Did you know you should flush your water heater tank every six – twelve months?
Sediment buildup in the tank can reduce your water heater’s energy efficiency and also clog your water lines. Avoid these problems, and increase the life of your unit by flushing the tank each time you check the pressure relief valve for proper function.
Following these simple maintenance procedures every six – twelve months which will keep your water heater operating safely and efficiently for years.
Turn off the electricity to the water heater or turn the gas switch to pilot.
Connect a garden hose to the tank’s drain valve.
Locate the draining end of the hose in an area that won’t be adversely affected by the scalding hot water.
Turn the drain valve on full pressure. This will cause the sediment in the bottom of the water heater to move around with the water flow. Leave the water running for a good 20 minutes. I do not believe that it is necessary to completely drain your water heater. You are going to get more sediment out of it by running the water on full pressure than you will by just letting it drain out slowly.
Close the tank drain valve and disconnect the hose from the valve.
Open all the hot-water spigots in the house and let them run for about 15-20 seconds.
Something to consider, if your water heater is more than 10 years old you should start to be thinking about replacing it. Most water heaters under normal conditions only last around 10 years in Arizona water.
Normal conditions do not apply if you have a water softener. If your water heater makes it to 10 years and you have a water softener I would be surprised. The reason is very simple. When you have a water softener you are adding minerals into your water system that are harmful to water heaters. Your water heater uses an anode rod to protect itself from standard minerals in public water, however the mineral that your water softener adds is much more harmful to your anode rod then standard minerals in public water.
There is good news about water softeners when it comes to effecting water heaters. If you have a water softener you most likely will not need to flush your water heater because most softeners remove sediment and calcium deposits before they enter the water heater.
Things to consider. Replace your anode rod if your water heater is under 4 years old. However if you have a water softener replace it every two years and you will see your water heater last much longer.