How Often Does My Hot Water Heater Tank Need Flushing?


You know that regular hot water heater maintenance is crucial to the longevity of the appliance. Occasionally, your water heater tank needs to be drained and cleared of sediment, to promote efficacy and minimize damage to the water heater. Here’s when you should do it.

Why Does My Water Tank Need Cleaning?

Hard water is a bit of a misnomer. It is not as though that water somehow feels sharper as it flows through a faucet. Rather, the term “hard water” means water that has certain kinds of minerals. Practically anywhere has hard water, but the degree to which it is hard varies between regions. While many minerals are benign or even helpful to consume, they can be hard on your plumbing. Over time, those minerals accumulate in your water heater tank, along with sediment coming from the city’s water supply. Imagine taking a bucket of water and filling it with water and a little sand, then dumping it out. If you do not rinse out the bucket from time to time, eventually the sand will fill it up.

When Do I Know My Water Heater Needs a Flush?

Fortunately, the water supply to your hot water heater is filtered somewhat before it reaches your home. Otherwise, your hot water heater tank would fill up with sediment in no time at all. You may not notice the accumulation, because it could take years. Over time, you will realize that you get less and less hot water from the tank before it runs out. If you are handy, you can pretty easily see the sediment coming out of the drain valve, unless the sediment has already clogged the valve. Experts generally recommend that you drain and remove the sediment from your water heater at least once a year. This helps to ensure the greatest supply of hot water to your home, and also prevents the sediment from corroding the water heater’s components.

How Is a Water Heater Tank Flushed?

Flushing a hot water heater tank is not terribly difficult, but it requires a confident hand to do it safely and correctly. Your Sacramento plumbers turn off power and fuel to the water heater. Running water from a faucet helps to eliminate some of the water in the tank, as well as decreasing its temperature. The plumbers use the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank to release the water currently in the tank. Plumbers may also fill the tank and drain it a second or even a third time, to help clear the sediment from the tank. The last steps include refilling the tank and resuming access to power and fuel.
Flushing your hot water heater tank is a fairly simple maintenance task that guarantees a good benefit for you and your home. When you flush the tank at least once a year, you keep more hot water for your household, and less sediment to ruin the tank. To schedule water heater repair or maintenance, contact Ace Plumbing.