Do I Need a Water Heater Flush?

Apr 11, 2022

When your hot water comes out looking like rust or your shower never seems to get hot enough, your water heater might need to be flushed. Since sediment, minerals, and calcium will build up inside your water heater and damage it, you should have your water heater’s tank flushed regularly. If you’re wondering if it’s time to flush your water heater, find out more about what a water heater flush is and the main warning signs your unit needs one. 

What Is a Water Heater Flush? Why Should I Flush My Water Heater?

A water heater flush refers to a process where a plumber drains your water heater’s tank of all its water. After draining the tank, they’ll usually run cold water through the water heater to remove any excess sediment inside it. Though a water heater flush is fairly simple, it’s one of the best services you can invest in to increase the lifespan of your tank.

If you don’t schedule regular water heater flushes, your water heater will break down faster, suffer from corrosion, perform inefficiently, and be more likely to need costly repairs. As a result, flushing your unit is necessary for water heater maintenance.

4 Signs You Need a Water Heater Flush

When you want your water heater to last as long as possible and perform at its best, you should be aware of the primary signs it needs a flush. While your water heater tank should be flushed at least once a year, sediment can sometimes build up faster and damage your water heater. Due to the potential damage sediment can cause, you’ll want to watch out for the following four warning signs that indicate your water heater needs a flush:

  • Discolored water: If your water heater’s anode rod has rusted away and you haven’t replaced it, the interior of the tank will start to rust. Besides corroding your tank, the rust will get in your water, causing it to take on a rusty color. When you notice discolored water coming out of your faucets, you’ll usually need an HVAC professional to flush your tank and replace the old anode rod with a new one. 
  • Strange smells: If you notice your hot water has a strange odor, bacteria could be inside your water heater’s tank. An HVAC professional can take care of this issue by flushing the tank and sanitizing it to kill the bacteria and remove the smell. 
  • Inefficient water heating: Lots of sediment build-up in your water heater can block the unit’s heating device. When the heating element is blocked, it can struggle to heat your water, leading to slower heating and lukewarm water. Eventually, your water heater may not give you any hot water if the sediment completely blocks the heating element. A professional can flush your tank to remove the excess sediment to fix this issue.
  • Loud noises: Dirt and calcium build-up will bang against the sides of your tank whenever the water heater kicks on. As a result, you might need a flush if your tank makes a lot of noise while it's running.

Choose Newcomb and Company for Water Heater Maintenance in Raleigh

If you’re looking for a plumber in Raleigh or the surrounding areas, choose Newcomb and Company. When you notice any of the four previously discussed warning signs, our team can inspect your water heater and see if it needs a flush. Once we verify that sediment build-up is at fault, our HVAC professionals will perform a water heater flush to get your water heater back in prime condition. We can also replace your water heater with a new one if your old unit is damaged beyond repair.

Learn more about our plumbing and water heater maintenance services today. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, please contact us.

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