How To Clean Out a Gas Hot Water Heater

For any appliance or machine in your household, you need maintenance to keep it running for the longest time. If you have a gas hot water heater in your home, it is best to keep it clean and running well. Your maintenance schedule for this equipment should come around at least once or twice a year. The longer you delay your cleaning, the more sediments and dirt it will accumulate.

  1. Be sure you are not heating your water when you are cleaning your gas hot water heater. This will damage the internal parts of the water heater. Before cleaning the heater tank, be sure you turn off your gas valve. Shut out the cold water supply before draining the gallons of water from the water heater tank. Always refer to your owner’s manual if you are unsure of any lever or valve in your tank. Ask a knowledgeable or technical person if you are still unsure of the instructions.
  2. Connect a hose to your drain valve and run it to your nearest floor drain. Open your drain valve with a screwdriver. The drain valve of a water heater tank is not similar as those of the usual household drain valve so you have to use a screwdriver to open it. Drain all the water from the tank. If the hose is not enough to drain all the water from the tank and is taking a lot of time to get it done, use a large container and catch the water draining from the drain passage. This will take several minutes.
  3. Once the tank is thoroughly empty, open your cold water supply and flush out the remaining sediments from the tank. If the tank’s drain hole gets obstructed with debris or sediments, take a small thin screw driver and poke the drain hole to release the dirt. Look for the access panel of the water heater tank that is usually located at the bottom of the tank. Remove the lid from the access. Be sure you do this after you drain all the water from the tank.
  4. By using a small brush or a toothbrush, scrape the remaining sediments from the bottom of the tank through the tank access panel. Replace the lid of the access panel.
  5. Flush out the tank with water for the second time to get rid of the remaining small sediments from the tank. To flush the tank, open your cold water supply valve and let it run for a good 3 minutes.
  6. After the tank is thoroughly clean, you are now ready to use the water heater again. Open the cold water valve to let the clean supply of water run to the tank. Turn the gas valve on the tank on. Immediately you will hear a soft purr as the gas pumps in. Open the main gas valve to make the gas hot water heater work.

If you are unsure of how cleaning your water tank works, you may contact a professional water tank cleaner to do the job for you. It is always the best practice not to try guessing how to open or close any kind of valve in your household. One wrong turn and it can damage it. However you want to do it, it always pays to keep your household equipment clean for the equipment’s longevity and also for your family’s health.


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