6 Reasons to Flush Your Water Heater

You probably don’t spend much time thinking about maintaining your water heater.  However, if you don’t take the time to flush the tank regularly, your water heater may eventually have some serious and costly problems.

Arizona has hard water, which can lead to sediment and mineral buildup that takes a toll on our water heaters.

If we neglect the water heater maintenance of flushing the tank annually, we may find we have no hot water when we need it and a water heater that needs repairs or premature replacement.

Here are six reasons to flush your water heater regularly:

  1. Sediment buildup leads to less, or even no, hot water when you need it.

When sediment settles on the bottom of your water heater tank, it becomes more difficult for the heating element to heat water. In an electric water heater, deposits can build up on the electrodes, slowing down the heat transfer to the water.

You may find it’s taking longer for the water to get hot, and when it does, you have less hot water. Eventually, you may have no hot water.

A water heater that’s the correct size for your household should have no problem providing enough hot water for your family’s needs. It may be due to sediment buildup caused by lack of flushing if your water heater isn’t producing an adequate hot water supply.

Flushing your water heater will eliminate the sediments and allow water to heat quickly and efficiently again.

  1. Sediment buildup forces your water heater to work harder than it should and use more energy to heat water.

When your water heater uses more energy to heat water, you’ll see higher utility bills.  As your water heater struggles to heat water, it’s working harder than it should and may need more repairs due wear and tear and corrosion in the tank and parts.

Flushing the tank eases the burden on your water heater, so it’s not working as hard to heat water, and you’re not paying excessive energy costs.

  1. Sediment and scale buildup can shorten the life of your water heater.

A well-maintained water heater can last an average of about ten years.

Replacing a water heater is a significant expense, so you’ll want to keep yours working in top condition for as long as possible.

Sediment and scale buildup can shorten the life of your water heater, especially with the hard water we have in Arizona.

Sediments and scale buildup that accumulates in the tank can cause damaging corrosion that shortens the life of your water heater. A hardened sediment layer inside the tank will thicken until the water heater fails altogether.

The wear and tear on your unit increases when it’s not flushed regularly, meaning you’ll have to replace your water heater sooner.

Flushing your water heater regularly will extend its life and ensure you have hot water when you need it.

  1. Scale buildup can cause noises in your water heater.

If your water heater is making popping, crackling, or banging sounds, scale buildup in the tank may be causing the noise. Sediment contact with the heating element occurs with excess buildup, causing the strange sounds you may be hearing.

Flushing the water tank eliminates the sediments and scale buildup and should eliminate the noise.

If flushing doesn’t eliminate the sounds and you have an older water heater, your unit may be about to fail.

The pros at Chas Roberts can diagnose the problem and flush, repair, or replace your water heater.

  1. Your water heater needs regular flushing to keep the warranty valid.

Most water heater manufacturers recommend the regular flushing of your unit to ensure it performs as designed.

Most warranty protection requires regular equipment maintenance, such as flushing the tank for a water heater. A water heater with preventable mineral scale buildup likely will not be covered by the warranty.

Neglecting water heater flushing may invalidate your warranty just when you may need it the most.

Flushing is essential for your water heater and keeps its warranty valid.

  1. Mineral scale buildup in your water heater can cause corrosion and leaks.

Corrosion caused by mineral scale buildup can weaken the walls of your water heater, making it more prone to leaks  One sign of corrosion caused by mineral scale or sediment buildup can be small leaks around the water heater drain valve.

A leaking water heater can cause extensive damage to your home, so it’s wise to check regularly for leaks around your water heater. You should call a pro to investigate any signs of leaking water immediately.

Regular flushing reduces the chance of leaks due to sediment or mineral scale buildup.


Regular annual flushing of your water heater is essential to prolong its life and ensure it can provide a steady flow of hot water when you need it. Like any other piece of equipment, your water needs maintenance for peak performance.

Indications of sediment buildup in your water heater should not be ignored and include:

  • No hot water
  • Fluctuating water temperatures and reduced hot water
  • Noises coming from the water heater
  • Water takes a long time to heat
  • Water that looks or smells bad
  • Leaks

If you don’t feel confident flushing your water heater on your own, a Chas Roberts pro can do it for you. Maintenance is always more cost-effective than neglect when it comes to an essential piece of equipment like your water heater.

If your water heater is over ten years old, it’s getting close to the time you’ll need to replace it. You can tell the age of your water heater from the manufacturer’s label on the side of the unit or by the serial number.

While annual flushing will prolong the life of your water heater, eventually, an older unit will fail.

Water heaters have improved a lot over the years, and the pros at Chas Roberts can help you choose a new energy-efficient water heater.

Family-owned Chas Roberts is the oldest and largest HVAC and plumbing provider in Arizona and has been in business for over 75 years. Contact us for quality, reliable service.