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What Happens If You Don’t Flush Your Water Heater?

Do you have a water heater in your home? Does it seem to need regular water heater repairs? If so, you are not alone. The main reason for problems related to water heaters is the lack of proper servicing and maintenance. Regularly maintained and serviced water heaters have a longer lifespan, and they are more efficient as well.

Two of the most common questions about water heaters is whether there is a real need for flushing and draining the water heater, and what will happen if the water heater is not flushed?

Is it necessary to flush and drain the water heater?

In a word, yes. Water heaters – both tanked and tankless varieties – should be flushed at regular intervals. With this proactive maintenance step, the heater runs efficiently for a longer period of time, and service issues are less frequent. Water heater manufacturers, as well as most experienced and certified plumbers, recommend flushing water heaters about once a year, depending on usage.

What happens when the water heater is not flushed?

We all know that water contains various types of minerals. Water in some areas contains more minerals than others, and this leads to a “hardness” of water. Some regions of the country have a hardness that is moderate; while other areas are more severe. Because the minerals are heavier than water, they begin depositing at the bottom of the water heater tank. These minerals accumulate and result in sedimentation. Over time, the amount of sediment increases, leading to problems in the water heater. Sediment can begin the process of corrosion and can clog the valves inside the water heater tank, leading to leaks and other issues. Both of these problems decrease efficiency and can result in costly repairs. Another issue related to sediment is that as sediment deposits increase, the capacity of the water heater decreases as the mineral sediment takes up more and more space inside the tank.

Accordingly, when the water heater is not flushed, the built-up sediment hampers the functioning and performance of the heater and also damages the heater and your plumbing system.

How does flushing help the water heater?

Emergency plumbers, plumbing contractors, and even water heater manufacturers understand the need to properly flush water heaters.

Flushing the water heater removes the built-up sediment by draining the tank and “flushing” water through the water heater to clean out accumulated sediment and other particles. Once the sediment is removed, the efficiency of the water heater is improved significantly, allowing the heater to transfer heat more easily for energy-efficient operation. The more efficient your water heater performs, the more money you save over time.

Max Rose - Owner of Four Seasons Plumbing

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Max Rose

Max Rose is the owner of Four Seasons Plumbing, a plumbing company in Asheville, North Carolina.