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Home Inspection Tips: How To Flush & Drain Your Gas Water Heater- A Step-By-Step Guide


Why is it important to drain and flush your water heater?

Draining and flushing your water heater is important for several reasons:

  • It removes sediment and debris that can build up in the tank over time. Sediment can reduce the efficiency of your water heater and shorten its lifespan.

  • It helps to prevent corrosion. Corrosion can damage the tank and lead to leaks.

  • It can improve the quality of your hot water. Sediment can make your hot water cloudy and give it a metallic taste.

How often should you drain and flush your water heater?

It is recommended to drain and flush your water heater at least once a year, or more often if you have hard water. Hard water contains high levels of minerals, which can form scale deposits in the tank. Scale deposits can insulate the water heater, making it less efficient and causing it to overheat.

If you are not sure how to drain and flush your water heater yourself, we recommend that you call a licensed plumber to do it for you.

Cross-section of a neglected water heater unit
Is it time to flush & drain your gas water heater?

Tools and materials needed:

  • Garden hose

  • Bucket

  • Wrench or screwdriver

  • Water heater flushing product (optional)

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Turn off the gas supply to the water heater. This is usually a valve located at the bottom of the water heater.

  2. Open the pressure relief valve to release any pressure in the tank. This valve is usually located near the top of the water heater.

  3. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve. The drain valve is usually located at the bottom of the water heater. Direct the hose to a drain or outside.

  4. Open the drain valve and let the water drain from the tank. This may take some time, depending on the size of your water heater.

  5. Once the tank is empty, close the drain valve and turn on the gas supply.

  6. Turn on a hot water faucet and let the water run until it is clear. This will flush out any remaining sediment or debris.

  7. Once the water is clear, turn off the faucet.

If necessary, repeat steps 3-7 to flush the tank again.


  • Allow the water heater to cool down completely before each drain and flush cycle.

  • Use a garden hose to flush the tank. This will help to remove more sediment and debris than simply draining the tank.

  • Be patient. It may take several drain and flush cycles to completely clean out the water heater tank.

If you have any questions or concerns, please consult a licensed plumber.

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