Why Should You Flush Sediment from Your Water Heater Annually?
Sediment buildup inside your water heater can cause fluctuations in water temperature and can increase your energy bills. Sediment buildup may also clog pipes and fixtures, which can damage appliances and reduce their efficiency.

The good news is that flushing your water heater each year helps prevent these problems, and it gives you the opportunity to check other parts to ensure your water heating system is operating at optimal efficiency. Use these handy tips for flushing your storage water heating system to maximize performance and prolong its lifespan.

Annual System Flushing

One of the reasons sediment buildup causes so many problems in your water heating system is that it insulates the bottom of the storage tank and blocks efficient heat exchange. If your water heating system pops and bangs, steam bubbles are forming beneath sediment buildup. It needs to be flushed out as follows:

  • Turn off the gas or electricity to your system. Attach a water hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the storage tank. Extend the water hose to a drain or outside your home.
  • To lower hot water temperature inside the storage tank to prevent scalding, turn on the hot water fixtures in your sinks and bathtubs for about 10 minutes. This allows hot water to flow out of the storage tank and cooler intake water to flow into the tank.
  • Turn on the drain valve. After water has stopped flowing out of the water hose, remove the drain valve to access the inside of the storage tank.
  • If you have an electric water heater, remove the heating element near the bottom of the tank for easier access.
  • Scrub the inside of the storage tank with a thin brush to dislodge any remaining sediment. Attach the drain valve, and turn on the water intake valve to continue flushing the tank an additional five minutes.
  • Close the drain valve, remove the hose and allow the water heater to refill.

If you have questions about water heater maintenance or would like to schedule service, please contact Stack Heating & Cooling. We’ve served Northeast Ohio residents since 1976.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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