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How often to flush the water heater? #8135161 01/19/21 05:41 PM
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Texas Dan Offline OP
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Because my water heater is located in my garage, it's easy to connect a garden hose to it and wash the vehicles while flushing the sediment from the bottom of the tank. I've been doing it just once a year, a practice that apparently yielded a good, 15 years from the old water heater. Would there be any added benefit from doing it more often?

TIA


Dan

Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8135170 01/19/21 05:48 PM
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Depends on the amount of sediment or crud in it. You doing it 1 time a year is way more than most do. Also, there should be a sacrificial anode rod inside, at least the electric ones. Not sure on gas. Most don’t address those either. When it goes, then the tank itself starts to go.


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Originally Posted by machinist
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Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8135603 01/19/21 10:43 PM
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They all have anodes. Water quality has a lot to do with the amount of service required.

Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8135646 01/19/21 11:15 PM
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Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8135766 01/20/21 12:36 AM
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Jim Dutton says not to do it unless you've been doing it yearly since new. I've never had to replace a water heater and I've never flushed one either.

Last edited by Jimbo1; 01/20/21 12:37 AM.
Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8135797 01/20/21 12:55 AM
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Who’s Jim Dutton? No offense


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Originally Posted by machinist
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Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Jimbo1] #8135882 01/20/21 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Jimbo1
Jim Dutton says not to do it unless you've been doing it yearly since new.


Jim hosts a syndicated home improvement radio show.

I suspect that's because flushing a heavy buildup of sediment can also remove some metal from the bottom of the tank over time, which could create a leak when it might not otherwise.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 01/20/21 01:48 AM.

Dan

Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8139527 01/22/21 08:55 PM
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I just replaced my lower element yesterday and cleaned out sediment and calcium/lime buildup with my shop vac and 3/4 inch tubing taped to the end of vacuum hose. I am going to replace my water heater drain with a bigger drain valve so I can flush it easier than It did this time. This video is very helpful and even shows you the supplies needed to do the job.
Here are links to the specific parts I used to build my valve in the video:

https://amzn.to/37B6Aoi
https://amzn.to/36CFrQq
https://thd.co/36sRa48
https://amzn.to/36B7Mqv

Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8139548 01/22/21 09:16 PM
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Living in Ft Worth and working for a water company, I'll tell you I flush mine at least once a year. If I can smell chlorine in the water I do it at that time too. If you can smell chlorine the residual chlorine used to treat the water is either too high or too low. If it's too high you get scaling from your tank and if it's too low you build up scaling which either way you want to get it out of the tank

Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8139893 01/23/21 02:35 AM
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I drain when I replace the heating rod(s).


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Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8139916 01/23/21 02:57 AM
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Just replaced both elements a couple weeks ago. The water heater was replaced 7 years ago, have drained it twice before. The water softener installed when the water heater was replaced sure has helped out.

Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: 68rustbucket] #8140177 01/23/21 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 68rustbucket
Just replaced both elements a couple weeks ago. The water heater was replaced 7 years ago, have drained it twice before. The water softener installed when the water heater was replaced sure has helped out.


Water softener also helped mine.


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Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8140178 01/23/21 12:54 PM
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Probably a waste of time for the most part

The drain valve on a water heater when fully open is about the diameter of a No.2 Pencil. So good luck getting all the sediment out.

I will remove the factory drain and put in a 3/4" 8" Brass Nipple and full port threaded ball valve on the end of the nipple, This will let you get all the sediment out of the water heater if you want to drain it.

You wil have to put a 3" nipple on the end of the ball valve and put a hose adapter like from Home Depot/Lowes to hook up to a water hose.

But overall it's a waste of time for most

Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8140233 01/23/21 02:08 PM
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Mine has a larger drain plug just above the water hose faucet. Once had a plumber named Cruz for Rosenberg dip out the silt wit a small wooden paddle.


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Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8140247 01/23/21 02:16 PM
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This is good info thanks fellas

Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: TPACK] #8140334 01/23/21 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by TPACK
I just replaced my lower element yesterday and cleaned out sediment and calcium/lime buildup with my shop vac and 3/4 inch tubing taped to the end of vacuum hose. I am going to replace my water heater drain with a bigger drain valve so I can flush it easier than It did this time. This video is very helpful and even shows you the supplies needed to do the job.
Here are links to the specific parts I used to build my valve in the video:

https://amzn.to/37B6Aoi
https://amzn.to/36CFrQq
https://thd.co/36sRa48
https://amzn.to/36B7Mqv

Wish I had known about this when I drain mine a couple weeks ago.

Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8140469 01/23/21 05:50 PM
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Be careful with the less expensive drain valves that tend to drip (after closing) if they haven't been opened in a while. If you run into this problem, the better hardware stores often have a copper, screw-on cap with a rubber seal that will fix the problem.

Last edited by Texas Dan; 01/23/21 05:50 PM.

Dan

Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8140559 01/23/21 07:18 PM
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I never changed my anode nor flush my water heater and it lasted for 22 years.

Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8140561 01/23/21 07:20 PM
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Well jopag, I guess you don’t live in the hill country with a high lime content water supply. Lucky man.

Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: jopag] #8140727 01/23/21 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jopag
I never changed my anode nor flush my water heater and it lasted for 22 years.


Exactly

Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8140729 01/23/21 10:26 PM
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I have (2) 50 Gallon Natural Gas Water Heaters in my 2nd story attic. I change them out every 12 years to be safe

I don't drain them for sediment either

Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: RedRanger] #8140793 01/23/21 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by RedRanger
I have (2) 50 Gallon Natural Gas Water Heaters in my 2nd story attic. I change them out every 12 years to be safe

I don't drain them for sediment either



Somewhat similar for me with my electric water heater,


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Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8140885 01/24/21 12:57 AM
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My water heater is in the attic. Next month I am moving it down to the garage. I am thinking about saving some space and not using the pan. I see no need for a pan with water heater in the garage. Neighbor said it might be code. I said it wasn't in 1989 but I know codes change.


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Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Stump_jumper] #8140898 01/24/21 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Stump_jumper
My water heater is in the attic. Next month I am moving it down to the garage. I am thinking about saving some space and not using the pan. I see no need for a pan with water heater in the garage. Neighbor said it might be code. I said it wasn't in 1989 but I know codes change.



Mine is in my laundry room next to my garage. No problem.


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Re: How often to flush the water heater? [Re: Texas Dan] #8144155 01/26/21 05:39 PM
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When I replaced my gas hot water heater a couple of months ago, I took the 1/4 turn ball valve off the old one and put it on the new one...like stated above, those factory drain valves have a tiny port. I want to blow the keck out of it every spring and every fall. Next time you drain your water heater, tie a sock over the end of the hose and then take a look at how much stuff it catches.

I just make a weekend of HVAC service, water heaters, cleaning strainers on faucets, replacing carbon and particulate filters on the RO filter, replacing smoke alarm and CO detector batteries, dryer vent cleaning, and the like.


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