Part of a good plumbing maintenance program includes flushing your hot water tank occasionally. There are a variety of sediment types that can make its way into your hot water heater. The most common are minerals, gravel, and sand or other grit. The sediment can affect the efficiency of your tank. How often you need to flush the tank is dependent on the quality of the water in your area. If you turn on the hot water and the water is discolored or you see sediment, it’s definitely time for a flush!
If you haven’t been in the habit of routine flushing, the drain valve may be corroded and not close properly after flushing. So if it’s been years, or if you are not sure when the last time was, you may want to consult a plumber for assistance.
We’ve got a short video here to give you a visual demonstration of flushing the hot water tank. You can also see below for some more detailed instructions.
First thing to do is turn off the electricity to the heater if it is electric. Or if it’s gas, set it to “Pilot” so the burners won’t come on while you are working. Then turn off the incoming water supply to the tank. Set up a garden hose to drain the water from the tank to either a drain in the floor, a sink drain or to the outside away from any kids and pets. Next, open the pressure relief valve.
Carefully open the drain valve at the bottom of the heater to drain it. Watch the water coming out of the hose to see that all the sediment has come out. If there is still sediment at the end, you should fill the tank and drain it again in order to remove as much sediment as possible.
When you have finished draining, close the drain valve and remove the hose. You then need to reverse your earlier steps by closing the pressure relief valve and open the incoming cold water supply. Turn on the electricity (if applicable) or relight the pilot and you’ll be back in business.
As always, Reckon and Reckon Plumbing, Inc. is at your service. If you are in hesitant to flush your hot water heater yourself and would like our assistance, call us today to schedule an appointment for us to come out and provide that service for you.