How to Flush Your Water Tank the Right Way

Water heaters should be flushed every 1-3 years depending on the make and model. Flushing your water heater will help to control the number of mineral deposits. By taking good care of it, your water heater will work more efficiently, and it will help extend its life. These simple steps should help you to flush your water heater adequately.

  1. First, you will need to locate the fuse box for the thermostat for your water heater. Before you can flush it, you must turn off the primary power source. Remember that the thermostat for the gas heater is usually the red knob located on the outside of the heater. The knob will have three settings: Pilot, On, and Off.

  2. Turn the thermostat to Pilot. By doing this, you are stopping the power to the water heater.

  3. Turn off the cold water supply. You can do this by turning the water shut off valve clockwise. You will find the water shut off valve near the cold water inlet pipe.

  4. To prevent a vacuum from forming in the lines, you will need to open the hot water faucet in your sinks.

  5. At the bottom of the heater, there is a valve. Attach a garden hose to it. If you can’t find the valve, it may be hidden under a removable cover. If you don’t have a garden hose, you can use a bucket to catch all the water. Make sure not to overfill the bucket because the hot water can burn you.

  6. If you are using a garden hose, extend the garden hose where the water can safely be removed (a drain or the end of your driveway).

  7. Open the valve to let the water leave the heater. You may want to open the pressure-relief valve usually found at the top of the unit. This will allow the water to move more freely. You must remember to never open the pressure-relief valve without having somewhere for the water to go into. It would be best if you placed a bucket under the discharge pipe.

  8. Allow the water in the bucket to stand undisturbed for a couple minutes. This will allow enough time for you to tell if the water is clear or if there are any sand-like materials at the bottom. If there is any discoloration to the water, continue draining until the water is clear. If the water is clear, go onto the next step.

  9. If you opened the pressure relief valve, close it. Remove the hose and close up the valve on the bottom of the heater. Don’t forget to turn off the hot water faucet in your sink.

  10. You may now turn the water supply back on. Let the tank fill back up. When the tank is full, slowly reopen the pressure-relief valve to let any excess air out. When the air is out, close the valve back up.

  11. Close the water heater drain. Turn on the hot water in your sink to let any extra air out. Do not turn the power back on. This will damage your heating element.

  12. Turn your water heater back on and wait for hot water to start running. After this, you may turn on your fuse box.

  13. Turn off your faucet. Wait about 20 minutes before testing the water in your bathtub.

Keeping your water heater running the way it’s supposed to run is an integral part of saving money and conserving energy in your home.