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What is a good way to drain the sludge out of the bottom of a three year old electric water heater?


I've never done it before.  Do I need to turn it off?  Is the water safe on a vegetable garden? The back yard is lower than the basement. A hose could reach that far.

aeray6 years ago
Turn the power to the heater off at the electrical panel, and turn off the water supply. Drain the heater. Remove the lower plug/coil. Use a small dowel to break up the deposits. Turn the water back on (a little at a time), but not the power, flushing the crud out. The crud and water can be collected in a pan, or, much more conveniently, with a wet/dry shop vacuum held to the plug hole. If it is in the basement, and their is a floor drain, just let it run to the drain. A hose will work for the water, but the crud is likely to plug it up. As Re-design noted, it is imperative that you let it re-fill completely before turning the water back on.
acidbass6 years ago
just drain it do not clean it because we just had a major backup that caused us to renovate our upstairs bathroom because we cleaned it the sludge will come out on its own but you need to turn all of the power and water off first
Re-design6 years ago
Turn off the water heater. If you can let it cool down before you drain it, it is safe for the garden or yard. Otherwise the hot water may kill plants. THere is nothing in the water that is dangerous other than heat. Let it fill completely before you turn it back on. If it is not filled before you turn it back on, you will burn out at least the upper heater and have to replace it.