Reasons To Get Rid Of Water Heater Sediments | How to Flush Your Hot Water Heater

Should I flush my water heater?

Water Heater

Water Heater

Water heaters are expected to last up to 12 years, but they can become less efficient if they lack maintenance. It is recommended to flush your water heater every year so you can get rid of sediment that the unit has  . The water often contains minerals which can build up on the bottom or sides of the tank. If these sediments are not flushed out, your water heater will fail in the long run. This is why a Frisco plumber advises homeowners to make it a habit to flush the water heater so it will continue to run longer. 

 

Reasons to flush your water heater

A water heater is an essential home appliance because it converts cold water into hot water through its gas burner. Once the cold water reaches the tank, the sediment stays on the side or bottom of the tank. If  these sediments continue to build up, they will result in slowing down the heat transfer between the water and the heater's burner. Sediments can also cause blockages. When you consider an annual water heater flushing, you will not only remove the sediment but also ensure that your water heater works properly. 


Image Of Simple Flushing Process in Commode Toilet

How flushing works

How flushing works

 

Flushing increases your water heater's life expectancy

Water shut off valve

Water shut off valve

When your water heater has more sediment build-up, the unit needs to work harder in heating the water. Some parts of your water heater are most likely to burn out quickly, which will eventually reduce the life expectancy of your unit. Another reason to remove sediments is to prevent blockages which take place within the tank. These sediments can cause your tank to crack and leak. You can decrease your water heater's lifespan by two or more years. If your water heater does not receive regular maintenance, the unit will not last long. 

The life expectancy of a water heater is about 8 to 12 years. That varies with the location and design of the unit, quality of installation, maintenance schedule and water quality. Flushing makes your water heater more efficient

​The sediment also creates a barrier between the water and the heating element in your water heater. Your unit needs to work harder through thick layers caused by a sediment build-up, which acts as an insulator preventing the heat from being transferred to the water. The sediment that gets thicker causes the water heater to work harder. Your energy bill will increase as it will take longer for the unit to heat the water. Sediment build-up makes it harder for your water heater to transfer heat. The same is true when you are trying to boil water using two pans on a stove. If one pan contains a layer of concrete, it will take longer for you to heat the water as compared to the pan that only contains water. 

Water hose

Water hose

 

How to Flush Your Hot Water Heater

Service Valve Diagram

Service Valve Diagram

  1. Make sure that the water heater is turned off.

​You have to turn off the power switch of your electric water heater before flushing it. For gas heaters, you have to switch to the pilot setting to turn the heating element off. Avoid undertaking this maintenance project if people in your home are washing dishes, taking a shower or doing laundry. 

  1. Check the cold water valve if it is also turned off.

​You will also need to turn the cold water valve off. The water becomes hot when it is brought into your tank. You can start draining the water from the tank when there is no cold-water coming into your tank. Do not miss this step as the water will continuously move into the tank and drain the water, increasing your water bill. 

  1. Allow water to cool

​Avoid draining the hot water. Let it cool first before flushing the water. 

  1. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve

​Locate the drain valve found on the side of the water heater and attach a garden hose. 

  1. Put the end of the hose in a drain

​You can prevent flooding your home by placing the end of the hose in a bucket or a drain. 

  1. Open the faucets

​This step prevents a vacuum from forming. 

  1. Turn the drain valve on to drain the tank

​Turn the drain valve on using a flathead screwdriver before draining the tank.

  1. Fill your tank

​You need to fill your tank and turn the valve off and remove the garden hose. You should also power the cold water valve back on and turn the heating elements back on once the sediments have been removed. 

​If you are not sure how to do this, you can also call Lex Plumbing to provide you with assistance. 

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