You might be surprised how crucial it is to maintain your hot water system in top-notch condition. At Hot Water Now, we frequently encounter households that ignore the maintenance of their hot water systems until it’s too late. Just as your car needs a regular service to stay on the road, your hot water system requires a periodic flush for peak performance.

As the leading Brisbane hot water plumbers, we’ve seen how operational inefficiencies arising from clogged hot water systems can skyrocket your energy bills and affect the system’s lifespan. But here’s some good news – you can avoid these unnecessary headaches with some understanding and basic DIY skills. Keep reading as we detail a comprehensive guide on how to flush your hot water system.

Quick Summary

Flushing your hot water system is a necessary maintenance task that helps to eliminate sediment build-up, optimize energy use and increase its lifespan. This task can be performed with a few common tools and a step-by-step procedure.

Understand Why Flushing Is Crucial

Before we delve into the how, it’s important to understand the why. Flushing a hot water system primarily reduces the accumulation of sediments and minerals. These particles settle at the bottom of the tank, creating a barrier between the burner and the water, reducing heating efficiency and leading to potential low hot water pressure.

Sediment build-up can also cause irregularities such as slow hot water recovery, increased energy consumption, and noisy operation. With the right knowledge and a bit of effort, you can prolong your system’s longevity, avoid hot water system leaking and save on energy costs.

Getting Started: Pre-Purification Preparation

Before starting to flush the hot water system, ensure to disable its heat source. For a gas hot water system, you will need to turn off the gas supply, whilst for electric systems, simply switch off its circuit breaker.

  • Close the supply valve to stop any new water from entering the tank
  • Open a hot water tap in your house (like the kitchen sink). This will allow air to enter the tank and help to drain the water easier
  • Ensure you have a hose long enough to reach an exterior area or bathtub where the hot water can safely drain

Always use caution when handling hot water and consider wearing protective gloves and safety glasses for added protection.

The Flushing Procedure

With the preparations done, it’s time to do the actual flushing. Connect the hose to the drainage valve located towards the bottom of the tank; run the other end to an appropriate drainage area. Take care not to drain the water into an area where it could cause injury or damage due to its high temperature.

Open the drain valve and let the water rush out until it runs clear, indicating the sediments have been flushed out. Once finished, close the drainage valve, open the water supply valve and let the tank refill. Remember to leave the hot water tap open at the sink until water flows again to ensure air is out of the system. Now, you can turn the heat source back on.

Routine Maintenance and Professional Help

Regular flushing is a sound maintenance practice that will keep your hot water system in good working order for a longer lifespan and more efficient operation. As a rule of thumb, you should flush your water heater at least once per year. However, if you live in a region with hard water, it may require flushing more frequently.

While flushing your hot water system can be a DIY job, it’s always sensible to consult hot water system repairs professionals before attempting the process, especially if it’s your first time. Professionals can not only execute this task more smoothly, but they can also diagnose other potential issues that might not be apparent.


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Keeping your hot water system running efficiently does more than just provide you with a refreshing shower – it can help you save on energy bills, decrease potential risks of failure and lengthen the overall lifespan of your system. Regular maintenance becomes significantly important if you use electric hot water systems or any other variety popular in Brisbane.

At Hot Water Now, we believe a proactive approach is always better than a reactive one. We recommend flushing your hot water system annually or even more frequently depending on your local water conditions. Unsure of how to proceed? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for expert advice or professional hot water system replacement and maintenance services!

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