A water heater can be one of the most-used appliances in your home, as it gets used every single day all year round. That is why you want to make sure it is running efficiently while also extending its life as long as possible. You do not want to neglect simple maintenance that can lead to needing to replace a water heater sooner rather than later, which is why you must understand what flushing a water heater does. It's easy to do, and will help your hot water heater last a long time.

Why It Is Important

When water comes into your home, either from a well or a municipal water source, it can contain material like sand. This will collect in your water heater over time and eventually settle on the very bottom of the tank. The sediment has the potential to block drain valves in the tank, contaminate the hot water, and increase the amount of energy needed to heat the water properly. The magnesium and iron in the sediment can cause the metal water taps in your home to rust, which could lead to unexpected repair costs.

How To Flush An Electric Hot Water Tank

Electric water heaters will need to have all electrical power going to the heater shut off at the main breaker box prior to draining the tank. It is the best way to ensure the water heater will not accidentally be turned on when the tank is emptied, which helps protect the tank's heating elements.

Once the power has been disconnected, turn off the cold water supply going into the tank. Then attach a garden hose to the water release valve on the water tank, and run it to a nearby drain. The sediment and all of the water will come out of the tank when doing so.

Hot To Flush A Gas Hot Water Tank           

When draining a gas hot water heater, you do not need to turn off the gas completely. All you need to do is turn the gas down to its lowest possible setting. Then you can turn the water off, connect a hose, and drain the water out. This will avoid having to figure out how to re-light the pilot light on the water heater.

No matter what kind of tank you are draining, the hose may become clogged with sediment when draining the tank. If that happens, simply open the cold water valve to let more water flow through. The added water pressure might be all you need to push the sediment out.

If you do not feel confident that you can drain your hot water tank on your own, you can always contact a professional like Smedley & Associates, Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning to do it for you. 

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