sewer drain. If your water heater is located below grade, such as in a basement, you’ll need to use two lengths of hose with a portable pump connecting the two lengths. Otherwise, gravity should be sufficient to drain the water.
Open all of the hot water faucets in the house, then open the drain valve for the water heater. After allowing the tank to drain all the way, turn on the supply of tap water into the tank. If sediment impedes the exiting water, help it along by removing the drain valve, creating a bigger opening for drainage. You may need to dislodge some of the material with a screwdriver or other implement.
When the water emerging from the tank starts running clear, turn off the water supply. Close the drain valve, then switch the water supply back on.
Shut off the hot water faucets you opened at the beginning, then turn the water heater back on.
At Sobieski, our goal is to help customers in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania learn more about energy and home comfort issues, so they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.