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DIY: Flushing Out Your Water Heater

Flushing out your water heater is one chore that people don’t often think about, but it is important. When you flush out your water heater you are getting rid of all the build-up and mineral deposits that could be keeping your heater from running smoothly. Here is a simple guide to getting your water heater running efficiently again:

How to Flush Your Hot Water

There is one more thing to consider when it comes to water heaters: whether yours uses gas or electricity. Neither version is more difficult than the other, but the steps are slightly different.

1. Turn off your water heater

  • Gas: Turn the knob on your water heater to off.
  • Electric: Turn off the switch in your breaker box that supplies power to your water heater.

2. For gas users, the next step is to turn off the gas that supplies the tank. Find the pipe that is connected to your pilot and turn the valve to the OFF position.

3. Also for gas users, turn off the cold water supply to your heater. The valve can usually be found near the top of your tank, all you have to do is turn it off.

4. Turn on hot water for a sink or a bathtub in your home. You are going to leave them on through the whole process.

5. Open the water pressure relief valve. It should be located on the side of the tank near the top, with a long pipe coming downward. Make sure to grab a bucket and place it beneath the drainage pipe on your pressure relief valve because water will be rushing out. You should be careful: the water that will come out will most likely be very hot.

  • If water does not come out once you’ve released the valve, this means you have a faulty pressure relief valve that needs to be replaced.

6. Connect a garden hose to the drainage spigot, and start draining. Just make sure your hose leads outside or into a bucket to keep things clean. Then to flush the tank, just turn on the cold water valve that leads to your tank, and let the water run until it becomes clear and free of sediment.

Finishing Up

Once you have finished flushing the tank, turn to the tank drain valve and disconnect the hose. After the hose is disconnected and the valve is tightened, fill up the tank using the cold water valve.

When your tank is full, turn on the heater:

  • Gas: Turn the knob to the desired temperature and light the pilot.
  • Electric: Go back to your breaker box and turn on the circuit that supplies power to your water heater.

Wait about 20 minutes after the heater is turned on, and give your hot water a test.

Congratulations, you made it all the way to the end. Hopefully, if you’re reading this, you have successfully flushed out your water heater. Now that you know what to do, schedule another flush in about a year. If you have any questions about the process, simply contact us through our website or give us a call at (615) 645-2322

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