By Ivan Molina
Due to the calcium build up in this area, it's recommended that you flush your Water Heater, at least once a year. This is true even if you have a water softener. A local plumber provided me the steps to follow. Having a plumber do it, of course, is the best option, BUT if you want to "do it yourself", just follow the steps below. I have done it several times.
This is simpler than it sounds, that is, if you follow the procedure below step by step.
Before starting the flushing procedure, familiarize/locate with the following 4 controls at the water Heater:
1. Water Heater Drain Faucet (at the lower part of the Water Heater)
2. Master PILOT-Light Control (Electric wall plug for those with Electronic Ignition)
3. Thermostat Control (has Pilot, Low, then A, B, C)
4. Waterline Control (normally
in the upper part of the Water Heater)
(STEPS 2 & 8
1. Hook up a garden hose to the Water Heater Drain Faucet located at the bottom of the Water Heater. You may need to hook up 2 hoses to make it all the way to the street gutter. DO NOT DRAIN IT DIRECTLY ON THE GRASS!
2. Move the Master Pilot-Light Control at the Water Heater from "ON" to "PILOT" and also move the Thermostat switch to PILOT......so it will not come ON while flushing it.
(2a. Since Water Heaters with Electronic Ignition do not have a Pilot Light, you must unplug the Water Heater from the electric wall plug.)
3. OPEN (fully BUT slowly) the Water Heater DRAIN FAUCET at the lower section of the Water Heater. Some require a normal screwdriver to open the Drain Faucet.
4. Drain for a few minutes then shut OFF the water line that feeds the Water Heater, located by the upper section of the Water Heater.
5. Once the Water Heater has completely drained, REOPEN the water line at the Heater for a few minutes to help it flush out. You will notice that the calcium buildup will eventually cease coming out the hose by the street gutter.
6. Once flushed (no more calcium deposits comes out of the garden hose end by the street gutter) CLOSE the Drain Faucet at the Water Heater (some with a screwdriver) and disconnect the garden hose.
7. Once the garden hose is disconnected from the Water Heater turn ON the water at the Water Heater to start refilling it.
8. Turn the Master Pilot Light Control setting back from "PILOT" to "ON" at the Water Heater Master Control.
(8a. FOR ELECTRONIC IGNITION-Plug the Water Heater to the
electric wall outlet)
9. Once the Water Heater fills up, turn the Thermostat back to your desired temperature setting,