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Caring for Your Water Heater

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

Photo of two men installing a water heater.

In February, we published a list of routine home maintenance tasks to perform to keep your systems operating at peak performance. One task we did not include on the list, but promised to revisit, is hot water heater maintenance.

Flushing the water heater tank removes mineral sediment that accumulates in the bottom of the tank. If it’s not completed frequently enough, the mineral buildup may cause banging or rumbling noises as water moves through the tank. If you wait too long to flush the tank, the sediment will make it harder to complete the task later. Even worse: Your tank (if it’s a steel tank) may rust out prematurely.

If you have a newer water heater model: Some home maintenance lists recommend flushing the tank annually, while others, such as the RHEEM Marathon Use and Care Manual, recommend that a few quarts or liters of water be drained from the bottom of the tank every month to remove mineral deposits.

The deposits that settle in the basin (the bottom of the water heater) come from mineral solids that are suspended in water.

If you start immediately after installation, you should have no problems with the accumulation of the mineral deposits, and you’ll keep your tank in good condition and wo