Yearly Maintenance Does a Water Heater Really Need to be Drained and Flushed Ultimate Guide by Same-Day BC Fix Hot Water Heater Repair, Replacement or drain drip pan Installation Service cost company Near me who fixing electric or gas tank or tankless hot water heater and help you get hot water again by our local specialist technician repairman at an affordable price. Give Us A call for faster service: Orlando, Orange County, Sanford, Seminole County, Kissimmee, Osceola County, Clermont, Lake County 407-988-2500, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Polk County, Sebring, Avon Park, Highland County, 863-302-9700, Tampa, Brandon, Hillsborough County, St Pete, Clearwater, Pinellas County, Wesley Chapel, New Port Richey, Pasco County, FL 813-733-6900
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He asked me to help him drain and flush to maintenance his water heater. About that, I often get asked, “Is it really necessary to drain and flush a preventative maintenance on a hot water heater regularly?” To summarize my reply, the answer is, for about 85 percent of people, it’s better if they simply don’t touch their water heater at all. Just let it do its thing. Don’t drain it, don’t flush it, don’t even look at it. Just completely ignore it and let it do its thing. I’ve worked on many, many tankless water heater maintenance, and I’ve seen plenty of them over 20 and 30 years old, sometimes even over 40 years old, and the homeowner said they never flushed them or drained them even once. So, from my own experience, which, by the way, you are free to agree with or disagree with or add on to in the comments below, I’d love to see there. So, in my personal opinion, I believe that for most people, it’s better if they just leave their water heater tune up alone. Especially if your water heater is over 10 or 15 years old and you’ve never flushed it or drained it before, chances are, if you start touching the valves like the pressure relief valve or the drain valve, then they might start to leak, and you’re not going to be able to close them off all the way. So now you just created more problems. In those cases, honestly, with older water heaters, it’s best to just not touch them. Let sleeping dogs sleep.
So, how would you decide if you need to drain and flush your hot water heater maintenance or not? My brother, for example, the reason I’m going to do this on his water heater right now is that he has a water catchment system that’s literally catching rainwater in a big metal tank outside, and he’s using rainwater to supply water to his whole house. Or, if you have well water or if you have water that you know has a lot of mineral content or is hard water, then you may want to consider draining and flushing your water heater. From my experience, it seems like electric water heaters maintenance have a bigger problem with this sediment and calcium buildup than gas water heaters, and that’s because of the heating elements, especially the lower heating element on an electric water heater. Oftentimes, that sediment will build up to that lower element, and it’ll cause it to burn out faster. So, if you’re working on an electric water heater and the lower element is burnt out, when you replace that, I would also make sure to take a look through that hole and see how much sediment buildup is inside of that tank. If there’s a lot of flakes and other sludgy material, then you might want to stick a pipe in there with a vacuum attached and suck that stuff out. Take some water, squirt it in there, maybe from a garden hose, squirt it backwards, stir it all up, and just keep sucking that stuff out. Or maybe attach a drain hose to the drain line and drain it out as much as you can and get most of that stuff out of there.
As for gas water heater cleaning, it doesn’t seem to be as big of an issue operationally. It doesn’t really affect it. The only difference, though, I mean, if you have a layer of sediment and buildup that’s about this much on the bottom of the tank, when the burners come on on the gas water heater, that burner has to heat through that layer of sediment first before it starts to heat the water up. So, efficiency-wise, it does cut down on efficiency, causing your water heater to run longer.
To make a long answer short, if you were to ask me, “Do I need to drain my water heater?” most likely, I would say no, unless you know for a fact that your water quality is not very good or if you have a well or a water catchment system. Anyway, if any of you are interested in what the water is going to look like coming out of my brother’s water heater, we’re about to find out. I already asked him to turn the power off to the electric water heater repair before I came, so it’s been off for about three hours, and they’ve been using the hot water, so most of the water in the tank has cooled off. If you have a gas water heater, then you want to turn the gas to pilot or to off and let it cool off that way. And then you simply attach a drain hose. This is a regular garden hose, and preferably, you want a short hose, not like a 100-foot hose or a 50-foot hose. What I have hooked up right now is a 15-foot hose. That way, it’ll drain a little faster.
By the way, I noticed that this drain cap was on here, which reminded me, often times, whenever I go out to customers’ houses and they don’t want to pay for a new drain valve if it’s leaking just a little bit and tightening it does not stop the leak, if they don’t want to pay for a new drain valve, I just tell them, “You know what? We can just simply put on a brass cap with a seal in it, and that will be plain enough to stop that leak.” And really, that’s all you need. If you have a really slow, small leak, then go ahead and just throw a cap on the drain valve, and you should be good to go.
Okay, so I got my drain hose hooked up, and before I open up my valve, I’m going to turn off the water supply to the water heater. That way, it’s not going to be refilling as I’m draining it. Next, what I like to do is open up a couple of hot water faucets in the house to help the servicing tankless water heater drain faster. Open the hot side of the faucet and leave it open. The water should come to a slow drip. Now, I’m ready to open up the drain valve. Depending on what drain valve you have, you might need to go counterclockwise continually to unscrew it, or in my case, I just have to do a quarter turn to open up the valve. It’s just a ball valve, and that will get the water going. And as you can see, there’s nothing coming out on the other side of the hose.
Before I do anything else, I’m going to try to blow backwards into this hose and see if I can dislodge any of that stuff in there. In some cases, opening the hot water faucets is not going to be enough. Your water heater will either drain super, super slowly, or it won’t drain at all. In those cases, you might need to open your pressure relief valve to let some air in from the top of the tank so that the water can come out easier. Or you could also crack open one of these fittings on the cold supply, either the top or the bottom of this flex line, to let some air in that way. If I can, I try to avoid pulling the pressure relief valve too often because once you pull this thing, it might start to leak, and you may end up having to replace it.
And it looks like pulling the pressure relief valve did the trick. The tankless water heater cleaning now started to drain. As you can see, we already got half a bucket full, and it actually looks like the water is not too bad coming out. I was expecting it to look a lot more dirty and some more grime and slushy-looking stuff coming out, but it’s not looking too bad. The water heater is going to take some time to drain, so while it’s draining, there’s one more thing I want to point out. This drain valve port, it’s actually sitting about an inch
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