If you have a tank-style gas or electric water heater you can extend the lifespan of the unit by regularly flushing the tank to remove sediment build-up that can reduce heating efficiency and shorten the lifespan of the unit. In some cases, you may notice that your water heater is making a gurgling sound when heating. This often indicates that sediment at the bottom of the tank is causing the water to boil. You may also notice that the hot water supply is gradually reduced over time.
Sediment is caused by minerals like calcium in the water and rust from the plumbing system that can accumulate at the bottom of the tank. Flushing the tank regularly to remove sediment buildup helps the burner work more efficiently. It also reduces the likelihood that the bottom of the tank will develop corrosion and leaks.
How Often Should I Flush My Water Heater Tank?
How often you should flush the tank depends on a number of factors, including the size of the tank. As a general guide, you should go by the number of people in the household and how hard your water is. Here is a general guide for how often you should flush your tank.
- 1 or 2 person household – Inspect the water heater every 6 months and flush the tank every 12 months.
- 3 or 5 person household – Inspect the water heater every 4 months and drain the tank every 8 months.
- 6 or more person household: Inspect the water heater every 4 months and drain the tank every 6 months.
- If your home has hard water problems, where you are having to clean the shower head regularly to remove deposits, the water heater tank should be flushed at least once a year
Need help maintaining your water heater? Call Anthony’s Plumbing, we can help with all your home plumbing maintenance needs from sewer and drain to plumbing fixtures and water heaters.