Many of the repairs our Santa Ana plumbing service are called in to do could actually be done by a homeowner with a little bit of DIY experience. A sediment flush is one of those. If your water heater seems to have stopped producing as much hot water as it used to and you are sure there are no leaks in the tank itself, you may be the victim of mineral deposits on the interior of the tank. Performing a sediment flush to remove these deposits from the base of your tank can restore your water heater efficiency.
First, turn off all power to the water heater. This mean s either shutting off the breaker on an electric model or closing off the gas valve in a gas version.
Let the water in the tank cool for several hours. If you don't let it cool you could end up with scalding hot water pouring out and causing severe burn injuries.
Turn off the water inlet. Once it is off, attach a short hose to the drain valve at the base of the water heater and run it to the nearest drain that is below the level of the drain valve itself.
Open up the drain valve. Also turn on a hot water faucet somewhere else in the home to allow air in to push the water out of the tank. The water running out of the drain will be filled with sediment. This is normal and should not be cause for alarm.
Once all of the water has been cleared from the tank, turn on the cold water inlet and continue to run it until the water coming out of the drain runs clear. This completes the flush.
Remove the hose from the drain valve and close it. Fill the tank and then return power to the unit (and relight the pilot if necessary).
If, during any part of the sediment flush, you start to smell a foul odor like rotten eggs you may need to call in a professional to do a hydrogen peroxide treatment to clear your tank of a particular bacteria that lives in the sediment and attached itself to internal electrical heating elements.