How to Flush Your Water Heater

One of the best things you can do to extend the life of your storage tank water heater is to flush it periodically. This will help remove any sediment that builds up and can damage your heating elements or prevent your drain valve from working.

Flushing your water heater is not too complicated, but if you’ve never done it before or if you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own, you can always call the Maryland plumbers at R.V. Carey’s!

Flushing Your Water Heater

Step one – turn off the water heater. If you have an electric water heater, this means shutting off the power. For gas water heaters, either turn the gas to the lowest setting or set it to PILOT.

Step two – turn off the cold water supply line, located at the top of the water heater.

Step three – attach your garden hose to the drain valve, located at the bottom of the water heater. Put the other end of the hose into your sump pit or a large bucket.

Step four – open the pressure relief valve on your water heater, then open the drain valve and allow all the water to drain into the bucket or the sump pit. It will probably look grody and brown, which is a good thing—this means the sediment is coming out along with the water. Opening all of the hot water faucets in the house will help speed up the draining process, but expect it to be fairly slow, especially if there is a lot of sediment in the water.

Step five – once the water heater is completely drained, open the cold water supply line and fill the tank up about halfway. Close the supply line and drain the heater again—if the water comes out clear, all the sediment has been flushed. If it’s still murky, repeat this process again.

Step six – close the drain line, disconnect the hose, and close the pressure relief valve. Open the cold water supply line and let the tank fill up all the way.

Step seven – open (or keep open) all of the hot water faucets to let out any air from the pipes. They may gurgle and sputter while this is happening—this is expected and nothing to worry about.

Step eight – turn the water heater back on, either by turning the power back on or relighting the heater at the pilot.

That’s all it takes! You should only need to flush your water heater a few times a year to keep it running smoothly. For more water heater maintenance tips or to schedule water heater maintenance or repairs, call R.V. Carey’s!