At Mr. Plumber, we have a lot of steps that we go through to maintain and flush a water heater. The water in our area is very hard. We have a lot of calcium. It builds up very quickly inside of a water heater. Annual flushing of it will help prevent it from building up into big rocks that can’t come out, that are pretty much impossible to get out once they become larger than the drain valve. If you flush it periodically, it will help prolong the life of it.
We also, when we are flushing it, we look at the water to see if it is reddish color. That will indicate rust, and we can inform you that the water heater is starting to rust, so you can keep an eye on it or plan to replace it. We also check the flue pipes to make sure they’re all together well and the painting is good on them.
The water heater has safety devices that should be tested once a year. We test the temperature relief valve once a year when we do our maintenance on them. If it doesn’t pop off like it’s supposed to and relieve the pressure, it could be very dangerous. We’ve seen water heaters blow through roofs before. It’s a very dangerous thing not to have the safety features that the manufacturer put on there tested once a year. They recommend it, and with our hard water, it’s very important.