How Often You Should Flush Your Hot Water Heater?
Hot water heater maintenance is often overlooked, but very important. Maintenance on your hot water heater should take place at least once a year.
To Get Started – It Is Pretty Easy…
What you can do is use a five gallon bucket to allow the water from the hot water heater to drain into. Draining the all of the water isn’t usually necessary and you can just flush the bottom to remove the calcium and dirt. Otherwise, it acts as an insulator because the burner is on the bottom and if you have an inch of sediment, your burner needs to run much longer to maintain the desired temperature.
Newer hot water heaters run the cold tube through the bottom which helps to keep the calcium and dirt flushed out. If the burner comes on and you hear crackling, it’s because of the sediment on the bottom of the water heater. If you hear that, try flushing a gallon or two of water out to loosen the debris and remove it.
Locate The Relief Valve
If you’re going to flush the water or drain it completely, attach a hose to the bottom. The drain is located at the bottom of the tank within the hot water heater unit. When you drain a water heater, open the relief valve (which is at the top and noted on the right) to allow air to come into the tank, otherwise there will be a vacuum and it won’t allow the water to flow out.
Just A Few Gallons Not Completely
Avoid draining it completely unless necessary! This should only be done in extreme circumstances. Typically, if you need to drain the entire tank it’s probably time to replace the hot water heater.
Let It Cool Before Adding Back The Cold Water
The worst thing you can do is drain a hot water heater to put cold water back in it. They’re glass-lined and can be cracked due to the difference in temperatures. Allow the heater to cool to about room temperature before refilling.
If you don’t feel comfortable handling hot water heater maintenance yourself, seek the assistance of a professional service technician like Wilbur Henry. Contact us today at 717-755-5461 or use our contact form, and let us do the hot water heater maintenance for you!