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How to Drain and Flush a Water Heater to Remove Accumulated Sediment

Note:  The video article has been updated in response to many of the viewer submitted suggestions in the comments section below.  Thank you.

Over time, minerals suspended in your incoming household water supply can settle to the bottom of your water heater and build up quite an accumulation.  The harder your water, the more quickly this can happen.

For gas water heaters, in particular, with burners on the bottom, this accumulated layer of deposits can act as an insulation blanket, cutting down the burner’s efficiency, increasing energy costs and, in some cases, lead to premature failure of the tank itself.

Sediment can also get stirred up by incoming water and carried to faucet aerators, showerheads and washing machine filters.   It can clog these fittings causing stuttering, spurting and, in some cases, severe restriction of water flow.

This video takes you through the process of draining a water heater and flushing out the accumulated sediment.  If it’s been a while since you’ve carried out this procedure, or, if you’ve never done it, you’re apt to find quite a buildup inside.  So much so, that the sediment may prevent the water from even draining out.  This demonstration shows what to do if that’s the case.

You’ll also see how to determine if your water heater has a defective dip tube and, if so, how to replace it.


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