Flush a Water Heater


Caution: “The water is hot, don’t come near or you’ll get injured.” This is the sign that you usually see on a water heater. But you don’t care about this sign when you’re having problems with excessive build up of sediments at the bottom of your water heater causing it to stock up. If you flush a water heater, don’t think that it will remove the accumulated sediments inside the unit immediately. However, a routine flushing can prevent excessive build up of sediments.

Accumulation of sediment inside your water heater can result in some problems. When the sediment accumulates at the bottom of the tank, it will harden. The heater will not function at its expected efficiency, and you’ll notice a strange noise. If a high amount of sediment accumulates, it can cause clogging of the drain valve.

DIY steps to flush a water heater:

  • Turn off the water heater through its circuit breaker.
  • Close the valve on the cold water line.
  • Put a garden hose long enough to the drain valve beneath the water heater, with its other end placed at the nearest floor drain. You can also use a “drain snake” to remove the clog outside your home.
  • Open the pressure relief valve and the temperature on top of the heater. Then, let the water drain after opening the drain valve.
  • If you see that the water has stopped, shut off the drain valve and take out the hose. Close the temperature as well as the pressure relief valve on top of the heater.
  • Open the hot water faucet including the shut off valve on the cold water line. Now, you should hear that the heater is filling.
  • If you notice a steady stream of water from a faucet, you can turn it off.
  • Turn on the power at the circuit, and give enough time for your unit to recover.

These DIY remedies to flush a water heater may not be applicable to all brands because every heater has its own unique applications after installing in your home. If after trying these steps, there is still clogging in the drain valve, you have to hire a professional plumber to do the job. It’s more practical to hire an expert if you think it’s not a simple job to flush a water heater and remove the clog completely.