Worth it to drain/flush the water heater?

lostinitFebruary 11, 2011

Does it really extend the life of your water heater if you flush it annually? I have heard the opposite from people who do not do this and say their water heaters have lasted 20 years or more. Is it simply poor water heater design in recent years that requires this type of maintenance?

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asolo

Everyone's situation is different. Difficult to quantify for your particular situation. It has less to do with water heater design per se than it does with individual situations.

But, to answer your question, yes. It will extend the life of any water heater. How much? Depends....on factors that you will not be able to determine. However, if you think you should expect 20 years out your residential water heater -- any mfgr's residential water heater -- I suggest you make a mental adjustment.

I flush mine twice a year. They go bad anyway, in due course. More important IMHO is making sure there's a place for the leaking water to go when it does go bad. They all fail the same way -- they leak. If you're on a slab like I am, you'd better be sure there's a safe, no-damage pan and drain-path underneath the unit.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 6:46PM
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ramona1976

I think a lot depends upon water quality and chemistry. I've lived in houses where the water was pretty nasty and the heaters only made it 5-7 years. My current heater (with very good water) is 23 years old. I've never flushed a water heater, but I know that it is recommended.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 8:06PM
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asolo

"I think a lot depends upon water quality and chemistry."

Um...well, yes...like almost all of it.

And this user is supposed to objectively/quantitatively determine the service-life of his personal water-heater exactly how based on this? Somewhere between 5 and 23 apparently?

Repeating the last line in my own response: "More important IMHO is making sure there's a place for the leaking water to go when it does go bad. They all fail the same way -- they leak."

Ignore at you peril.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 9:22PM
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davidro1

lostinit: yes.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 9:37AM
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