Dear Burton,

I heard that you should empty out your water heater every so often, so sediment doesn’t build up inside. Before I tackle this project myself, is there anything I need to know?

  • New Home Newcomer

Dear Newcomer,

Great question. You’re right that flushing your water heater periodically reduces the gunk that collects in the bottom of your tank.

Over time, sediment from your water lines can flow into the tank, settle at the bottom, and slowly block the heating elements from doing their best work. Not only does this shorten the life of your tank because it has to work much harder to maintain temperature, it also wastes a lot of energy. You may even notice that your water doesn’t run as hot as it used to, or varies in temperature while you use it.

How often you should flush your water heater depends on your system. When in doubt, call a home plumber first!

Some water heater manufacturers recommend draining a little water off every month. Others are made to be drained every six months, or annually. But if you’ve got an old tank that’s never been drained, doing so for the first time can actually cause more serious problems.

That’s why in an older home, we suggest you have a home plumber conduct a quick water heater inspection prior to flushing, or have our expert plumbers perform the flush for you.

If the inspection shows your tank to be in healthy working order, you’re safe to handle periodic flushing on your own. We’ll even show you exactly how to perform this maintenance on your particular system. It’s a simple process, but the exact steps vary by tank type, location, and age.

Talking to a home plumber before you flush your system can save you considerable time and money down the road

Water heaters are typically tucked away in your basement, in a closet, or even in the garage. That means when they leak, you may not notice the issue for days or weeks. By the time you discover the leak, you could have thousands of dollars in water damage, significant mold, and ruined personal items.

Improper flushing, or not flushing often enough, can trigger these kinds of significant leaks. That’s why a simple inspection before you flush your tank is more than worth the time and money.

To schedule your inspection (or repair a flush gone wrong) just call the home plumbers at Burton!

Flushing your hot water tank is a simple process just about any home handyperson can do. But if you’ve got an older tank, stop the disaster before it starts with an inspection from the expert home plumbers here at Burton. For upfront pricing, industry-leading warranties, and a customer satisfaction guarantee, Just Call Burton!