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Do You Know What’s Living Inside Your Water Heater?


Because our water heater tanks are usually kept hidden away in a utility closet, it’s easy to fall prey to the old “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. When we forget about and neglect our annual water heater maintenance, though, our water heaters can suffer for it.

Sediment can build up inside the tank and make your water heater less efficient, and therefore more expensive to run.

Read on to learn how you can drain and flush your water heater to remove sediment buildup and improve your water heater’s function, while also extending its life!

Do You Have Sediment Buildup in Your Water Heater Tank?

If you've been hearing strange sounds like rumbling or popping and wondering where it was coming from, the culprit may be your water heater. More specifically, the culprit is the sediment that has built up inside your water heater tank!

Over time, dirt, dust, and other debris can settle in the bottom of your water heater tank and harden, creating a layer of insulation between the water and the heating element. This makes the water heater less efficient, as the heater has to work harder to reach and heat the water.

Excessive sediment buildup can also lead to severe damage to your water heater tank and can make your water heater break down prematurely. If there is sediment buildup in your tank, you may experience some of the following:

  • Inconsistent water temperatures
  • Decreased ability of your water heater to produce hot water (you run out of hot water faster than you used to)
  • Increased energy bills
  • Loud popping sounds (from the water in your tank breaking through the layer of sediment)

How to Flush Your Water Heater Drain Valve


The first step in getting the sediment out of your water heater tank is to drain the tank. To do that, you have to first either shut off the breaker (for electric heaters) or switch the gas burner to pilot mode (for gas heaters) and shut off the water supply valve.

It is recommended that you wait a few hours before doing anything else, to allow the water in the tank to cool. When you’re ready to flush the tank, attach a garden hose to the drain valve and run the other end of it to a bathtub or floor drain. Open a hot water faucet and open the drain valve, allowing it to empty.

Once the tank is empty, close the drain, open the cold water valve, and fill up the tank. Repeat this process until the water draining from the tank runs clear. Shut the drain valve one last time, and fill the tank again with cold water. You can then turn the power back on to the tank.

Remember that sediment buildup in your water heater tank can not only make your water heater noisy and inefficient, but it can also cause a safety hazard in more extreme cases. If you’ve been neglecting your water heater maintenance, don’t wait until it breaks down (or worse)!

Call Minnesota Plumbing and Heating today at (952) 445-4444 to speak with an experienced plumbing contractor in Bloomington, MN for more information about water heater draining and flushing!