Flushing Your Water Heater: Six Simple Steps
The water heater in your Pueblo, CO, home is a hard-working appliance that ensures you have pleasantly warm water for showers and hot water for washing clothes and dishes. If you're like most people, you probably don't know how much you love this appliance until it isn't working correctly.
The first time you're forced to rush through a cold shower, the heater will jump to the top of your home maintenance list.
The Importance of Flushing the Water Heater
As water flows through the heating tank, sediment and buildup collect and clump together. This takes up space in the tank, reducing the amount of water that flows through. It reduces efficiency and eventually causes damage to the tank. Flushing the heater prevents several common issues:
- Total loss of heated water
- Inconsistent hot water
- Decreased water pressure
- Leaks from the water heater tank
- Smelly water from bacterial growth
- Banging from the heater
The good news is that you can perform a water heater flush every year with minimal inconvenience and a few tools that you probably already have on hand.
Step 1: Shut Off the Power
Whether you have an electric unit or a gas-powered appliance, you need to shut the unit down completely. A gas appliance probably has both gas and electricity to shut off. This step is crucial to your safety and the safety of anyone else in your home.
Step 2: Open the Hot Water Line and Turn Off the Cold Water
When you turn on the hot water, the water won't be hot, but the flowing water prevents air bubbles from forming in the system. Shutting the cold water valve to the heater stops water from getting into the unit while you're working.
Step 3: Attach a Hose to the Heater Spigot
Look at the bottom of the tank or heater unit for a faucet like a spigot used on the exterior of your house. Place a bucket under the spigot and attach a garden hose to contain the outflowing water. Make sure your bucket or container is large enough to hold all of the water that comes out of the heater.
Step 4: Drain the Heater Tank
Turn on the spigot and let the water drain out. Dark-colored water full of sediment is an indication of trouble. If solid chunks are coming through the hose, you should contact a professional to check for more significant trouble.
Step 5: Run Cold Water Through the Unit
When you turn the cold water on, clean water flows through the unit, carrying any residual sediment out of the heater. Flush the tank for a few minutes, looking for clean, clear water from the hose. Turn the water off before removing the hose from the spigot.
Step 6: Power the Heater Up
Once you've finished flushing the water heater, clean up your supplies and reset all of your water lines. Close the hot water faucet and turn on the cold water supply. Release the pressure valve on the tank and turn the gas and electricity on.
If you are concerned about water damage or have other questions about this process, reach out to Pueblo, CO water damage professionals. Prevention is nearly always less expensive than cleanup, repairs, and replacement.