If your home's hot water is flowing slowly, has an offensive odor, or has developed a rust-colored tint, then you need to flush out your hot water heater's tank. Flushing out the water heater's tank removes the built-up sediment in the bottom of the tank. This sediment is responsible for clogging your plumbing and prematurely burning out the water heater's electrical heating elements. In addition, sediment will often lead to problems with minerals in your hot water or an offensive smell.
While flushing the tank's sediment should be a simple procedure, a tank that is clogged with too much sediment will not drain at all without some extra work to make it do so. Follow this process to drain your sediment-clogged tank to help restore a clear and strong hot water flow in your home:
Step 1: Turn off the power and cold water lines that service the hot water heater. If at all possible, turn off the power to the tank a few hours before you need to drain it. This gives the water time to cool down and will lessen your chance of being burned by contact with it.
Step 2: Place a dishpan under the water spigot on the lower part of the water heater's tank. Open the valve and you will likely find that no water comes out. If this is the case, then put a stiff wire into the spigot and move it around to loosen the sediment that is blocking its flow. Since calcium sediments can clump together and form rocks, you may need to work the wire into the tank for a while before the water will freely flow out of the tank like it is designed to do.
Step 3: Once the water starts flowing freely from the spigot, then attach a garden hose to it and drain the water tank's remaining water into your bathtub.
Step 4: Since the water heater's tank is prone to sediment problems, you need to turn back on the cold water line for the water heater and allow some clean water to run through the tank. This simple step helps remove any residual sediment that is still inside of the tank. Keep running the water through the tank until the water flowing out of the hose is clear and no longer contains any white particles.
Step 5: Once the water runs clear from the hose, then turn off the drain spigot and remove the hose. Let the water flow into the water heater until the tank is full and you hear the water turn itself off.
Step 6: Finally, when the water heater's tank is completely full, then you can turn the power back on. It should take about an hour for your water heater to heat the cold water in its tank to its optimal temperature. Now that the sediment has been removed, the hot water in your home should once again freely flow and should no longer have any color or odor.
For more information, contact a plumber from a company like ABEL Plumbing Inc.