Clearing the sediment out of a water heater is so easy that your grandma can probably do it with little effort. Follow the steps below and you will once again enjoy a clean, hot shower at the end of the day.

Tools Needed

  • Garden Hose
  • Bucket
  • Towel
  • Channel Blocks


1. Turn Off the Power Souce

To prevent damage, electrocution, or burns, it is first imperative that you turn off the power source to the water heater. If you have a gas water heater, locate a red knob and thermostat on the gas pipe. Turn it down to the lowest setting. For electric water heaters, turn off the power to it at the breaker box.

2. Close the Water Supply Valve

With the power supply off, you will now need to close the water supply off to stop the flow of new water into the tank.

3. Connect a Garden Hose to the Drain Valve

Now that the water supply is off, you can connect your garden hose to the drain valve and place it outside or in a bucket for draining.

Open a faucet closest to you to prevent the buildup of pressure as you clean out the water heater.

4. Drain the Water

Open the drain valve and allow the water to flow out of the hose until it runs clear. If you use a bucket, you will need to be careful to not let the water overflow. It is okay to turn off the valve to dump out the contents before allowing more water to flow into it.

5. Test the Water

After about 10-20 minutes of the water draining, the sediment should be cleared out. To test this, dump your bucket of water outside and rinse it out with fresh water. Then, fill it again with the water from the tank and let it sit for 60 seconds undisturbed.

You will know that your tank is clean if the water remains clear with no sediment on the bottom of the bucket. If you still see sediment on the bottom of the bucket, you will need to let the water drain out of the water heater for another 10-20 minutes. Repeat the process of draining and testing until you see clear water with no sediment in the bucket.

6. Close the Drain Valve and Disconnect the Garden Hose

Once you’ve determined that the water is now clear of all sediment, close the drain valve and disconnect the garden hose. Do not close the opened water faucet just yet. This will keep the excess air out of the water line.

7. Turn the Water Supply Back On

The with drain valve closed, turn the water supply back on, allowing it to fill the water tank.

8. Turn the Water Heater’s Power Back On

When the water tank is full, you can then turn the water heater’s power back on to allow the water to heat up. Give it about 20-30 minutes before testing the temperature of the water at the nearest water fixture.

See? That was easy! If you’re still a bit nervous about doing these steps yourself, Erica's Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Restoration a call. Our plumbers will be over in no time to assess the situation and clean out the water heater for you. Call us at (561) 782-2779.

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