Do You Have to Flush Your Water Heater Every Year?
LESLIE: John in Oakhurst, New Jersey – maybe Tom’s neighbor – has a question about a water heater. How can we help you today?
JOHN: Yeah, I just literally had a water – a new water heater installed today. We started to have some leaking coming out of the top where – I guess where the input and the output lines go in. So we had a new one put in; we knew that was failing. But the installer suggested and recommended to us that we flush it once a year. And although that sounds like it makes sense to me – I know there’s a lot of people don’t do the – I just want to get you guys’ opinion on whether that’s really important to do that annually. And if you don’t, what’s the downside of that?
TOM: Well, the reason that you flush a water heater is because you get sediment in the bottom of it and the sediment acts as an insulator. It doesn’t really cause any harm to the water heater and I think in a situation where you have city water, it’s not as important as when you have well water. It’s sort of an old wives’ tale; it’s kind of something that people always started doing and not really ever stopped doing or understand why they do it.
There’s nothing really wrong with flushing it. The only downside is that you may find that the valve that you open up at the bottom of the water heater once a year, one of these years it’s not going to want to shut again and you end up with an expensive repair. So I don’t think it’s critical but I don’t think it will hurt you unless the valve gets kind of gummed up at some point and starts to leak.
JOHN: That’s a good suggestion, Tom. I appreciate that.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.