Why Draining And Flushing Your Hot Water Tank Is Important And How To Do It

As a new homeowner, you know that hot water is important to your family, and if something goes wrong with that unit, it could cause a heavy hit to your bank account. Some parts on your hot water heater do eventually need replaced, such as the heating element and thermocouple, due to age. But some hot water heater problems are preventable.

Why Draining the Tank Is Important

Allowing your hot water heater to operate for years without draining it can cause a few problems. While it won't interfere with the operation of the unit, you could experience one or more of these issues:

  • water that smells like rotten eggs
  • not enough hot water
  • heating element works harder and more often

You'll begin to notice one or more of these problems when there is a lot of sediment buildup inside the tank. The more sediment, the more problems you'll have. Draining and flushing the tank gets rid of the sediment. You won't run out of hot water when taking a shower, you won't experience foul-smelling hot water, and your electric or gas bill won't go up because the heater has to work harder.

How to Drain and Flush Your Hot Water Heater

There are several steps to draining a hot water heater, but they are easy steps that if performed properly, won't result in water flowing everywhere. Below is what you need to do:

  1. Turn the power to the unit off at the circuit breaker box. Wait a couple hours for the water inside the tank to cool down a little before proceeding.
  2. Turn the fill valve off.
  3. Attach a hose to the drain valve.
  4. Stretch the hose to the lawn or a nearby drain, turn on a hot water in one of the sinks in your home, and open the drain valve on the hot water heater.
  5. Once the tank is empty, close the drain valve and open the cold-water intake valve. Allow the water to fill the tank halfway.  
  6. Turn the intake valve off and drain the water out again. You'll notice the sediment and dirty water coming out.
  7. Continue filling the tank halfway with cold water and then draining it out until the water comes out clear.
  8. Turn the power back on at the circuit breaker box and turn on the fill valve to allow your hot water heater to begin working again.

Place a reminder on your calendar to alert you of when it's that time of year to drain your hot water heater. Call your plumber, one like Christian Heating & Air Conditioning Inc, if you notice any leaks, or have any problems with these steps.