Why Should I Flush Sediment Out of My Water Heater Annually?

Annual hot water tank sediment flush in Newark

The typical natural gas or electric water heater tends to have a lifespan of 8 to 12 years, depending on how hard the water is in your area. Without proper maintenance, however, you may find your water heater failing sooner (or becoming much less efficient).

Dor-Mar Heating and Air Conditioning recommends flushing your water heater annually to remove sediment build up inside. Water in the municipal systems around central Ohio, as well as well water in the area, tends to contain a great deal of mineral content. This water, flowing into your water heater can cause your water heating equipment to fail prematurely. Flushing your hot water tank regularly can decrease the amount of mineral deposits and sediment built up in the tank, reducing your energy costs by running more efficiently. It will also extend the life of the water heater, sometimes significantly.

Why Should You Flush Your Water Heater?

A water heater’s job is to heat cold water piped into the home using a gas burner or an electric element. In central Ohio, that cold water often contains sediment from minerals contained in the water. That sediment eventually settles on the bottom or sides of the tank.

A buildup of sediment in the water tank can cause the heating element to work less efficiently, blocking heat transfer between the burner/heating element and the water. The sediment can also cause blockage in the heat-out or dip tube. Flushing your home’s water heater annually will help remove that sediment building and slow down the decay process significantly.

Improve Energy Efficiency by Flushing Your Water Heater

A sediment build-up tends to create a physical barrier between the heating element in the tank, reducing its efficiency. The appliance must work harder to heat the water through that thick layer of sediment, because the sediments act an insulation. The heat stays with the sediment instead of transferring it to the water. The thicker the sediment, the hard it must work to heat the water, ultimately spending more of your hard-earned dollars to heat the water.

As an example, try to imagine boiling water in two separate pans on a stove. In one pan, you have just water. In the other pan, there is a layer of concrete, then topped by water. Which one do you think will boil the water more quickly? Of course, the pan with only water, because the metal of the pan transfers heat faster than concrete or other minerals.

Increase Your Water Heater’s Longevity with Regular Flushing

Of course, the more sediment built up inside a hot water tank, the harder it has to work to heat the water. When an appliance like a water heater has to exert more effort to do its job, it’s useful life is shortened. Especially in gas hot water tanks, sediment can cause hot spots in the tank that will warp and ruin the steel, eventually causing cracks and leaks.

Water heaters in areas of hard water (high mineral content) like central Ohio are known to decrease life expectancy of the appliance by two years or more. When you skip proper maintenance by draining the tank and flushing annually, you can expect it to last for even less time.

Signs Your Water Heater Has Sediment Built Up

  1. Strange noises, like rumbling or popping from the hot water tank.
    Water can get trapped within the sediment and turn into steam. Excess sediment can also move around inside the tank causing that rumbling noise.
  2. A Drastic Drop in Water Temperature or Water Pressure
    Sediment build-up can prevent water from reaching optimal or desired temperatures. Pipes could also get blocked by excess sediment.

The more sediment that is brought into a water tank increases the probability that sediment is going to be distributed through the heat-out tube, clogging pipes, faucets and shower heads. Mineral build-up in faucets and plumbing can also cause them to decay prematurely.

Home Warranties Often Require Annual Flushing

Many home warranty services include failure of water heaters because of sediment in their home warranty protection plans. However, they require homeowners maintain the water heater properly by flushing annually. Getting your hot water tank flushed will help keep your home warranty in force.

Dor-Mar to the Rescue!

Dor-Mar offers an annual water heater maintenance and flush service as part of our annual maintenance agreements. Find out more here.

Schedule an appointment for water heater troubleshooting or maintenance with us today by using our online contact form, or call one of our seven neighborhood offices listed below. We pride ourselves on our customer-focused service, and our reviews show it.

NEWARK  740.345.6639 • COLUMBUS 614.238.6689 • DUBLIN 614.545.8939 • REYNOLDSBURG 614.365.1579 • WESTERVILLE 614.381.1540 • GROVE CITY 614.595.3098 • ZANESVILLE 740.454.2420

Dor-Mar…Your Climate Hero!

*Please note: neither the Centers for Disease Control(CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), nor the manufacturer of our UV-C Devices have officially announced whether UV-C kills the current strain of Corona Virus (COVID-19). We urge you to err on the side of caution until we have a definitive answer, and take other measures to prevent the acquisition or spread of this virus.


In continuous operation since 1962, our expertise goes beyond just the mechanicals of your HVAC system. We’re pretty handy when it comes to ductwork and system-wide maintenance as well. For top-notch service keeping your home’s heating and cooling system clean and your family breathing clean, filtered air, contact Dor-Mar today.

Our team offers a wide array of routine maintenance and emergency services for your heating and cooling system, allowing your family to breathe fresh, safe, clean air and be comfortable year-round. We also offer a number of add-ons to your HVAC equipment that can improve your home’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), such as electrostatic air filters, whole-house humidifiers, duct cleaning, Ultraviolet-C lighting systems, and more.

Schedule an appointment for HVAC system troubleshooting or maintenance with us today by using our online contact form, or call one of local offices listed below. We pride ourselves on our customer-focused service, and our reviews show it.

Dor-Mar…Your Climate Hero!

Picture of Steven Brewer<br/>HVAC Expert & Owner

Steven Brewer
HVAC Expert & Owner

I started in the HVAC business as a young man, with my father putting me in crawl spaces to run ductwork while on summer vacation from school; I began full time in our family HVAC business at the age of 19. I obtained my state commercial HVAC license at 25. I'm married with three kids, and I love boating, fishing and hunting.

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