Flushing a Water Heater

Water heaters should be flushed every once in a while depending on the water source and model. Your water heater will operate more efficiently and this will usually extend the life of the heater. This helps to control the buildup of mineral deposits. Here are some useful tips for flushing your water heaters.

PART 1: Flushing the heater

  1. Locate the breaker/fuse box for an electrical heater or the thermostat for a gas heater.
  2. Disable the circuit or fuse that powers the electrical water heater, or turn the thermostat to "Pilot" on a gas heater.
  3. Turn off your cold water supply by rotating the water shut-off valve clockwise.
  4. Open the hot water faucet in your sink or tub.
  5. Attach a garden hose to the drain cock, or valve, located at the bottom of the heater.
  6. Extend the garden hose to a place where the water from the heater can safely discharge.
  7. Open the drain cock to allow the water to exit the heater.
  8. Fill a "test" bucket with the still flushing water after a few minutes of flushing.

PART 2: Finishing Up

  1. Close the drain cock and remove the garden hose.
  2. Turn the water supply back on and let the tank fill.
  3. Close the water heater drain.
  4. Turn the water supply back on and wait until hot water begins running.
  5. Turn off the tub spigot.