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The Importance of Regular Flushing of Storage Water Heaters

| Sunday March 31, 2024

For those looking for a steady appliance to provide the required demand for warm water in a property, electric storage water heaters remain a top choice for many homeowners. This innovative heating unit can store a specific amount of warm water in its tank, making it possible to have a steady warm water supply at various water points throughout the house. 

However, storage water heaters are prone to sediment buildup, especially due to the nature of their operation. The units continuously heat the stored water, which causes minerals and sediment deposits from the water to accumulate at the tank’s inner walls. This can cause premature wear and tear to the heater, which can lead to costly repairs in the long run. 

This is why regular flushing is the unsung hero for storage water heater maintenance, helping wash away the stockpile of minerals and ensuring the optimal efficiency and functionality of the storage heater.

Understanding Mineral Buildup

Before diving into the role of periodic flushing as a core process in giving the heater its needed care, it’s important to understand why mineral buildup occurs. The water coming into the water heater tank usually contains calcium and magnesium deposits, especially on properties located in areas with hard water. These sediments will scale in the tank’s inner walls and internal components, significantly affecting the heater’s efficiency in transferring warmth to the water. 

Apart from reduced efficiency, mineral buildup will result in: 

  • Shortened Unit Lifespan – Mineral buildup will impede heat transfer, leading to the heater working harder than usual. This can accelerate wear on the heating element and other internal components, resulting in frequent repairs and early replacement. 

  • Increased Operational Costs – The need to work harder than usual will result in increased energy demand to overcome the insulating effects of a mineral buildup. The longer heating cycles will heighten energy consumption, leading to an increase in energy bills over time. 

  • Poor Water Quality – If left unattended, scale buildup will become a conducive environment for bacterial growth. This can greatly affect the water’s taste and odor, which can result in negative health consequences for the homeowners. 

The Role of Regular Flushing

With mineral buildup posing a major risk to storage water heaters, having regular flushing sessions can be a game changer for those looking to extend the longevity of their heaters. Flushing enables heater owners to drain the tank to remove the accumulations, helping restore the heater’s optimal performance. Incorporating regular flushing routines into the maintenance work will mitigate the effects of sediment buildup.

Proper flushing of storage heaters can be an intricate process, but can be achievable by following the steps below: 

  • Get the Proper Equipment – One of the most crucial things when flushing a storage heating unit is to have the necessary equipment for the job. This includes a flathead screwdriver, garden hose, knee-high stocking (attached to the draining hose to catch the sediments), and rubber band or wire tie. 

  • Turn Off the Heater and Attach the Hose to the Drain Valve – The last thing you want is for the heater to explode while being flushed, so ensure that the energy source is turned off to mitigate property or life damage. Then, attach the hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the unit, with the other end located directly into the nearest floor drain or outside the house. 

  • Close the Cold Water Inlet Line – Before draining the stored water, you should consider closing the shut-off valve in the main water supply line and opening a hot water faucet anywhere in the house to relieve pressure in the tank. 

  • Drain the Tank – Before draining, you can attach the stocking to the other end of the hose to prevent the sediments from getting into the floor drain. Open the drain valve, and ensure that no one is near the other end of the hose so they don’t get scalded. 

  • Refill the Tank – Close the drain valve, remove the hose, and check for leaks in the valve. Open a hot water faucet in the property and open the shut-off valve at the cold water inlet line to refill the tank. If there is a steady supply in the tap, turn the faucet off and turn on the heater’s energy source. 

The Benefits of Conducting Regular Flushing

  1. Energy Efficiency and Savings

Washing off the deposits from the tank allows for overall energy efficiency as the heating element will be able to transfer heat to the stored water effectively. This lowers energy bills and contributes to a more sustainable use of the heater. 

  1. Preventing Corrosion and Prolonging Lifespan

The minerals can accelerate the corrosion of the tank and other stationary and moving components of the heater, degrading the unit’s structural integrity over time. Regular flushing reduces the risk of corrosion and premature wear, extending the heater’s overall operational years.  

  1. Improving Hot Water Quality

Sediments can impact the quality of the warm water used by a property’s residents or tenants. Flushing the contaminants ensures that the stored water remains clean and free from undesirable taste and odor. This contributes to a more pleasant and hygienic hot water supply, which promotes user satisfaction. 

  1. Reducing Operational Noise 

Mineral buildup can produce unusual noises inside the storage heater, such as popping or rumbling, often caused by the expansion of air pockets under the scaling. Maintaining a debris-free tank fosters a quieter operation for the water heater, enhancing the overall satisfaction and comfort for the homeowners. 


Storage heaters can be a worthwhile investment for any homeowner, especially for those who use warm water for various activities. By conducting regular flushing, owners can guarantee that they’ll have efficient storage heating units that provide a dependable supply of warm water for a long time. 

So, if you are looking for one of the most trusted brands for water heaters in the Philippines, then Rheem Philippines is for you. With almost 100 years in the water heating industry, we have constantly focused on innovating and creating more advanced, high-quality water heating solutions to suit our customers’ unique needs. 

You can browse our extensive range of tankless and storage water heaters on our website. For any inquiries or more information about our products, you can also talk to one of our representatives at www.rheemphilippines.com/contact

Read More: Water Heater Energy Guide: What You Need to Know

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