Over time, your hot water heater may accumulate sediment, which leads to corrosion. It is smart to occasionally flush and drain the system for optimal results. Few homeowners know how to complete this process, though, but learning to do so will help ensure your hot water heater lasts longer and runs more efficiently.
How Often to Flush the Water Heater
There are a few variables that determine the frequency with which we flush a hot water heater, like the size of the tank and amount of water being used throughout the house. It is a smart idea to refer to your manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, the more hot water being used in the house, the more often you should flush the system during regular maintenance for your water heater.
Over time, water heater sludge accumulates as minerals and sediment begin to gather. Flushing these deposits ensures the system lasts longer and operates more efficiently, helping to prevent pesky cold water bursts throughout.
The following is a general guide for flushing the system:
- 1-2 people: Inspect the heater every 6 months, drain every 12 months.
- 3-5 people: Inspect every 4 months, drain every 8 months.
- 6 or more: Inspect every 4 months, drain every 6 months.
How to Flush & Drain a Hot Water Heater
The following steps are designed to flush and drain a hot water heater to prevent corrosion:
- Turn the water heater off
- Turn the cold water valve off
- Let the water cool down
- Attach a drain or garden hose to the drain valve on the tank
- Place the opposite end in a bucket or drain
- Turn on a faucet
- Drain the tank by twisting the drain valve with a screwdriver
- Once the sediment is removed, turn the drain valve off, remove the hose, turn the cold water valve on, and the heating elements back on.