Difference Between Flushing and Draining Your Water Heater

a water heater being drained

At A.M. Plumbing & Rooter, one of the things our clients ask about is the difference between flashing and draining water heaters. Unless you have a tankless water heater, both are essential to help assess the water tank’s condition. We explain the distinction between the two to help you determine which is ideal in different situations.


Flushing helps eliminate all the sediment in the tank from mineral and dirt buildup. Water, especially hard ones, contains minerals like magnesium and calcium that leaves deposits at the bottom of the hot water heater. The sediment could result in leaks, temperature loss, and longer heating times.

To drain the unit, we shut off the power source, then connect a hose to the tank’s drain valve. The water supply remains open during the process, and we monitor the water as it drains from the tank. The water usually contains specs and particles, and we let it run until clean water starts flowing. We recommend that homeowners flush the tank at least once a year during preventive water heater services.


Meanwhile, we shut off the water supply when draining the tank. As the water drains, we inspect it, especially the last amounts, to determine if there is any sediment, foul odor, or discoloration. This way, we can see if the tank is corroded and decide how to proceed with water heater repair in Escondido, CA.

Whether you’re flushing or draining your unit, it pays to check the condition of the shut-off valve. It is designed to turn off your water heater during an emergency but can malfunction over time. After emptying the tank, turn the valve several times to ensure it’s moving easily.

Get Unmatched Water Heater Solutions

A.M. Plumbing & Rooter is your dependable company for water heater installation, repair, and maintenance. We are fully licensed and insured and work on all makes and models of water heaters.

Contact us today to benefit from our cost-effective and long-lasting plumbing solutions.

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A.M. Plumbing & Rooter LLC is based out of Lake Elsinore, California, but we provide our industry-leading plumbing services to a much wider region. To the north, we service Corona, El Cerrito, and Terra Cotta. To the east, we service Moreno Valley, Menifee, Perris, and Hemet. To the south, we service Wildomar, Murrieta, Rainbow, Temecula, Pala Mesa, and Fallbrook.