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Flushing your water heater is an important maintenance task that helps maintain its efficiency and prolong its lifespan. Over time, sediment buildup can accumulate at the bottom of the tank, reducing heating efficiency and thereby causing damage. Flushing the heater removes sediment, ensuring that it operates smoothly and efficiently.

Apart from hiring a professional hot water service, there are other steps you can take to flush your hot water heater. This article provides a step-by-step guide to help you flush your hot water heater effectively:

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Guide to flushing your water heater

  • Turn Off the Power

Before starting the flushing process, it’s important to turn off the power supply to the water heater. For electric heaters, switch off the circuit breaker connected to the heater. For gas heaters, turn off the gas supply valve.

  • Allow the Water to Cool

Hot water can cause burns, so you should allow the water in the heater to cool down before proceeding with the flushing process. Waiting several hours or overnight ensures that the water is cool and safe to handle.

  • Turn Off the Water Supply

Locate the cold water supply valve connected to the water heater and turn it off. This valve is usually located above the heater on the incoming water pipe. Turning off the water supply prevents additional water from entering the tank during the flushing process.

  • Attach a Garden Hose

Next, connect a garden hose to the drain valve located near the bottom of the water heater. Ensure that the hose is securely attached and that the other end is directed to a safe drainage area, such as a floor drain, outdoor area, or utility sink.

  • Open the Pressure Relief Valve

To facilitate the draining process and prevent a vacuum from forming in the tank, open the pressure relief valve located near the top of the water heater. Pull up the valve’s lever to release any pressure inside the tank.

  • Drain the Tank

Once the hose is securely attached and the pressure relief valve is open, turn on a hot water faucet in your home to allow air into the system. Then, open the drain valve on the water heater to begin draining the tank. Be careful during this process, as the water may be hot and contain sediment.

  • Flush the Tank

Allow the water to drain completely from the tank. As the tank empties, sediment and debris will be flushed out with the water. You may need to open and close the drain valve several times to help dissolve stubborn sediment.

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  • Refill and Flush Again (Optional)

After the initial flush, you may choose to refill the tank partially and repeat the flushing process to ensure thorough cleaning. This step can help remove any remaining sediment and debris from the tank.

  • Close the Drain Valve and Pressure Relief Valve

Once the tank is thoroughly flushed, close the drain valve and pressure relief valve. Remove the garden hose and ensure that all connections are tight.

  • Turn On the Water Supply and Power

Finally, turn the cold water supply valve back on to refill the tank. Once the tank is full, turn the power supply back on by resetting the circuit breaker or turning on the gas supply valve.


Flushing your water heater regularly is a simple jet effective maintenance task that can prolong the lifespan of your heater and ensure efficient operation. By following these steps, you can effectively flush your water heater and enjoy a reliable hot water supply for years to come.

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