Q: How often should you drain and flush a water heater?
Okay, okay, so this isn't exactly a remodeling question. But, it is a home improvement question, and I'm sure there is someone on this site who will know the answer!
How often should you drain and flush your water heater? I read that doing this helps keep your water heater working well and lengthens its life. Any guidance? Thanks.
A: Answer to How often should you Drain and Flushing of your water heater
There is no golden rule on this. It all depends on how mineralized your water is. If your water is softened would have a different scheduled if it was hard water not softened. I personally would want to minimize the risk of any buildup from occuring. To see how hard / soft your water is try this. Take two clean dry mayonaise jars. Using caution not to get burned, fill one half way full from the drain spout of your water heater and do the same from a faucet once the water coming out is hot. Now take both jars and mark them so you know which is which. With the lids off, set them both in the sun near a window or breezey area to speed up evaporation. Putting them outside could give false readings if dirt or dust got in them. Once they both have evaporated the water inside you'll be able to see just how much minerals/calcium is in your water. Comparing the two together should indicate whether your water heater needs flushing. Using a third jar with water from the cold tap may also help in answering your question.
Homeowners that have a hot water circulator on a closed loop system benefit from having the pump nearest to the drain valve on the return end. This helps to stir up the water in the heater so the calcium buildup is less of a problem. Not that it would eliminate it, just slow it down. Not all hot water circulators can handle minerals in the water. Some require periodic cleaning of the pump to prevent buildup. Look for the small print in the manufacturers documents. Some manufacturers require a water softener. Redytemp hot water circulators are calcium proof as they use a DuPont material manifold to prevent any buildup throughout the life of the pump.
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