How to Flush a Water Heater with Simple Steps

Living in a hard water area means you need to free some time every once a year to do the water filter flushing task. Yes, it’s not the most fun thing to do, but that can’t be any good reason to stop considering these chores.

Sediments need to leave the bottom of your tank. And to make them go away, it’s important to know about the right way on how to flush a water heater. Today we would discuss it in this guide.

How to Flush a Water Heater: 5Steps to Follow…

Whether you want to learn about how to flush a gas water heater or the electric version, there are some steps to go through. We’ll be focusing on gas variety since that’s more common.

But to be honest there’s not much difference. In case if you are curious to learn about how to flush an electric water heater, the only difference you should care about with this tutorial is switching off rather than turning gas down.

Dealing with water heater sediment build-up isn’t the most difficult thing in this world. So clearly, you are going to do a great job here if you follow the instructions correctly…

Step 1 – Turning Off Everything.

When you need to get rid of too much sediment in the water heater, it’s probably going to take some time. And for longer flushing chores, you should always make sure everything is safe. So, focus on turning off some essential parts of your heater.

First, turn off the thermostats. Usually, it is located at the tank’s bottom part. Setting the thermostat to pilot is also recommended in a few versions. However, to be extra safe, it’s always nice to turn the entire thermostat off.

Now you need to disconnect the gas line arriving at the water heater. There should be a gas pipe that leads toward the thermostat and pilot light. The valve needs to be in off position. With a pilot set thermostat, this step is not necessary, however.

Finally, turn off the cold-water valve. It should be near the top part of the heater. You need to keep the hot water in the sink or tub on during this whole process. This will help in avoiding any vacuum forming in lines.

Step 2 – Turn on The Pressure Relief Valve.

When you drain, the water flow needs to be easy and also there will be a necessity of checking the pressure relief valve. To ensure these, you can simply keep the pressure relief valve open. By that, it will kill both birds with one arrow.

However, before you actually open the valve, keep a bucket below it. This will catch all those rushed out water from the valve once you open it. You need to be extremely careful at this point. The water is going to be very hot.

If the water fails to come out, probably a pressure relief valve has problems. And so, you’ll need to think about replacement. Let the water coming out cool down and wait for that to happen.

Step 3 – Garden Hose Connection to Drainage Spigot.

Those who don’t own any water heater cleaner can simply use hose and spigot for the task. You need to connect the hose end before turning the spigot on. The hose should lead to a bucket or at least outside.

Get a portable pump in case you own a hot water heater at your house’s basement. This should be enough to deal with the hot water heater sediment problems.  

Step 4 – Opening the Spigot.

Keep the spigot turned on until water runs clear. It should be drained until there’s no sign of sediment left behind. When there is a lot of sediment residing inside the tank, complete draining might become a requirement.

You should be able to see the sediment included brown water turning into white slowly. This indicates the sediment has gone away completely.

To be extra sure, run the water for another good 2 minutes after noticing whiteness. You should keep the cold water leading into the tank until the exiting water turns crystal clear.

Step 5 – Finishing the Flushing Chore.

Disconnect the hose right after turning the spigot of drainage off. The pressure relief valve needs to be off as well.  You need to turn the sink water off as well. Also, if you used the cold-water spigot, make sure to close it too.

To get rid of any additional air, you may want to open the pressure relief valve once the tank is full. Do the same with a hot water spigot of sink or tub. You also want to connect the gas to hot water heater.

For a final checkup, you should try heating water for around twenty minutes. You want to turn on any spigot and make sure the right temperature water is coming out.

How to Flush a Water Heater


And that’s all for how to flush a water heater. Once you are done with the flushing task, don’t forget to add a reminder for next year as well. It should be flushed every once in one year.

The process is a great help to keep your heater’s life-extending and get better efficiency. Make sure you take a look at the warranty before trying any maintenance. It should not disturb the warranty terms.

And with That One Point in Mind, Everything Is Set Right!

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