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How to Do a Water Heater Flush

plumbing-toolsWater heaters suffer from wear and tear over time, just like any other machine. A specific issue that starts to build up in water heaters is sediment inside the tank. As water from the municipal system enters the tank, heavier particles and minerals gradually settle along the bottom of the tank. This creates problems: the sediment forms an insulation layer against the burners, making the burner work harder to heat up the water. Too much sediment can also cause water pressure inside the tank to rise.

The solution is to do a regular water heater flush every few years. Flushing out the water and replacing it will remove most of the sediment, giving the water heater a fresh start and better performance.

So how do I do a water heater flush?

You want to try it yourself? Okay, here’s how to go about it:

  • Make sure you have all the right tools: a 4-in-1 screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, a hacksaw, a hammer, plumbers tape, a bunch of rags, a shop vacuum, a garden hose, a brass ball valve, and slip joint pliers.
  • You need to purchase a number of special parts so you can build a shop vacuum adapter. This will require a new drain valve with a ¾” full-port brass ball valve with threaded ends, plus a 3” x ¾” galvanized nipple, and a ¾” MIP x G.H. garden hose adapter. You’ll use these parts to assemble a vacuum to attach to the tank, which requires a female PVC trap adapter, a ¾” MIP x ½” barb fitting, and a 24” piece of 1/2” vinyl tubing.
  • Okay, so you’ve got all that. Now it’s time to drain the water heater tank. Turn off the gas as well as the electricity for your home and clear out the hot water by turning on a bathtub faucet and blasting out hot water for 10 minutes. But remember, there’s sediment coming out of that water, and you don’t want it going down the drain, so use a kitchen strainer to catch the sediment and periodically dump it out.
  • Now you need to replace the old drain valve by…

Wait, how much longer does this go on?

We have a few more bullet points, although there’s also some important troubleshooting.

Uhm, this seems really complicated …

Yes, it is. We agree.

Is there a simpler way I can handle it?

Yes, actually. The simplest. Just get in touch with us! Although technically possible as a “do-it-yourself” job, flushing out a water heater is too time-consuming and difficult to handle to make it really worth all your time, or the risk of something going wrong. You also don’t want to shop for all those components, do you? Let a great plumber in Sacramento, CA take on the job.

Our plumbers can not only have your water heater flushed out quickly, they can handle anything else that may be wrong with it. We abide by a strict code of conduct, which is how we’re able to deliver the finest customer service.

Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air offers up customer service the way it used to be! The customer service you deserve!

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