How to flush my water heater

I have not flushed my water heaters since they were installed 10 years ago. Thought this might be a good time to do it. The heaters are doing fine.
I googled for this subject and was instructed to turn off the gas and the cold water inlet valve, open the pressure valve, connect the hose and open the bottom valve..
Is all this commotion really necessary? Why can't I just turn the gas down to "Pilot", connect a garden hose to the valve at the bottom of the heater, and open the valve?
--
Walter
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Walter R. wrote:

You may not want to do it at all. After ten years of non-use that outlet valve may not be in any condition to open and then re-close properly. You would not be the first one to end up replacing that valve.
Some areas have water that makes flushing important for long life, many don't need to do it. After ten years, if you need it, it is really too late to do a lot of good.
Other than the possible problem with the valve, it should not hurt.
Now about your question. It would be best to shut it down, but leaving the pilot on should not really cause any problems.
There are two ways of doing it. If you were to do it more often than every ten years, like once a month, you don't need to empty the tank, just connect a hose to the outlet and drain for a few minutes. That should do it. After ten years or even one year the procedure you have is not a bad one.
Again, I doubt if I would do it after ten years of not doing it.
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Joseph Meehan

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You may have a good argument for not flushing the heaters. Maybe the sediment is what is now holding the heaters together :-(
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Walter
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Probably more of interest to you would be the ionic protection rod- replacing same. Sometimes referred to as zinc rod- though magnesium better.
I'd check with neighbors and find out life-expectancy of heater with your local water-quality. If less than 12 yrs., simplest plan for you would be to replace the heater in a year or two. Before it fails. DAMHIKT.
J
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snipped-for-privacy@sme-online.com wrote:

Good advice.
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Joseph Meehan

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On Mon, 14 Nov 2005 18:33:22 GMT, "Joseph Meehan"

Damn good advice. Don't touch it.
AND the next time I install a water heater- I'll pull the plastic piece of crap, that they now come with & put in a new valve.
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Why not just purchase a Bradford-White? They come with a brass drain valve and made in the U.S.A too.
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Our new heater came with a metal valve.
wrote:

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And they're not very durable valves. I always replace mine with a proper brass valve in a plastic reducing nipple (for galvanic isolation). I keep a short hose on it for filling the car wash bucket. The original valves have barely lasted a year before beginning to leak with monthly opening.
Also, on flushing. There is not enough cross flow across the bottom of the tank to wach the sediment out . I tried it once, before replacign a heater. After disconnecting the inlet and outlet pipes, I took a look inside with a light, and saw a small clean area around the dip tube where the incoming water had blown the sediment aside, and another small area near the faucet port, where the water flow was fast enough to move the stuff out.
The only way to get a complete flush would be to disconnect the heater, remove the faucet, tip it so the port is facing down, insert a spray tube through the inlet (and outlet) and hose off the bottom of the tank, flushing all the stuff to the down-facing outlet. -- Email reply: please remove one letter from each side of "@" Spammers are Scammers. Exterminate them.
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