When and How to Flush a Water Heater

Water heater.

Flushing Your Water Heater — When, Why, and How

Most of us take hot water for granted. But what happens when we don’t upkeep the water heater? Like all appliances, your water heater needs regular maintenance and attention to keep it running safely and efficiently.

One of the most important parts of maintaining your water heater is flushing it. The question is, when should you flush a water heater? And how do you go about doing it? Let’s dive in.

When Should You Flush a Water Heater?

Ideally, you should flush your water heater every year. This will help eliminate any sediment or minerals that have built up inside the tank over time. If you live in an area with hard tap water, you may need to flush your tank more often, perhaps even twice a year.

Signs that you might need to flush your tank include low hot water pressure, rust-colored water from the hot side of a faucet, or sediment at the bottom of the tank when you or your plumber opens it up for inspection.

How To Flush A Water Heater

The process of flushing a water heater is not complex, but it does require some preparation and safety precautions before beginning. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Turn off the power supply to the hot water heater – whether electric or gas-powered – and wait 15 minutes for all components to cool off before starting work on it.

  2. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and run it outside or into a bucket if necessary (make sure not to drain into any drain pipes as this can cause plumbing issues).

  3. Open up both valves – there is typically one on top of the unit (the temperature/pressure relief valve) and one at the bottom (the drain valve) – so that cold water can flow through them simultaneously until all built-up sediment has been completely flushed out (this process typically takes between 10-20 minutes).

  4. Once finished flushing, turn off both valves and allow the remaining cold water in the tank to heat back up fully before turning the power back on again.

  5. After the power is on again, check all connections for leaks before replacing the panels securely back in place on the unit.

  6. Rely on Albright's Mechanical Services to check the anode rod (if applicable). The anode rod helps protect against corrosion in your tank by drawing corrosive elements away from other metal components. If this rod has corroded significantly, our team will replace it with a new one during this process.

Let a Professional Flush Your Water Heater

Following these steps will ensure that your water heater runs safely and efficiently throughout its lifespan. Not only that, but regular flushing can help. If you need assistance with the upkeep of your water heater, Albright's Mechanical Services is here to help. We’re here for all of your water heater needs.

Call us at (410) 834-0148 to schedule an appointment.

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