Your hot water heater tank doesn’t get buildup in it often, but it’s wise to check it yearly and flush it every one to three years. Minerals and other things in clean water can build up in the tank, so flushing it will help purify your water even more. It will also help extend the life of the hot water heater. The following covers the steps of flushing a water heater tank.
Checking the Water Heater Type and Setup
The first thing to do is double check on the water heater you have. Gas and electric heaters both need the power source cut off to safely flush the tank.
A professional will locate the thermostat on the hot water heater. On gas models, the thermostat is likely near the bottom of the tank. Some people turn the thermostat to “Pilot.” It is safer to totally turn it off, but that will mean needing to reset the pilot light on an older heater that doesn’t have an automatic pilot light.
The breaker to the water heater for an electric model will need to be flipped off. If it’s a gas model, the gas valve on the heater needs to be turned to the “off” position. The gas pipe with the valve on it is the one that runs to the thermostat and pilot light.
Flushing the Tank
Next, the cold water valve to the water heater needs to be turned off and a faucet going to a sink or tub inside the home needs to have the hot water turned on; this should be left on for the duration of the flush.
Once the above steps are taken care of, the next step is to attach a garden hose to the drainage spigot on the water heater and run it outside or into a bucket. The water is then drained and the cold water valve is turned back on until the water coming out of the tank is totally clear. This could be anywhere from five to 20 minutes, depending on the amount of mineral deposits in the water.
While flushing a water heater is a task that is relatively easy to complete, you can benefit from having a professional flush the tank. At Fix-A-Leak Plumbing & Heating we provide various plumbing services, including water heater services, to our customers in Hauppauge, NY and the surrounding area. We remodel kitchens and bathrooms, clean drains, repair pipe leaks, repair toilets, service sewer lines, install gas lines, fix sump pumps, provide sewer ejector pumps, assess slab leaks, and work on thermostats. Call Fix-A-Leak today for more information!