When Should You Drain Your Water Heater?

Water heater draining is crucial in northern Utah, and here are some tips to make it easier on your unit!

A tech checking the thermostat of a recent water heater installation and water heater flush appointment

Every household appliance needs to be properly maintained throughout the course of each year, which is why water heater repairs are so crucial for every northern Utah home. We all know just how harsh our climate can be, and our water heaters are what make many daily activities more comfortable and convenient.

Below are some tips to help you know when it’s a good time to drain your water heater unit, and how to do so on your own!

Why Exactly Is It Important To Clean & Drain Water Heaters?

Most water heaters are designed to last several years, and when properly maintained, water heater units can last 20+ years. However, one of the biggest issues that northern Utah homeowners experience is sediment buildup within their water heater tanks, which is a byproduct of hard water.

Although our water softeners can help you avoid sediment buildup, you’re still going to need to drain your water heater on a regular basis to help avoid serious issues like corrosion and rust buildup. When water heaters are neglected for too long, they can potentially leak or even burst, so regularly cleaning and draining your water heater is a necessary maintenance step to expand its overall lifetime.

How Often Should Water Heaters Be Drained?

There are several factors that dictate how often a water heater unit should be drained, including:

  • The home’s level of hard water
  • The water heater tank’s size
  • The household’s size

The general rule of thumb is that your water heater should be drained at least on a yearly basis, but here in northern Utah, hard water has made it necessary to flush water heaters multiple times per year.

Consistent draining is a critical maintenance step that should never be ignored, because these easy steps can prevent all sorts of efficiency issues and expensive water heater repairs!

Tips To Properly Clean Your Home’s Water Heater

Water heater repairs should generally be done by industry experts, and below is an overview about how these procedures are conducted:

Turn Off The Water Supply

The first step of draining a water heater is always to cut off the property’s water supply. In newer homes, this could simply mean turning off a water heater’s water connection; however in many other homes, you may need to shut off your home’s main water connection.

Turn Off Your Unit’s Thermostat

It’s also important to not forget about a water heater’s thermostat at the beginning of a flushing appointment, because this needs to be turned off. There are some models that can go into vacation mode, which can be utilized in these scenarios as well.

The main reason why this is important is because it helps prevent inadvertent damages to your water heater unit while it’s being drained.

Connect a Hose To The Unit’s Drain Valve

The next step is to locate your unit’s drain valve and connect a hose to it, and it’s crucial to make sure the other end of the hose goes to a drain. It’s important to remember that the water draining out of this hose will be hot, which means it could potentially damage your plants and lawn.

Turn On Your Home’s Hot Water Faucets

By turning on all of your home’s hot water faucets, you can help your unit drain much faster. This step creates a vacuum-like effect that’ll allow liquids to drain more efficiently.

Open Up The Unit’s Drain Valve

It’s crucial to remember that your unit’s water should flow where you want it to when you’re ready to open up the drain valve, and this is the step where you’ll be able to see tiny sediment deposits flowing out of your water heater.

If no water comes out, this could be an indication that your water heater has a drain valve clog. But if all goes well, you should observe water flowing out of your unit.

Turn Your Home’s Water Supply On Again

Once you’ve drained all the water out of your unit, it’ll be time to turn your home’s water supply back on again in order to rinse out any lingering sediment buildup.

Leave the drain valve open for a few minutes to examine the water flowing out of your unit, and make sure the water you see is clear before you turn the water supply off again.

Disconnect The Drain Valve Hose

Once the water is clear and you’ve effectively eliminated your unit’s sediment, you’ll be ready to disconnect the hose from the drain valve. Be sure to check your drain valve’s opening for any sediment as well, and close up the valve before turning your water supply on.

Leave Your Faucets Turned On

This next step is often overlooked, but it’s important to keep your faucets running in order to prevent air bubbles being trapped within them. And just remember that it’s normal to see sediment and rust coming out of your faucets shortly after a water heater flush, because this is just a part of the process and your water should look normal within a minute or so.

Resetting The Unit’s Thermostat

The final step of the flushing process is to reset the unit’s thermostat to your preferred settings. You also may need to reopen your gas supply valves if your unit runs on natural gas.

You’ll also need to wait about 5-10 minuets to allow your unit to fill back up before it’s ready to provide your household with hot water once again.

Contact The Water Heater Repair Experts at Beehive Plumbing For a Flush Appointment!

Beehive Plumbing has provided water heater services for homes and businesses throughout northern Utah for over twenty years, and our Master Plumbers are always available when you need to have your unit properly flushed.

Reach out to us online or give us a call at 801-661-8155 to schedule your next water heater flush appointment today! 

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