Standard hot water tanks require regular flushing to extend it’s life, and prevent common problems such as sediment build up, odours, loss of pressure, or blocked pipes.
Flushing your tank is simple – you’ll need a garden hose and some patience to get the job done.
First, turn off the heater control and the water supply to your tank. For electric heaters, turn off the power before you do anything else. For natural gas heaters, turn the gas valve on the tank to the pilot position or the lowest temperature setting.
Next, attach a garden hose to the drain found near the tank’s bottom, and direct it towards the floor drain. Slowly open the drain until it’s fully open, allowing the water to flow. Be careful, as the water may be hot!
Turn on the hot water taps throughout your home to allow air into the system. Once you do this, you’ll begin to see water flowing out of the hose. You can expect it to take 20 to 60 minutes for your tank to drain, depending on size.
Once the water has drained, turn the valve at the top of the tank back on for a few moments to allow some water in, which will flush the remaining sediment out of the garden hose. Repeat three to four times, or until the water looks clean and clear. When you have completed these cycles, close the drain and remove the garden hose.
Next, refill your tank by opening the water supply valve. Once the water starts flowing from the hot water taps that are open throughout your home, you can turn them off.
Before you clean up, check the drain valve for leaking. If you do see leaking, open and close the valve a few times, in case sediment is blocking the drain.
Finally, turn the hot water control back on.
Alberta New Home Warranty recommends that you flush your hot water tank annually.