How Do I Drain or Flush My Water Heater?

How Do I Drain or Flush My Water Heater?

It’s in your best interest to drain or flush your water heater every so often – about once every two years or so – to make sure that it’s working at maximum efficiency and pumping out all the hot water you could ever need. Mineral deposits will build up at your water heater tank’s base, and can develop into a thick and crusty coating. This coating prevent the burner from efficiently heating up the water in the tank, and will eventually corrode the base and cause much more expensive issues. Over time, these posits may break free and clog up your pipes, faucets, and even the valve used to empty or flush your water heater tank. The easiest way to make sure this job is done perfectly is to call in the professionals, but if you feel up to the task you can do it all by yourself with these simple steps.

  1. Shut off the power to your water heater. Depending on the type of water heater you have installed in your home, you will either need to shut off the electrical power of turn off the gas valve.
  2. Shut off the water inlet valve. This will cut off the water supply to the water heater tank.
  3. Connect a hose to the tank’s drain valve. The drain valve is located at the bottom of your water heater. You can either run the hose to a large bucket our outside, just make sure that the end of the hose is lower than the level of the drain valve. Don’t forget, the water that drains out will be incredibly hot. In order to protect yourself from getting scalded, you may want to allow the water to cool before proceeding any farther.
  4. Drain the water heater. You can either open the pressure-release valve on your water heater or open a hot water faucet in your home to let air into the system to allow the water heater to drain through the hose.
  5. Open the drain valve. If you just want to flush the sediment out of the tank, let about three or four gallons of water run out until the water draining out runs clear.
  6. Close the drain valve. Once it’s closed, turn the water supply back on and allow the tank to fill up before finally turning the electricity or gas valve on. Depending on your water heater, you may need to relight the electronic ignition or pilot.

What Happens If It Won’t Drain?

If you only see a little dribble of water coming out of the drain valve, or if you don’t see any at all, you may be dealing with a defective valve, but more often than not it means that you have a clog. Most of the time these clogs are caused by a chunk of debris that broke off from the base of your tank. Luckily, most blockages can be easily fixed by yourself. Complete the first three steps listed above, but before you get to step four, repeatedly step on the hose a few feet away from where it’s connected to your hot water tank. This will shoot air bubbles and water back up through the hose and into your hank, hopefully dislodging any clogs. If this doesn’t work, it may be time to call in a professional to give you some help.

Contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain Today

For all your water heater and plumbing needs, contact bluefrog Plumbing + Drain today. Our plumbers are ready to help both commercial and residential clients, and can provide you with professional assistance any time of the day, any day of the year. Give us a call at 888-794-0341 to schedule your free in-home evaluation and get a free price quote, or find your closest bluefrog Plumbing + Drain location by typing your city, state or zip code into the search bar on our map.

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