At Gotelli Plumbing, we always stress the importance of maintenance for all home appliances. Your water heater is no exception – these should have maintenance done every 6-12 months for optimal performance. This is because particles such as minerals and sediment build-up at the bottom of your water heater over time, which causes your water heater to take more energy and money to function.
Because water heaters are usually out of sight, they slip our minds until a serious problem occurs. Other times, their sheer size and complexity can seem very daunting, so people tend to neglect them. With these reservations in mind, the Gotelli Plumbing team has assembled step-by-step instructions on how to flush your water heater, making the process as simple as possible!
Before you get started, remember that you’ll be working with water that is very hot and has the potential to cause severe burns. To mitigate any harm to yourself, you should turn off your water heater at least 2-3 hours before you attempt anything, allowing it to cool down.
If, for any reason, you’re unable to turn off your heater or don’t want to wait, we highly recommend wearing protective gear – especially for your hands, arms and eyes. Items like heavy-duty rubber gloves and safety goggles protect you from spills and splashes.
Step 1: Power Off Your Water Heater
Turn off the electricity or gas to your water heater unit and beaker, and allow it to cool for several hours. As we mentioned above, this is crucial for your personal safety. After this, turn off your home’s main water supply line.
Step 2: Open Drain Valve
Attach your garden hose to your drain valve. Your water heater’s drain valve is usually located at the bottom of your tank and is typically opened by hand. If you have trouble with this, you can use a flathead screwdriver for extra assistance. Once the drain valve is open, water will begin to gush out, funneling into your garden hose, outside your home, or inside a bucket if you don’t have the length to reach outside.
If using a bucket, make sure to turn off the drain valve before the water spills over. You can then dump the excess water outside and repeat this process until the water that runs out is clear from any buildup inside the tank.
Step 3: Clean Sediment
Inspect your drain valve to see any excess buildup in the tank. If you find that there’s still a lot of sediment or that the water is murky, you can refill the water heater and drain again. To stir up particles at the bottom of the tank, turn your main water shut off on and off a few times. Repeat this process and step 2 until your water is clear.
If you find excessive sediment in your tank or your water is not clearing, you may need to consider a treatment system for your home or call a professional!
Step 4: Turn On Water Heater
Once the water is clear, close your drain valve and disconnect the garden hose. Turn on your main water supply line, allowing it to run freely like before.
Step 5: Reheat Water
Relight the water heater pilot, or turn on the electricity for your water heater. Your water heater should run as expected, and you’ll have hot water back within one hour or so.
Step 6: Check For Leaks
Inspect your water heater drain valve to ensure it has been completely closed off. If you see any leaks coming from the spout, it hasn’t been properly sealed. If your drain valve is leaking, you can place a threaded hose cap over the hose thread of the valve.
Marin County Plumbing Repair
If you need extra assistance for your water heater maintenance or any plumbing services in general, don’t hesitate to reach out. For all your plumbing needs, Gotelli Plumbing has your back. Contact our team to schedule your service today!