Cleaning A Hot Water Heater

Why is cleaning a hot water heater a good idea? The bottom of your
tank is a catch all for sediment, calcium deposits bacteria and rust.

Cleaning will increase the life of the water heater tank.

If you have a gas water heater cleaning will help with the rumbling
noise you hear when the burner is on.

Reduce the risk of water pipes getting clogged with debris from the tank.

Your water will be cleaner and safer to use.

What you will need

  • garden hose
  • long brush (see below) $2.00
  • teflon tape  $1.00
  • 3/4 inch X 6 inch nipple  $1.00
  • pair of pliers or a pipe wrench

How to Clean a Water Heater

First you'll need to drain the tank. Go to drain a water heater if you need

remove drain valve on water heater

After you've drained the tank, remove the drain valve.
If your drain valve is made of plastic, its best to replace
it with a brass valve.

You'll need a long narrow brush like the one in the picture.
Look near the floor mops at wal-mart or your local hardware

This brush is designed to clean refrigeator condenser coils.
Works great on water heaters to.

The bottom of the tank is just below the drain valve opening.

Insert the brush into the opening.

Scrub the bottom of the tank side to side and front to back.

The idea is to loosen all the rust calcium deposits and sediment you

When you're finished scrubbing, screw the 3/4 inch nipple into the
drain opening. Attach the garden hose to the nipple.

I recommend using a nipple in place of your drain valve because
drain valves have a small opening and will clog up when you are
trying to flush debris from the tank.

Attach a garden hose to the nipple. Turn on the water supply to your
water heater. Let it run 15 to 20 seconds and turn it off.

Let all the water drain out of the tank, add more water and drain again.
Repeat this process until your tank is clean(the water runs clear.

When you are finished flushing the tank, remove the nipple and
reinstall the drain valve.

You can make your own flush valve assembly and throw away your
drain valve. Here's how.

draining water heater tank with a ball valve

I used a ball valve and a bucket when I cleaned this water heater
so you could see what came out.

Notice how black the water is.

This water heater was drained and flushed before it was cleaned with a brush.

This is the best chemical free way of cleaning a hot water heater.


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