A sink filling up with rust-colored water.

Do You Need to Drain a Water Heater?

Many appliances in your home contribute to your comfort — including your water heater. When you truly think about it, your water heater is a veritable superstar in that it’s constantly working hard to provide your family with hot water. Without this important appliance, you would shiver every time you showered.

Many plumbers stress the importance of flushing your water heater regularly. But do you need to drain a water heater on a routine basis? Believe it or not, this simple water heater maintenance task can greatly affect your appliance’s performance, energy efficiency, and lifespan.

Are you not yet convinced? Below, we’ll discuss what happens if you don’t flush your water heater so that you’ll understand why this task is so important.

How to Flush a Water Heater

Flushing a water heater is pretty straightforward. You can perform this maintenance task yourself or have a professional plumber handle it for you. All you need to do is shut off the cold water supply and connect a garden hose to the water heater’s drain valve. When you open the drain valve at the bottom of the tank, the water inside it will drain out. You can connect the hose to a floor drain or bucket to dispose of the water.

Of course, you’ll also want to shut off your water heater before draining the tank. With gas water heaters, homeowners must turn off the gas supply. Likewise, electric water heaters will need to be shut off at the electrical panel.

Sediment Buildup

If you have a traditional water heater, you know it works by storing hot water in a large tank. Unfortunately, the cold water entering the tank can contain minerals and debris that settle at the bottom of the tank. Your water’s mineral content can vary, but you can usually expect more minerals and sediment if you have hard water.

So, what happens if you don’t flush your water heater? Over time, this sediment can build up inside your water heater tank. Although the sediment might seem harmless, it can negatively affect your water heater’s ability to heat water, leading to many problems down the road.

Energy Efficiency

When it comes down to it, you do need to drain a water heater regularly if you want it to remain energy efficient. As sediment builds up in the tank over time, it can make it difficult for your water heater to warm up the cold water. As a result, the water heater can end up wasting more energy to do its job — which will likely lead to higher energy bills.

Water Heater Damage

Are you still wondering what happens if you don’t flush your water heater? You might be surprised to learn that failing to drain your water heater can seriously damage your appliance.

If you let sediment build up in your water heater tank, you run the risk of the heating element burning out. Plus, this sediment can cause your tank to corrode over time. Corrosion is no small matter, as it can bring about cracks, holes, and leaks.

All-in-all, draining your water heater once or twice a year can help you prevent a serious problem. You can potentially avoid needing a professional water heater repair in Eugene, OR, saving you money and time.

Discolored Water

It’s easy to overlook your water heater. This appliance is probably hidden away in your basement or garage, meaning you don’t come into contact with it too often. However, you do need to drain a water heater regularly if you want to avoid major conveniences — such as discolored water.

Minerals can cause your water to appear cloudy, while rust and corrosion can give your water a strange, reddish-brown color. In any case, you can easily avoid water discoloration by having your water heater drained every so often.

Have a Water Heater Problem? Call the Experts!

So, do you need to drain a water heater? As you can see, the answer to this question is a resounding yes. Performing this simple maintenance task can improve your water heater’s performance, efficiency, and lifespan in unexpected ways.

Now that you know what happens if you don’t flush your water heater, don’t wait to take care of your appliance. Reynolds Electric & Plumbing is here to help with your hot water heater needs. We offer top-notch repairs and replacements to ensure you never run out of hot water.

Did you turn on your hot water faucet only to receive cold water? Our residential plumbers in Eugene, OR, can fix the issue. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!