Water heaters don’t usually need much in the way of regular attention; however, one important maintenance task that you should perform is an annual water heater flush. When you flush your water hearer, you can help to ensure that it’s working as it should.
Your water heater is quite likely the most used appliance in your home, but it is also probably the most neglected.
Below is more information on why you need a water heater flush, and how you can safely flush your water heater.
Why do you need to flush your water heater?
As water is heated, minerals precipitate out of the water and settle on the bottom of the tank as solid particles.
These particles disrupt the heating cycle by insulating the tank and preventing the water from being heated.
Instead, heat may be diverted to the metal tank itself, which can damage the tank and shorten the lifespan of the water heater.
That’s why you need to flush your water heater, to remove the sediment.
Flushing removes almost all of the sediment from the water heater tank before it has a chance to accumulate and do damage.
How to flush your water heater
Fortunately, you can flush your water heater easily, and this is a task most homeowners can perform themselves.
However, one of the most important aspects of the job is to work with safety in mind.
Remember, failing to do so could cause you or your family scalding burns or other serious injuries.
Here’s what to do.
1. Locate the Water Heater Drain Fitting
Before you begin flushing the hot water heater, locate the water heater drain fitting and attach a standard garden hose to the threaded connection.
2. Find a safe place to drain it
Uncoil the hose and carry the open end of the hose to a safe location for draining. Such locations include a storm sewer drain, driveway, large bucket, or trash container.
3. Open the Valve
Slowly open the valve on the water heater drain fitting, and water will begin to flow from the water heater.
Since cold water is still entering the tank from the top, water should exit through the drain fitting at a fairly quick velocity.
4. Check for sediment
Monitor the running stream of water for signs of sediment.
As the water continues to flow, the amount of sediment will gradually decrease.
5. Wait for the sediment to disappear
Continue flushing the water heater until you no longer see sediment in the stream.
At this point, shut off the drain valve and disconnect the garden hose from the tank.
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