Is It Really Necessary to Flush a Water Heater?

A water heater being flushed

The water heater in your home has a tremendous responsibility, whether you realize it or not. This appliance constantly works hard to provide you and your household with hot water — and as a result, it’s important to keep up with its regular maintenance requirements.

If you ask a plumber about how to take care of your water heater, they will likely tell you to have the tank flushed on a regular basis. But is it really necessary to flush a water heater? What benefits can this particular service have? Let’s answer these questions and more below!

So, Should You Flush Your Water Heater?

Let’s address the elephant in the room: is it really necessary to flush a water heater? Without a doubt, the answer to this question is yes.

This simple maintenance task can help prevent sediment buildup in the water heater tank. Hard water carries sediment and minerals, which settle and collect at the bottom of the tank over time. When this sediment builds up, you can end up experiencing several problems, such as slow water-heating speeds. Not to mention, failing to keep up with your water heater’s needs can lead to you needing a premature replacement.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you should flush your water heater. If you’re looking to cut back on energy costs or keep your home as safe as possible, you’ll want to learn about even more benefits this maintenance task can have. Let’s discuss them in detail below.

Increased Efficiency

Sediment buildup can spell trouble for your water heater tank — but it can also cause unwanted troubles for your wallet. When this sediment collects at the bottom of the tank, it becomes difficult for the water to heat up. In most cases, the heating element will be cloaked with this debris. Since your water heater will have to work even harder to heat the water in the tank, you’ll end up wasting more energy and paying for higher energy bills.

Fortunately, flushing your water heater tank can have the opposite effect. Maintaining the tank will help your water heater run as efficiently as possible. The unit won’t have to work overtime as it heats the water. You can reap incredible energy savings as a result, which your wallet will be thankful for.

Enhanced Safety

As sediment builds up in your water heater tank, it can potentially end up blocking the T&P valve. This is bad news. The T&P valve (which is sometimes called the pressure relief valve) is responsible for making sure that the pressure inside the water heater doesn’t exceed a certain amount. If the pressure rises to an unsafe level, the T&P valve will open and release water from the tank. The pressure will drop as a result.

As you can imagine, you don’t want anything blocking the T&P valve. You should flush your water heater regularly to ensure that this valve remains free of debris and is able to function correctly.

As a homeowner, you take many steps to keep your family as safe and secure as possible. Draining your water heater can help ensure that everything is working properly (and safely). So, it really is necessary to flush a water heater regularly — especially if you want to avoid a larger issue down the line.

How Often Do Hot Water Heaters Need to Be Drained?

When it comes down to it, you should flush your water heater at least two to three times a year. However, you may want to drain it more frequently if you have hard water.

If it’s time to have your water heater flushed, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional technician for help. Many plumbers are trained in handling water heater maintenance and can perform a draining service.

As you know, neglecting to flush out sediment buildup can lead to various types of wear and tear in the tank — which could have you panicking and calling an emergency plumber as a result. Avoid a costly repair by being proactive with maintenance.

What Does the Flushing Process Look Like?

Before a plumber starts flushing your hot water heater, they’ll shut off the power to the unit and turn off the cold water supply. After the water has cooled, the technician will connect a hose to the drain valve. This is when the water finally starts draining from the tank.

Overall, the duration of the draining process can vary depending on the mineral content within the tank. If you’re dealing with a lot of sediment, the service might take a little longer. Once the sediment has been removed, the technician will turn the water supply back on.

And there you have it: the plumber has flushed your water heater successfully!

Keep Your Water Heater Running Smoothly With Radiant

Flushing your water heater tank certainly has its benefits. While this simple maintenance task will keep your hot water flowing, it can also improve your system’s energy efficiency. With an energy-efficient unit, you’ll enjoy faster heating speeds — and, potentially, lower energy costs.

At Radiant, our expert plumbers offer water heater services to help with various hot water problems. We also specialize in tankless water heaters if you prefer to have one of these units in your home. Reach out to us today for more information about our services!

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