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As an integral component of your home’s plumbing system, it is important to properly maintain your water heater to ensure that you have hot water when you need it. While water heater repairs or replacements are best left to the pros, if you’ve ever wondered how to flush your water heater, you can do it yourself by following these simple steps:

  • Step 1: Turn Off the Power or Gas. If you have an electric water heater, simply turn off the power. For a gas water heater, you can either turn off the gas or turn it down to pilot to make sure the heater won’t fire while you’re performing the maintenance.
  • Step 2: Shut Off the Water: Turn off the cold water feed, which is typically located on the right hand side of your water heater.
  • Step 3: Drain the Water Heater. Locate the drain value at the bottom of your water heater, hook a hose to the value, and find a place to drain between 40 and 50 gallons of water. Once the hose is hooked up, turn on the value and let the heater start draining.
  • Step 4: Perform Exterior Maintenance. While your water heater is draining, vacuum around the combustion chamber at the bottom of your water heater, around the base, the area where the pipes go into your water heater, and any intake filters.
  • Step 5: Flush Your Water Heater. Check to make sure that no more water is coming out of the hose. Leave the hose in your floor drain and turn the cold water back on to stir up any leftover debris in the bottom of the water heater to flush it out completely. After about 5-10 minutes, shut the drain valve off and let the water heater continue filling.
  • Step 6: Drain the Air Out. Once the water heater is done filling, drain the air out through a hot water fixture in another location in your house.
  • Step 7: Restore Power or Gas. Turn the power back on to your electric water heater, or light your gas water heater or turn the pilot back to the on position.

Headquarters Baethke Plumbing

  • 3511 N. Cicero Avenue Chicago, IL 60641
  • Open Open 24/7
  • (773) 570-9759