Should You Flush Your Water Heater?

25 August 2022
 Categories: , Blog

A poorly maintained water heater could lead to leaks and expensive repairs. You know your water heater needs regular maintenance, but do you know what to do? A simple maintenance routine is having an expert flush your water heater. Here is a guide on flushing your water heater and its importance.

Why Is It Necessary?

Flushing helps get rid of the sediment in the tank. When water gets into the tank, it may seem clean, but it contains impurities and residue. So, after some time, the sediment builds up at the bottom.

When a small amount of sediment accumulates, it may not be harmful. However, the effects are detrimental if you ignore flushing for some years. The results could be a burst tank and costly repairs or replacements. Flushing helps you avoid these two problems:

Shortage of Hot Water

A water heater tank with accumulated sediment is prone to hold less water. For instance, assuming you have a 50-gallon water heater and 20 gallons of sediment, the capacity of the tank to store water reduces to 30 gallons. The reduced capacity could result in a shortage, depending on the usage in your household.


When sediment accumulates in the tank, it creates an insulating barrier between the burner and the water. Therefore, the heater will have to work twice as hard to heat the water, which results in more pressure in the tank, and could lead to an explosion.

What Is the Best Interval for Flushing the Water Heater?

There is no specific interval after which you should get your water heater flushed. The best frequency will depend on the water in your area and the filtration system's effectiveness in your water supply. 

An effective filtration system lets in a few sediments reducing the buildup, while an ineffective infiltration allows more sediment into the tank, accelerating the buildup. If your region has hard water, you will need frequent flushing services compared to a homeowner living in an area with soft water.

To know how frequent the flushing should be, find your geographical area on the map detailing the concentration of hardness per liter. Your region will be marked by color, then refer to the map to see how hard the water is. You might need flushing twice a year if you live in an area with a high mineral concentration in the water or once a year if your area has soft water.

While flushing sounds easy, there is a specific step-by-step process experts follow to avoid damaging the water heater and incurring injury. Without the proper knowledge, you won't know what to look for or focus on, which could lead to inefficient flushing. Always seek professional help from an expert plumber to extend the durability of your unit.  

For more information, contact a local heating contractor