For those of you wanting to flush the sediment from your water heater, here are some basic steps in order to do this on your own. As an FYI, always be careful and if in doubt contact a professional to perform the maintenance. As an experienced licensed plumber, I recommend beginning maintenance early with your new water heaters. If it has been two or more years since maintenance has been performed, you may want to contact a professional. I have seen routine maintenance turn into more than a routine job. For instance drains get clogged, water shutoffs are stuck or broken, temperature and pressure relief valves may fail, or people skip a step and damage the unit and then give me a call. With that note, here are the steps to flush sediment from standard electric or gas water heater tanks.

  • Shut off power at the breaker box for electric water heaters. For gas water heaters, move the dial to pilot.
  • Next, turn on a faucet in the home for hot water.
  • Now, shut off the cold water intake valve for the tank.
  • Attach a garden hose to the drainage connection at the bottom of the tank. Make sure to have the hose drain to an area that will not be damaged by the release of hot water.
  • Next, open the drain line and allow the water to drain out of your tank.
  • Once the water stops draining from the tank, turn back on the cold water intake valve to flush any remaining sediment from the bottom of the tank. You will see the water draining from the tank eventually turning clear. At this point, the sediment has been removed.
  • Now, shut off the hot water faucet in your home and close the drain valve on the tank.
  • Once the tank fills, you can turn back on the power for an electric heater or start the pilot light on the gas heater.

If you ever have any doubts, consult your owner’s manual or contact a licensed professional. Routine maintenance is important to keep your water heater performing at its best, but it is always important to be safe.

In Vegas, the average life of a hot water heater is 10 years. Be proactive, maintain your water heater and look to replace it before it breaks on a night, weekend or holiday!


Call Paul if you have ant questions . —  702-301-0707

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