DIY: Flushing Out Your Water Heater

When you imagine home maintenance, you probably don’t give your water heater a second thought. And you’re not the only one to ignore water heater maintenance. People often fail to recognize the importance of water heater flushing, and this is one of the leading reasons for needing plumbers in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Why You Should Flush Your Water Heater

Before you roll up your sleeves and get to work, you should understand why you need to flush your water heater in the first place. Although water looks clear, it’s not pure. The water that flows through your pipes is full of minerals. In certain areas, water has extremely high mineral content. People refer to this as hard water, and they often experience an array of issues as a result of the hard water. Whether or not you have hard water, your water heater will accumulate sediment. Even the softest water has minerals and could cause trouble for your water heater. Thanks to the minerals, you may need the best plumbers in Broken Arrow, OK. If you don’t flush your water heater, your inaction puts the plumbing in danger.  Every time you flush your water heater, you push out sediment from the tank. If you don’t flush your system, the minerals remain in the bottom of the tank and build up. Over time, the sediment does damage to your water heater. It decreases your water heater’s efficiency and could leave you with lukewarm water. 

The Benefits of Flushing Water Heaters

Obviously, the main benefit of Flushing your water heater is to keep your system working well. But here are a few more specific benefits of a regular flush:

Cleans Sediment Out

Flushing your water heater involves pushing water through your tank, and that cleans out all the sediment. It’s the main reason you should be sure to regularly flush your water heater.

Reduce Noise

When your water heater has too much sediment in it, the appliance could become noisy. The noise might keep you from sleeping or be a constant distraction. If you don’t want a noisy water heater, you should flush your heater. Flushing the heater removes the build-up, which in turn reduces the noise. More importantly, the water heater is better able to function. The noise is really just a sign that your water heater could fail you soon.

Get Hot Water Faster

As minerals accumulate in the bottom of your water heater, the heating elements can’t warm your water quickly. It could take twice as long to heat up your water. For better heating, you need to flush your water heater and remove the sediment.  There’s nothing more frustrating than having to wait minutes for your water to heat up. As you run the water, you increase your water bill and waste your time. You can increase your savings and decrease your frustration by flushing your water heater.

The Flushing Process

Now that you understand why you need to flush your water heater, you should start learning how to do it. Unlike many other home maintenance tasks, this is one you can try on your own. 

Turn Off the Water Heater

If you have a gas heater, turn the knob to the off position. But for electric water heaters, you need to turn off the switch in the breaker box.  A gas heater also needs to have the gas turned off. First, you need to look for the pipe that connects to the pilot light. Then, switch the valve to the off setting. 

Turn Off the Cold Water Supply

If you have a gas system, turn the cold water supply to your heater off. This valve may be close to the top of your tank but consult with your user manual for more information. 

Turn on the Hot Water at a Sink

Pick a sink or tub and turn on the hot water. Leave this running for the duration of the flush. 

Open the Pressure Relief Valve

At the top of your tank, you should see a valve connected to a long pipe. This is your pressure relief valve. First, place a bucket under this pipe. Don’t keep your hands near the bucket, or you risk being burned. Then, open the valve and allow the water to flow out into the bucket. If nothing happens, your pressure relief valve is broken. It’s a safety feature and should be fixed as soon as possible. 

Connect a Hose to the Spigot

Take a garden hose and connect it to the drainage spigot on your tank. As the water drains, steer clear of the end of the hose. It should lead into a bucket or outside of your home. To flush the tank, turn on the cold water valve to the tank and allow the water to run.

Turn Off the Water

When the water is clean and free of sediment, you can turn off the water. Finally, disconnect the hose and tighten up the valve. You can turn on the cold water valve and fill up the tank. 

Turn the Water Heater Back On

After the tank is full, you can switch your water heater back on. If you have a gas heater, use the knob and light the pilot light. Meanwhile, you can turn on an electric water heater by switching the breaker back on.  After 20 minutes passes, test your hot water. It should come on quickly and as hot as before. If it doesn’t, there’s something wrong with your water heater. You might need to check the breaker box or the pilot light.

Work with Our Plumbers in Broken Arrow

You don’t need to handle a water heater flush on your own. If you’re unsure about how to flush your water heater, you can call us at Infinity Plumbing. And even if you can handle your own flush, you should trust us with all of your other water heater maintenance. There are other things you should be doing to keep your water heater in good condition, and we can help. Whenever you need plumbers in Broken Arrow, give us a call.