Draining Vs. Flushing Your Water Heater: Learn The Difference


Draining Vs Flushing Your Water Heater Learn The Difference

It is important to take note that a water heater is an essential appliance in every household, especially during the winter season. This appliance provides hot water that is useful for showering, washing dishes, doing laundry, and may be necessary for cleaning tasks that may require hot water to get rid of greasy or oily residue. Since hot water is something you may need in daily life, it’s crucial to not overlook your water heater’s maintenance of either draining or flushing to maintain its performance and longevity. In this article, we will delve into draining vs flushing a water heater and find out the difference between the two. 

What does Flushing Mean?

When you flush a water heater, it is to clean out the sediment, minerals, and debris that have been collected at the bottom of your tank over a period of time. Sediments and minerals are seen in most water sources hence why they often accumulate when your water heater heats and cools respectively. This process should be routine maintenance as these buildups may cause the water heater to decrease efficiency, operate on more energy, and can lose its longevity. To extend your water heater’s lifespan, flushing the tank will improve its performance and provides safe water for you to use.

Flushing a water heater basically works when you drain the tank of its contents, including all the sediment and minerals that have accumulated over time. After which, once the tank is empty, cold water runs through to ensure that every bit of the remaining debris is cleared out. This process is repeated over and over again until the water runs clear.

What does Draining Mean?

Simply put, it means removing the tank’s water for maintenance and other purposes. This allows you to replace the heating element or thermostat and repair any leaks. This process is necessary before summer or preparing for a long period of non-use to prevent any damage that may cause the tank. Furthermore, you may also drain your water heater for winterizing purposes to ensure the water does not freeze. This is basic maintenance that helps prolong its lifespan and improves its performance. But, keep in mind that this method does not completely remove all the sediment and mineral build-up that has accumulated at the bottom of the tank.

Flushing Vs. Draining

Although there’s a main difference between the two, you must always do both at certain periods to ensure that your water heater is performing without any problems. Flushing and draining are important maintenance that you must do at least once annually to prevent the short lifespan of your water heater. Any rust-colored or pungent smell that comes with water may indicate either flushing or draining so consult with the manufacturer to check what needs to be done.   


Did you know that by doing flushing and draining once a year helps you save money on bills? This is because you are preventing damage to your water heater and ensuring that the water you use is safe and clean.  Don’t know where to start? Contact us at Water Heating Direct and we will provide you with more information regarding flushing and draining.