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How To: Clean Your Water Heater

October 20, 2016

A water heater with the text "How to Clean out Your Water Heater."

Though it may seem like a pretty independent appliance that can essentially take care of itself, that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t benefit from a thorough cleaning every once in awhile! Having clean water in your home is an important part of everyday life. If you don’t keep your water heater clean then a large pool of sediment could form at the bottom of the heater. Now, a small amount is normal and not to be worried over. But, when it becomes excessive is when you should begin to worry. This sediment can create rust or deteriorate hot water taps. Avoid the worry by doing a simple cleaning every couple of years.

Follow these simple steps to flush your hot water heater:


  1. Note the current temperature and then turn it down to “pilot.”
  2. Turn off cold water supply valve located on top of the water heater.
  3. At the bottom of the heater, attach a garden hose. This valve may be hidden under a removable cover so look carefully. Ensure the outlet of the hose is in a convenient drain location such as a bucket.
  4. In the home open any hot water faucet.
  5. Allow the hot water heater to drain by opening the valve on the hot water heater. It may be difficult to open so be very gentle!
  6. When the hot water has drained completely move onto the cold water valve. Fill the water heater with cold water only partially then repeat steps two through five again to get extra drainage out.
  7. Repeat until the water comes out clear.
  8. Close the drain valve and continue on to remove the hose from the valve and turn the cold water supply on, allowing the hot water heater to fill with cold water.
  9. One-by-one open all hot water faucets in your home until the water flows smoothly.


  1. Turn off the electricity to the water heater.
  2. A fuse may need to be removed to ensure this has been completed correctly.
  3. Turn it back on again.

It’s getting close to crunch time with late fall and early winter coming up. If you’ve tried all of the above steps to clean out your water heater but it still isn’t functioning well, it might be time for a new one. Our experts have years of experience and can get you a quote on a new water heater just ahead of the cold months.  Find out more about the water heaters we offer, including tankless and other top brands.