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How to flush a hot water heater


Natural minerals in the water supply will result in the buildup of sediments over time in a hot water heater. These sediments reduce the efficiency of the hot water heater. They will also reduce the overall life span of the hot water heater. These sediments are very corrosive and will also lead to unexpected leaks from the hot water heater will result in a lot of water damage to the house.

Homeowners are advised to flush their hot water heater at least once a year. Below is the detailed step by step instructions on how to flush a hot water heater

1. Start by turning off the system. For an electric hot water heater, identify the corresponding breaker and flip it. For a gas-powered heater, you can simply adjust the temperature knob and set it to either “PILOT” or “VACATION” mode depending on your hot water heater model. This will prevent the burner from turning on when you are flushing the water out. It is very important to ensure this is done before flushing the water because the heat exchanger which heats up the water might burn up and melt when it tries to heat an empty tank.

2. Identify the cold supply inlet and turn it off. This is located at the top of the hot water heater. Look for a ball valve on the cold supply line and turn it off.

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3. Identify the drain spigot at the bottom of the hot water heater. This spigot connects to a garden hose. Connect a garden hose to this spigot.
4. Turn on any hot water faucet in the house like in the kitchen or the bathroom, this will enable air to enter the hot water heater when it is flushed. If you don’t turn on the faucet, water cannot drain from the system since it will be a closed system and a vacuum will be created inside the hot water heater.
5. There will be a valve next to the spigot which needs to be turned using a flathead screwdriver.

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6. At this point, you should hear water flowing or air being sucked into the system. This means the water is flushing out of the water heater. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes for a common residential hot water heater to flush. If you don’t hear anything or don’t see water coming out of your garden hose, it means there is a backflow preventer valve in the plumbing system. One way to get around it is to use the pressure relief valve located at the side of the hot water heater. Be careful when operating the pressure relief valve since it is a very critical safety component of the hot water heater. If you are not comfortable operating the pressure relief valve, call a plumber who specializes in water heater repair in New York City. To open the pressure relief valve, grab the arm on the valve and flip it to the horizontal position. You should hear the water flowing out.
7. Once the water starts draining, go outside and check for the condition of the water. You usually see the sediments flushing out. Note that this water is very hot and be careful not to allow children or pets nearby.
8. Repeat the process again by filling the tank again if the heater hasn’t been cleaned for a long time and there is too much sediment coming out of the hot water heater.
9. Once this is done, close the valve near the spigot using the flat head screwdriver. Remove the hose and open the cold water inlet. If you opened the pressure relief valve, flip it back to its original position. Set the thermostat back to the appropriate temperature setting you want.

If you need any help with your hot water heater, Call Neo Plumbing & heating Corp today or schedule a plumber online

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