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How do you flush a traditional water heater?

Flushing a traditional water heater is an essential part of regular maintenance that helps to remove sediment build-up inside the tank, improve efficiency, and extend the lifespan of the unit. Here are the steps that we at Water Heater Doctor recommend for a safe and effective water heater flush:

Turn Off the Water Heater: If you have a gas water heater, turn the thermostat to the ‘pilot’ setting. If you have an electric water heater, turn off the power at the circuit breaker.

Connect a Garden Hose to the Drain Valve: The drain valve is located near the bottom of the water heater. Make sure the other end of the hose is positioned where it can safely drain hot water. This could be a floor drain, a laundry tub, or outdoors. However, ensure it doesn’t pose a scalding risk to people or pets, or damage plants.

Turn Off the Cold Water Supply: This valve is usually located at the top of the water heater.

Open a Hot Water Faucet: Choose a faucet located above the level of the water heater, and open the hot side. This prevents a vacuum from forming in the lines while you’re draining the tank.

Open the Drain Valve: Allow the water to flow until it runs clear. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour depending on the level of sediment.

Flush the Tank: After the water runs clear, turn on the cold water supply to the tank. Allow the water to fill the tank and then drain it out again. Repeat this process until the water runs clear.

Close the Drain Valve and Remove the Hose: Make sure the drain valve is completely closed to prevent leaks.

Refill the Tank: Close the hot water faucet you opened earlier, then turn on the cold water supply to the tank. As the tank fills, air will exit through the hot water faucet. Once a steady stream of water flows from the faucet, you can turn it off.

Turn On the Water Heater: For a gas water heater, turn the gas back on and relight the pilot if necessary following the manufacturer’s instructions. For an electric heater, turn the power back on at the circuit breaker.

Remember, the water will be very hot, so take necessary precautions to prevent scalds or burns. It’s also a good idea to have a bucket, towels, and a pair of gloves handy in case of any spills.

If you are not comfortable doing this yourself or if you encounter any issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Water Heater Doctor. We are always ready to assist you in maintaining the health and efficiency of your water heater.

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