When Should A Hot Water Heater Be Drained?

Plumbing SystemWater heaters don’t last forever. Eventually, even a high-end system will suffer from wear and eventually break down. And when heater repair specialists from companies like Action Plumbing are called, they often find a few familiar issues, such as a build-up of sediment in the heater because the homeowner has failed to drain the system regularly.

The Dangers of Sediment Build-Up

When it comes to draining a water heater, it’s not just a recommendation but a necessity to clean it regularly. Sediment is a component of any water supply. As the water travels through the distribution system, trace amounts of sediment can be picked up, settling at the bottom of the water heater over time.

Eventually, the sediment build-up can lead to water displacement in the tank. The sediment at the bottom of the heater displaces the water above it. This results in hot spots developing on the bottom of the tank which spread the heat unevenly. This can be a big problem for users of gas water heaters. Over time, the problem of uneven heating in the tank may even lead to leaks.

How Often to Drain?

Experts are unanimous that tanks should be drained at least once a year. Experts believe that annual flushes prevent the problem of sediment build-up and the development of hot spots.

If the municipal water supply in your area is relatively clean, you may not have to flush the system as often as recommended. Certain area throughout the country, such as Seattle, just happen to have cleaner water than most. However, it can often be difficult to judge the water purity in your areas, so it’s safer to stick to the recommendations just to save you trouble later.

Final Thoughts

Water heaters are powerful tools, but they require ideal conditions to operate properly. This includes a crystal-clear tank where are no problems with water displacement and hot spots. If there’s a layer of sediment at the bottom of the tank, not only will the water be unevenly heated, but the heater will have to work much harder. Over time, this can lead to costly problems. So, do yourself (and your wallet) a favor by draining the tank at least once a year.