How to Flush a Water Heater

  • Step 1:
    Turn off circuit breaker to water heater if electric.
    Turn control knob from on to pilot if standard natural gas
    Turn power switch of unit to off if power vent model
  • Step 2:
    Turn off cold water to unit; The shut off should be located within a few feet of cold inlet
  • Step 3:
    Attach hose to drain valve on bottom of unit; Run open end to floor drain
  • Step 4:
    Open drain valve and open hot side of laundry faucet or other hot side faucet to relieve vacuum in unit for faster draining.
  • Step 5:
    Once unit is totally drained, open cold water inlet several times, while drain valve is still open. This will help stir up sediment.
  • Step 6:
    Turn cold water inlet off
    Turn drain valve off
  • Step 7:
    Turn cold water inlet on, one-quarter to one-half way. This will allow the unit to refill slowly which is advisable especially in older homes.
  • Step 8:
    Once unit has filled to about three-quarters full, go to the laundry tub or other location where you opened the hot side, and wait for water.
    Once water arrives, run until clear, then shut off
  • Step 9:
    Turn cold valve on completely
    Remove Hose
    Reverse procedure from step 1

This procedure should be done annually, starting from the initial install installation of the unit

If the unit has been installed for 10 years and has never been flushed, starting now will not help. The build up is already there and caked on to the bottom.

For the best flushing, a full port ball type valve boiler drain should be installed so particles can pass easily (see products page)

One place water heater manufacturers save cost is by installing plastic or poor quality drains which may not stand up to use. If after flushing the valve continues to drip, our suggestion is to replace the valve with a proper drain valve (see products page) or a hose end cap which is available at your local hardware store.