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Brown Water – Flushing the Water Heater


Sometimes brown water comes out of the hot water faucet. There must be sediment in the water heater. How do I drain the water heater and get rid of the brown water?


There could be sediment in the water heater, or maybe your home has older galvanized steel piping that is corroding on the inside. Flushing the water heater may help.

Attach a garden hose to the drain valve on the lower edge of the water heater. Route the other end to a drain or laundry tub. Open the valve carefully, because the water is hot. Drain about five gallons, wait a few hours, then drain again. This procedure will remove any loose particles from the tank.

Since most drain valves are inexpensive and rarely used, you can expect a leak at the valve once you open it. A drip from the valve stem (a round metal shaft connecting the handle to the valve) can be corrected by tightening the packing nut around the stem. A drip from the threaded spout can be handled with a hose cap and a rubber washer.