You may have heard that sediment in your water heater should be flushed out periodically to keep the unit in good working order. The fact is, sediment buildup may be affecting not only the water heater’s function, but also its efficiency. Here’s what you should know about flushing your water heater.
Sediment and the Water Heater
Some municipalities have more sediment in the water than others, and that sediment often ends up in homeowners’ water heating units. Over time, the sediment builds up in the bottom of the tank, insulating the heating source and slowing the heating process so that the water heater has to work harder to bring the water to the required temperature.
Other problems with sediment buildup:
- The sediment in the tank may enter the home’s water supply, affecting the quality of the water you drink or shower in.
- Since heat can dissolve the minerals and salts in the sediment, these solutions may enter your water supply.
- Dissolved sediment may also build up in pipes and cause clogs.
Flushing the Tank
Turn the pilot or electric control to the off position, then turn off the cold water that supplies the tank. Find a drain valve at the bottom of the tank and attach a garden hose to it. Run the hose out to the yard or a suitable location where it can drain. Open up the hot water faucets in the house and then open up the tank drain valve, allowing it to empty. If sediment clogs the valve, you may have to take it off to clear out the sediment. Once the tank is empty, shut the drain valve off and turn on the cold water supply to loosen sediment in the tank, then drain the tank again.
When you’re done, shut off the drain valve and and turn on the water supply. Shut off the hot water faucets. Then, restore power to the unit.
For more on keeping your water heater in top shape, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve serviced our Indianapolis customers for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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