Hot Water Heater Troubleshooting

How to Flush a Water Heater

As a homeowner, there are many things you will need to know how to do that you might not have ever crossed your mind before. One such task is flushing out the water heater tank in your home. Though this task is easy to forget, it is something you should add to your regular home maintenance routine. But knowing how to flush a water heater can be intimidating, especially when you are not accustomed to working plumbing systems in your home.

At EVAM Canada, we want you to feel confident about the maintenance of your home including your air conditioner, furnace and water heater. Though our experienced technicians are always available to assist you with any water heater repairs or maintenance, we also want you to feel confident that you can DIY some of your maintenance tasks if you want to. In this article, we outline how to flush your water heater and also answer some common questions our customers ask.

How to Flush a Water Heater

  1. Turn the power source of your water heater off – many water heaters are fueled by gas but some are electric. Ensure that either the gas is shut off to the heater or the electricity is turned off at the breaker before beginning any DIY task for your water heater.
  2. Turn off the cold water supply – once your water heater has been turned off, stop the flow of water to the tank by turning off the water supply. This will often look like a blue knob with an appearance similar to that of an exterior water hose line.
  3. Turn on a sink with hot water – turn on the hot water on a nearby tub or sink. Keep it on through the flushing process to prevent a vacuum that stops the tank from draining.
  4. Connect a hose to the drain spigot – keep in mind where you want to drain the water into when you connect the hose and be prepared. Some homeowners drain the tank into a bucket while others utilize the floor drain in their home. Consider your surroundings when choosing a draining option that works for you.
  5. Drain the tank – drain the tank until you no longer see sediment. You may need to drain only a small amount of water or may need to drain the entire tank if your tank has a lot of sediment in it.
  6. Flush the tank – to flush the water tank, turn the cold water supply back on and let it flush through the water tank until the water runs clear from the drainage hose. Once clear, turn off the cold water once more.
  7. Disconnect the hose and refill the tank – once you have flushed your tank, disconnect the hose, turn off the hot water in your tub or faucet, and turn the cold water back on. Don’t forget to turn another hot water faucet on while the tank refills to ensure air stays out of the system, then turn it off again.
  8. Turn on the power source – once you have completed these steps it is time to turn the power source back on. The water in your tank will be cold, give it time to reheat before attempting to draw warm water from a faucet.

How Often Should I Flush Out My Water Heater?

How often you flush out your water heater will depend on the hardness of your water and how much sediment may end up in your tank. Most homeowners can consider flushing their water tank every six months while others may benefit from doing so more frequently. It may be best to as a water heather technician to ensure you are performing adequate maintenance based on your water heater and the type of water you have.

What Other Maintenance Does My Water Heater Need?

Ensuring your pilot light is clear and free from debris is one more task you may wish to consider staying on top of. We are always here to assist you with ensuring you have hot water when you need it most. Check out our DIY Hot Water Heater Maintenance Guides for more support on keeping your water heater in optimal working conditions.

How Long Should a Water Heater Last?

Like any major component in your home such as furnaces and air conditioners, water heaters have a life span. You can expect that your well-maintained water heater will last you between 10-15 years. When it’s time for a new one, the experts at EVAM Canada will be there to help you select the right option for your home.

Water heater maintenance is easy to overlook. If you are experiencing issues with your water heater, don’t hesitate in reaching out to the experts at EVAM Canada. We look forward to helping you diagnose your issue and will strive to provide you with a solution that fixes your problem. We provide emergency water heater repair and installation services to help you keep comfortable and safe with access to hot water.