Water Heater Repair Question: Does My Water Heater Need Flushing?

A standard water heater will usually last anywhere from 8 to 15 years. Whether your water heater lasts 8 years or 15 years depends largely on how well you take care of it. Water heater tanks are usually made of steel with an interior lining of glass or porcelain. Over time and the normal aging process, the tank begins to oxidize and deteriorate. In addition, sediment from the water accumulates in the water heater tank. The sediment can create clogs that block the drain valve. As a result, the water heater functions less efficiently than it once did. You can help your water heater to function as efficiently as possible by flushing the tank to remove sediment. Flushing the water heater tank will also make the water heater last longer.

How do you know whether your water heater needs to be flushed? Water heaters should be flushed once a year. If your water heater has never been flushed, then it is probably time to do it now. Make this a regular part of your spring cleaning; plan to do it every year around the same time that you replace the batteries in the smoke detectors. Even if you aren’t noticing any problems with your water heater, flushing it annually will help to prevent problems and extend its longevity.

If you have noticed that your water heater isn’t operating as well as it once did, then this is another indication that it is time to flush your water heater. Pay attention to your energy bill. Are your bills going up, but you haven’t changed your usage? It could be taking more energy to keep your hot water tank going than it used to because the drain valve is clogged with sediment. Flushing the water heater tank is a simple, free step that you can take to make your home operate more efficiently. In response to the question, “does my water heater need flushing?” the simple answer is yes. Unless you have already flushed your water heater in the last year, it is probably a good idea to do it again.

Follow these steps to flush your water heater tank at home.

  1. 1. For an electric water heater, shut off the power. On gas models, turn the gas to the lowest setting.
  2. 2. Turn off the water supply to the water heater, which is normally located on the top of the tank.
  3. 3. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve located on the bottom of the water heater.
  4. 4. Open the hot water faucets through the house to drain the hot water supply from the tank more quickly.
  5. 5. Carefully open the drain valve on the water heater. Allow the water heater tank to empty completely. This process may go slowly if the drain valve is clogged with sediment.
  6. 6. After the water heater has emptied all the way, close the drain valve.
  7. 7. In order to refill the water heater, open the water supply valve.
  8. 8. Remove air leaks from the plumbing system by opening the hot water faucets throughout the house.
  9. 9. Turn the power back on or return the gas to its original setting.

With proper care and maintenance, a water heater can last for many years. You can extend the life of your water heater by flushing it annually. If you need help with your water heater, call the pros at Scott English Plumbing. We offer routine service as well as emergency plumbing service, and we are available 24/7. Call Scott English Plumbing today for all of your plumbing needs.