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How to Flush Your Hot Water Tank

Particles and sediment can build up inside of your hot water tank, making it less efficient and shortening its life. But if you drain the tank periodically, you can wash the sediment away.


  • Step 1: Turn off the tank Turn off the hot water tank and let it cool. Then turn off the cold water supply to the tank.
  • TIP: If you have an electric hot water tank, shut of the electricity to the tank.
  • Step 2: Connect hose Connect a garden hose to the drain faucet near the bottom of the heater. It's a standard faucet, so you will be able to simply screw the hose onto it.
  • Step 3: Run the hose Run the other end of the hose to the floor drain if your heater is in your basement. If there isn't a nearby floor drain, you can run the hose to a sink drain.
  • Step 4: Open the valve Open the drain valve to empty the water in the tank through the hose and down the drain.
  • TIP: You can also use a water pump to force the water out.
  • Step 5: Disconnect the supply pipe Disconnect the cold water supply pipe that fills the tank or open the pressure-relief valve to allow air into the tank so it can drain.
  • Step 6: Inspect the water Watch the water running through the hose. Drain the water until it runs clear. If there is excessive sediment in the tank, you may have to refill and drain the tank again.
  • Step 7: Reconnect Disconnect the hose and close the drain valve. Then reconnect the water supply, turn on the water, and, if you turned off the electricity, turn it back on. With regular maintenance, you can greatly extend the life of your hot water tank.
  • FACT: Outdoor water use in the United States averages about 32 gallons per person per day.

You Will Need

  • Garden hose
  • Drain
  • Water pump (optional)

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