Nate Trail from To The T Plumbing is helping the community learn how to maintain your water heater. Water heater maintenance allows you to keep it working as long as possible and prevents sediment build-up, which helps prevent tank failure.

Step 1: Kill all energy sources, electrical, water, and gas.

Step 2: Connect a garden hose to drain water from the water heater. The hose needs to lead to a drain for the water to properly drain out.

Step 3: At the drain, slotted handles require a flat head screwdriver. Slowly loosen the handles to allow the water to drain. Lift at the temperature-pressure relief valve until it's pointed out toward you. Now, allow the water to drain. This can take several minutes or even hours depending on how much sediment is in your tank.

Here in Colorado, we have hard water and the calcium starts to heat up, separating the calcium in the water, which then falls to the bottom of the tank and, at that point, calcium builds. Over time, the calcium will burn a hole through the tank which causes tank failure, and that why it's imperative to drain the water heater every 6-12 months.

Step 4: Water needs to be completely drained, and then you will reverse the process and get the water turned back on safely. Never shock a plumbing system, that means: Do everything slowly so you don't have problems in the future.

Step 5: Now, it's time to get the water heater back up and running. First, close the TNP (temperature and pressure relief valve). Second, turn to drain with a flat head screwdriver till perpendicular when you know it's drained. Third, turn the gas on, follow the gas line back to the gas valve (parallel with piping) to turn back on. Turn water on slightly, nice and slow so as not to put stress on the water heater. If you hear a "burp", the water just letting the air out. Then, fully turn the water on once the water starts going through the tank. Fourth, power the gas back up to go back to the power source. With a power vent, it will pre-fire up on its own and will then fire the gas water heater. Lastly, make sure you have an expansion tank or valve, this is a safety precaution and is required. If you don't have one, it's required to bring the unit up to code.


Having issues trying to figure out how to flush your water heater for maintenance? Contact us at To the T Plumbing & Heating to personally show you how it’s done. Once we show you the process, you can perform the sequence yourself!