Is It Too Late To Drain My Water Heater? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Written By Mary Samantha Katherine

The performance of your water heater may have dropped slowly over time if you have not drained it yet. But draining the water on time is crucial to prevent further issues.

Is It Too Late To Drain My Water Heater?

It is never too late to drain a water heater. The earlier you do it, the better it is. Regular water heater draining will keep the unit in good condition to ensure optimal efficiency and prevent unwanted failure or damage.

The heater develops sediment from the hot water over time.

If you don’t regularly remove sediment, it will make the water heater less efficient.

In some cases, you may see premature failure.

This will result in repairing or replacing one or several water heater parts.

Does Flushing A Water Heater Really Help?

Regular water heater flushing is always necessary. It will ensure the maximum efficiency of the machine.

Plus, the machine will be less likely to show premature breakdown issues.

In fact, most water heater manufacturing companies recommend flushing water regularly.

But, there is no specific recommendation regarding how often you should flush your water heater.

It can be anywhere from 4-6 months to 1 year, depending on water usage and quality.

If you notice excessive sludge or lime buildup, flush the water heater sooner.

Does Flushing Water Heater Extend Life?

The average lifespan of a water heater ranges from 8 to 12 years. It can be more or less depending on your maintenance and using method.

Regular flushing and draining of the water heater is a part of its maintenance task.

Overlooking the maintenance job will result in issues in different parts of the water heater.

Regular flushing and draining keep the machine in tip-top condition.

It ensures minimal problems, extending the lifespan of the water heater.

Make sure to flush your water heater at least once or twice a year.

What Happens If You Don’t Drain Your Water Heater?

Ignoring the regular draining of the water heater will result in various issues.

Excessive Sediment Buildup

Irregular draining and flushing of water heaters will lead to excessive sediment buildup.

The valves of the water heater may have blockage issues.

Plus, it may initiate the process of corrosion, which will ultimately cause leakage issues.

You may need to repair or replace several parts of the water heater. Or change the entire unit.

A Decline in Efficiency  

If you don’t drain the water heater regularly, its efficiency will drop up to 24%–34% over time.

The water might not be as hot as it used to be.

It will be only lukewarm water that will easily invite lime buildup.

Abnormal Sounds

Do you hear any odd sounds when the water is boiling inside the water heater?

It could be an alarming situation.

Immediately stop using the water heater. The heater may explode.

You need to call a professional to handle such risky tasks.

Premature Failure

Maintenance is a must to use a water heater for the expected time.

If you have not cleaned the water heaters for several years, you have already caused significant damage.

Several components of the heater might be already got damaged.

It will cause premature failure. You will have no option but to install a new water heater.

Wrapping Up

Every household should drain and flush their water heater regularly depending on their water usage frequency and water quality. Make sure to go through the instruction manual to learn how to drain and properly flush a water heater.


1. ENERGY.GOV, U.S. Department of Energy, 2021. Tankless or Demand-Type Water Heaters.

2. Cooperman, A. and Dieckmann, J., 2011. Drain water heat recovery. ASHRAE Journal, 53(11), p.58.

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