How Do I Flush My Water Heater Tank?

Flush Water Heater in Charlottesville, VA

Flushing your water heater is something you should do every year or two. Sediment builds up inside the bottom of the tank over time, and this sediment can reduce the efficiency of the unit. Sediment build-up is also one of the main reasons that water heaters fail. On electric units, the sediment can ruin the lower heating element. With gas units, the main issue is that the sediment causes hot spots that can destroy the tank. Flushing your tank regularly gets rid of the sediment, and this is how to do it.

Turn Off the Unit and the Water Supply

The first thing is to shut off the unit and close the water supply valve. Electric units should be shut off at your main electrical panel by flipping the circuit breaker. With gas units, you need to shut off the gas supply and also turn the gas knob to the off position. After shutting off the unit, you need to wait for some time so that the water can cool down. If not, you could burn yourself when draining it.

Attach the Hose and Drain the Tank

Once the water has cooled, attach a garden hose to the outlet at the bottom of the unit. Before opening the valve, open one or two faucets. If you don’t leave the water on, a vacuum can form in the tank and stop it from draining. Open the valve and let the tank begin to drain for a few minutes. It isn’t necessary to drain the tank all the way. As soon as you turn the water back on, the dip tube will force the cold water to the bottom of the tank to flush out any sediment.

Flush the Tank

Turn the water supply back on and continue to let the tank drain until no more sediment is coming out. This could take only take a few minutes or possibly half an hour or more depending on how much sediment is in the tank. Once the water runs clear, close the drain, remove the hose and then turn the unit back on.

If you have any issues getting your tank to drain or don’t want to attempt it on your own, the team at Beck Cohen has you covered. We offer repair and maintenance services for all types of water heaters, and we can also help with water heater installation and replacement. We also offer a range of heating, cooling and electrical services to customers in Charlottesville and the surrounding areas. For more information, give us a call today.