Draining the Water Heater: Yes, You ShouldYou can extend the life of your water heater if you flush it to remove sediment. Water heater tanks are usually made from steel with a porcelain enamel glass lining and fitted with a sacrificial anode to reduce corrosion of exposed steel.

Turn Off the Power

First, turn off the power to the water heater. If the water heater is electrically heated, turn off at the breaker box. If you don’t do this, the element will burn out when you drain the tank. If heated by gas, turn off gas to the appliance or set the control to pilot.


Connect a garden hose to the outlet valve, ensuring a good connection to avoid spilling water. Run the other end to a place where the hot water will not cause damage, such as the driveway. Turn off the water supply to the tank and open a hot water faucet to avoid an air lock. Open the drain valve and empty the tank. If there is a lot of sediment, open the water supply to the tank to flush it out. Once the water is clean close the drain valve and refill the tank.


Check the anode every two or three years. The anode, when new, is a round bar made of magnesium or aluminum and is screwed into the top of the tank. The water corrodes the anode instead of the steel tank.

Flushing Frequency

If the water is hard or contains a lot of sediment, the water heater should be flushed every year but in most cases a biannual flushing should suffice. The flushing interval should not be greater than three years.

Final Checks

Before switching on the electricity or gas, ensure the tank is full by running water out of a hot water faucet. If your tank is difficult to reach or you would prefer to use an expert contact us at Around The Clock Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. We have been servicing Los Angeles and Ventura counties since 1967 and will also check your safety valve, thermostat, and replace the anode.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Los Angeles, North Hollywood and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, downloadour free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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