If your water fixtures are clogged, you’ll want to flush out the water lines. Don't be intimidated, we're here to help! We’ll go step-by-step through how to clear your lines, faucets, and appliances to get your home up and working again.
Before You Start!
- Do not flush toilets in the home until directed in the steps below
- Be cautious of hot water injury during rinsing steps
Printing Tip: Expand steps first, and then print.
Step A - Bypass the Softener (click to expand directions)
Go ahead and bypass your water softener by pushing IN on the plastic handle in the back of the system like pictured below. It will stop water flow to the system.
If you have a blending valve, make sure it's closed so no hard water is coming through. Refer to What is a Blending Valve for instructions.
Note: Leave your main water and hot water supply on – you’ll need this pressure to flush the lines.
Step B - Drain Water Heater
- Now you'll turn off the power or fuel supply to your water heater. IMPORTANT: follow your heater's manual for shut off instructions.
- Close the feed water (incoming supply) valve to the water heater, and confirm all water is off in the home.
- Open a hot water faucet and leave it open to allow air flow to the water heater during this draining period. For tankless water heaters, skip to Step C.
- Locate the drain valve on the bottom of your water heater. Connect a garden hose (or similar hose) and run it to a safe location, which can handle a large volume of water and possible sediment. This hose will stay on until you flush the water heater.
- Caution: For this step, you'll be draining hot water out of the system. You need to be careful because the water WILL be hot. You’ll open the valve on the bottom of your water heater and allow it to drain until it’s empty.
Step C - Flush & Fill Water Heater
You'll either have a water heater with a tank or a tankless water heater. Identify which one you have and then follow the directions below for your type.
- You'll need to confirm the water heater has emptied, and water is no longer moving through the drain hose. Keep the drain hose set up and open for water to exit.
- Now you can close the hot water faucet you had open while draining the water heater.
- Slowly open the incoming feed valve (incoming supply) to allow water into the heater. This allows any residual sediment to leave the heater as new water comes in. This helps remove any left over sediment in the heater and flush it to the drain.
- Once the drain water runs clear, close the water heater drain valve and remove the hose.
- Follow the instructions from your Tankless Water Heater manufacturer on how to flush.
Step D - Flush Cold Water Fixtures
- Go ahead and turn off the feed valve (incoming supply) to your washing machine and dishwasher if applicable.
- Locate and remove all faucet aerators (on the end of most faucets), screens, filters, and shower heads from all water fixtures. Set them aside, you'll reattach them later.
- Start with the cold water faucet closest to the softener. Open and allow it run clear, then turn off.
- Make sure your drains are open and can handle the volume and flow of water.
- Work your way through the home - leaving each fixture open until the water is clear, then turn off before moving onto the next.
- You’ll flush the toilets as you move through the home. You may want to flush each toilet a few times.
Step E - Flush Hot Water Lines
- Here, you'll start with your hot water faucet closest to the softener. Open the faucet and allow it to run until the water runs clear, then turn off.
- Work your way through the home – leaving each fixture open several minutes until the water runs smooth and clear, then turning off before moving to the next. Remember to rinse shower head fixtures here as well.
- Switch the power or fuel supply back onto the water heater. IMPORTANT: Follow start up instructions found in water heater manual.
Step F - Flush Washing Machine/Dishwasher
- Both the cold and hot water valves should still be closed to these appliances. Have a towel and small container handy for this next part as their will be residual water in the lines. Go ahead and unscrew the hoses from the back of your machine. Use the towel and container as needed.
- After removing the hot and cold water lines, you’ll likely find a screen inside the hose connection. Clean this screen and then reinsert it.
- You’ll want to place both hot and cold water hoses in a laundry tub or bucket and open the valves slightly until the water runs clear. Then close the valves and reconnect the hoses to the machine.
- Do the same for your dishwasher, flushing the lines to a container.
- Once the lines are connected, reopen the valves to supply cold and hot water back to the machine. We recommend running each appliance through a rinse cycle before running in normal operation.
Step G - Refrigerator Filters/Ice Makers
- Check your supply line by closing the cold water valve in back of your refrigerator and be sure to have a towel nearby to catch any residual water when you unscrew the line.
- Place the water line in a bucket and open the valve slowly until the water runs clear, then reconnect.
- Check to ensure water is running clear from the dispenser.
- If the water is not running through the system, refer to your system’s manual for filter locations and replacements.
- If the system still doesn't produce water after a filter change, you'll need to clean the solenoid (coil.) See your system's manual or consult a repair specialist.
- We recommended you empty any ice storage container and start with new ice.
Step H - Remaining Faucets
Once all your water lines are clear, you can then start reattaching all aerators and screens to your fixtures. Make sure to clean and flush all aerators, screens, and shower heads before reinstalling them into their respective fixtures. If any faucet or shower head is too clogged, you’ll need to replace them.
Great work, you have flushed your plumbing!
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