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draining water heater confusion

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  • draining water heater confusion

    i have heard a lot of different ways to flush hot water tanks. some say to turn the fuel off, and water valve. open drain and drain the tank completely. other advice was to turn fuel off, leave water valve on and hook hose to the drain valve and run until clear repeat in six months. and richard, of this old house, says to use a pump. what do you guys recommend? here's the advice from richard.,00.html

  • #2
    Re: draining water heater confusion

    if it's been done religiously every 6 months from the get go, then a simple garden hose connected to the drain with gas and water on is fine. all you need is a good 30 second flush to wash out the loose stuff. i like to flush into a 5 gallon bucket to help see and capture the dirt/ grit.

    if you've never drained/ flushed or it's been a few years, then you will need to shut the gas or turn it to pilot. you'll need to remove the hose bibb and install a 3/4'' full port ball valve to allow for a good flush and drain.
    might need to turn the water on to help blast the loose stuff from the tank bottom. maybe even a vinegar bath to help loosen the deposits.

    don't waste your time if it's been 5 years. the stuff is all baked on and it's not worth the effort and chance of disrupting the "protective" crud.

    my 20 year old 40 gallon gas heater has only been flushed for 30 seconds with a hose 2x a year. i doubt today's heaters will be able to make it that long.

    phoebe it is