Think of flushing out your water heater as having the same benefits as a healthy high fiber diet for our own bodies; the flushing action will remove sediment build-up that causes corrosion, reduces efficiency, shortens the life of your unit and also is responsible for those annoying sounds. It's quite a simple procedure, but some careful details need to be noted if you haven't done this before (because you're dealing with super hot water):
- First, set your pilot light valve down to the "pilot" setting; do not turn off the gas to the heater.
- Turn off the water supply, both hot and cold.
- Attach a garden hose to the drainage valve at the bottom of your tank; ours was a plastic valve, which needs to be handled carefully.
- Position the other end of the hose safely away outside to drain; we placed our hose into our backyard garden.
- Turn on a hot water faucet in the house from a nearby source to allow air into the top of your tank.
- Turn on drain valve and allow tank to empty for five minutes.
- When tank has completely empried, turn on the cold water supply on to flush out any remaining sediment from the tank.
- After 5 minutes, inspect water being evacuated and look for any sediment; if clear, you've properly flushed your tank of accumulated matter and can disconnect hose.
- Return the pilot control to the previous setting and allow ample time for the water to heat back up. Turn on hot water supply. Enjoy a quiet and clean water supply.