Wagner’s plumbers are standing by to help you with your home plumbing needs! We’re proud to be Albuquerque’s premier source for local plumbing experts. Whether you’re having water heater problems or you need help locating a tough-to-find leak, we’re the team to call. Don’t wait to call us for service!

When you need us, we’re here for you with 24/7 plumbing repair

Over the past month, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has changed how many businesses operate and how people go about their daily lives. As more and more people start working from home and spending their free time inside, they also increasingly need and depend on their home’s plumbing. That’s why the team at Wagner is here to help. Our plumbers are standing by, 24/7, for all your home’s urgent plumbing needs. It’s just another reason that we’re your home’s best friend.

Call us for 24/7 emergency repair

We are here for your home. If you’re experiencing a plumbing emergency, call your friends at Wagner right away. We offer 24/7 emergency service throughout the Albuquerque area.

A Wagner plumber repairs a tankless water heater in a local home here in Albuquerque.

Clogged Drains

A clogged shower drain, toilet, or sink can really bring life in your home to a screeching halt. If you have a stubborn clog, call us for fast, 24/7 service. We’ll send one of our experienced, friendly plumbers out to your home to clear the clog. Our plumbers have a variety of advanced drain cleaning tools at their disposal—including snake tools, hydrojets, and more—to completely clear out deep clogs.

Here are just a few of the reasons why you should hire a professional for drain cleaning and clog clearing.

Hidden Leaks

Left to its own devices, a hidden leak can lead to serious water damage in your home—and an expensive cleanup. Using advanced leak detection equipment, our plumbers can pinpoint the location of water leaks hidden behind walls, in ceilings, or under your foundation. Then, we can quickly access and repair the source of the leak, limiting the extent of the water damage and returning your home to normal.

Read more about our leak detection work.

Water Heaters

When your water heater stops working, call us right away. We repair and replace water heaters here in the Albuquerque area. During the current COVID-19 crisis, we’re also offering the convenience and safety of virtual estimates on new water heater systems. If you know your home’s aging water heater needs to be replaced, now’s a great time to call us and schedule your virtual estimate.

Sewer Line Issues

A sewer line leak or clog can spell major trouble for your home. If you’ve noticed that your front yard smells like sewage and has water pooling near the buried line, you need to have one of our plumbers out to take a closer look. Clogs are also a serious issue: in the event your home’s drains all clog at once, turn off the water and call us right away for 24/7 plumbing repair. A clogged sewer line can lead to a disastrous sewer backup into your home.

We’re also ready to help with your HVAC and electrical needs

At Wagner, we’re more than just your local plumbing team. We also provide 24/7 emergency air conditioning repair and electrical services. No matter what your home needs, you can count on the team at Wagner to get the job done right. After all, we’ve been Albuquerque’s trusted name in home services since 1928.

At Wagner, we’re taking steps to protect your home during the COVID-19 outbreak

The recent COVID-19 outbreak has already had a profound impact on our community. Throughout Albuquerque, homeowners and businesses are preparing for an uncertain future. At Wagner, we are taking several precautionary steps to protect your home, including offering virtual estimates. In this article, we’ll outline how we’re doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19, why COVID-19 is such a threat, and how you can do your part to support local businesses here in Albuquerque through the tough times to come.

We’re taking steps to protect your home

At Wagner, our technicians, plumbers, and electricians are all taking steps to protect your home and prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are using the latest recommendations from our state and the U.S. Centers of Disease Control & Prevention to guide our preventative measures. If you have questions, please call us.

Our virtual estimates

As we announced in a recent blog post, our team is now offering virtual estimates on new air conditioners, heat pumps, and plumbing equipment. This process is easy, straightforward, and—most importantly—helps us reduce face-to-face contact. If you need a new HVAC system or a new water heater, call us here at Wagner to schedule your virtual estimate.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19, also known as “novel coronavirus,” is a highly infectious virus that has spread throughout the world and the United States in recent weeks. There is no natural immunity to, or vaccine for, COVID-19. There are a number of factors that make coronavirus easy to spread. First, those infected are typically symptomless, yet contagious, for several days. Around 80% of all those with COVID-19 have mild-to-moderate symptoms, which—without social distancing guidelines—might still allow them to go out and spread the virus. Finally, experts advise there is a population of people who carry and can spread the virus, but have no symptoms at all.

While most will only experience mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms, others will have more severe symptoms and may even need to be hospitalized. You’ve no doubt heard about “flattening the curve.” This refers to the act of social distancing and staying at home as a means of slowing the spread of the disease and reducing the number of COVID-19 patients our hospitals and health professionals have to deal with at once.

While certain people—especially the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions—are most vulnerable, there have been cases of all types of people getting seriously ill or even dying due to COVID-19. We can all do our part to avoid these tragedies by:

  • Following social distancing guidelines: If you’re sick, stay home. Even if you’re healthy, stay in your home as much as possible and only go out into public for essentials, like work (if you’re an essential worker) or groceries. When you do go out, stay at least six feet away from others and wear a face mask.
  • Wash your hands (and your phone!): When you return home from a public place, wash your hands thoroughly in warm, soapy water. Take the time to disinfect all surfaces you may have touched, including car door handles and your phone.
  • Take precautions: Just like we’re doing here at Wagner, take precautions like using hand sanitizer, wearing gloves, and wearing face masks while interacting with others or while you’re in public.

Thank you for your support of local businesses

This is an incredibly difficult time for many local businesses here in Albuquerque. Health experts remain uncertain how long this crisis will continue and how long social distancing measures will need to remain in place. If you are able, please consider supporting local and small businesses here in our community. You can do this by:

  • Supporting restaurants by ordering takeout and delivery. This helps these establishments stay open and keep their staff working. If you’re not comfortable with delivered food, call and ask about gift cards. By purchasing a gift certificate, you provide the business with a needed lifeline now and you can use the gift card when the outbreak is over.
  • Shopping local. Whether you’re buying essentials or you’re getting something fun to do at home with your family, please consider buying from a local business here in town. Without foot traffic, our stores here in Albuquerque need online sales to keep the lights on.
  • Being compassionate to others. Your kindness, patience, and gratitude is just as contagious as this virus. Just a simple and sincere “thank you” to those working in grocery stores, hospitals, and restaurants can help keep people’s spirits up. Collectively, it’s what makes us #AlbuquerqueStrong.

The entire team here at Wagner would like to thank our community’s first responders, medical professionals, and everyone else working on the front lines of this viral outbreak. Our community appreciates you and everything you’re doing.

Finally, thank you for your continued business and support. From our family here at Wagner to yours, stay safe and stay healthy. If you need 24/7 emergency HVAC or plumbing services here in Albuquerque, call us right away.

Here’s why your toilet runs constantly

It’s the sound that keeps homeowners up at night. During the day, it’s a minor annoyance. In the still hours of night, however, it might as well be a jackhammer in your home. When your toilet runs constantly, it’s hard not to notice. Many homeowners write this off as a quirk of their plumbing, but, as it turns out, diagnosing issues with the toilet that might be causing it to run is pretty straightforward. In this article, we’ll review the three most common causes of a toilet that runs constantly, and why you should call Wagner for fast plumbing repair here in Albuquerque.

Has your toilet been running constantly? Check:

The toilet flapper

Your toilet’s “flapper” is the watertight seal that opens to allow water into the bowl when you flush. It then closes to stop the flush. When a toilet runs constantly, the most common issue is that this valve is no longer functioning like it should.

A faulty ball float can be a potential reason your toilet constantly runs.

A faulty ball float can be a potential reason your toilet constantly runs.

Lift off the top of the tank and take a look at the flapper. If there’s visible damage (such as a crack), that means it’s not able to form that watertight seal. Or, it might be out of alignment—same outcome.

These are signs that you should call our plumbers here at Wagner right away. We’ll come out with a replacement flapper and repair the toilet, fast.

The chain

A broken chain is another common issue that can cause a toilet to run. When you press the handle to flush the toilet, the lever pulls up on the chain, which is connected to the flapper. This pulls the flapper up and allows water to exit the tank into the bowl, flushing the toilet. In other words, no chain, no flush.

Often, the chain can become disconnected at the flapper end: the plastic loophole that the chain runs through in the flapper is prone to splitting after years of use.

However, chain issues can also prevent the flapper from closing all the way, leading to a constantly running toilet. If the chain is too long, it can continually get caught underneath the flapper, prohibiting a watertight seal from forming.

If you’re not quite sure what has caused your toilet to run, it could be the chain. Call our plumbers here at Wagner for fast, local service.

The float ball

After you flush and the water exits the tank into the bowl, water begins to slowly refill in the tank. But, just how does it know when to stop? This is the purpose of the float ball and the “arm” it’s connected to. As the water in the tank rises, so does the float ball.

At a certain point, the ball is high enough to trigger the arm to cut off the water intake, keeping the tank at a consistent amount of water needed for the next flush. In fact, adjusting the float arm and ball is an effective way to either cut your water usage or increase the amount of water used with a flush. Talk to one of our plumbers about your options.

Problems with either ball and float do arise. As a precaution against a flooded home, the toilet has a critical safety mechanism to fall back on: when the water gets too high in the tank, it reaches an overflow tube that carries the spillage into the bowl.

This, as you might expect, causes the sound of a toilet running constantly. Typically, stopping this involves replacing either the float ball or arm so that the water level is better regulated. To have a professional inspect your home’s toilet for any issues, call us today.

Call Wagner for all your plumbing needs

When you stop to consider everything that can go wrong in a home—from a clogged sewer line to a leaking pipe under your foundation—a constantly running toilet might seem like just a minor inconvenience. However, the team at Wagner is here to help with all of it. We’re Albuquerque’s locally trusted, long-standing plumbing team. No matter what your home needs, we can help: we also offer outstanding HVAC and electrical services. Call us today to get started!

Here’s how to find water leaks in your home’s plumbing

Throughout the life of their home, most homeowners experience some kind of plumbing leak at some point. Some leaks are obvious, like frozen pipes that burst. Others are hidden, like loose connections in under floor plumbing lines. The sooner you see a leak, the sooner you can fix it, but you first need to know how to find it. That’s where we come in!

At Wagner, we offer expert leak detection services here in Albuquerque. For 24/7 plumbing repair service, give us a call today!

Water leaks like this one can cause serious water damage in your home.

Water leaks like this one can cause serious water damage in your home.

How do you know when you have a water leak?

Here are just some of the signs that you might have a water leak somewhere in your home or on your property:

  • Drastic, sudden increase in water bills
  • Musty smells
  • Cracks in the foundation
  • Wet spots
  • Stains on floors, ceilings, and walls
  • Visible mold and mildew (outside of the shower)
  • Hissing sounds when water isn’t being used

Confirming you have a leak

If you notice any of the above signs, the first step is to confirm you have an active leak. Start by ensuring no water is being used inside the house (sinks, showers, dish washers, washing machines) or outside (hoses, fountains, etc.).

Once you’re sure no water is being used, check the leak indicator on your water meter. Usually a triangular dial or silver wheel, the leak indicator spins when there is water flowing through the meter. If no water is being used and the indicator is spinning, you likely have a plumbing leak.

Finding the source of water leaks

You first need to isolate whether the leak is inside or outside. This is easily done by turning off the main water shutoff valve and checking the water meter leak indicator again. If the indicator has stopped moving, the leak is inside the house, if it keeps moving, the leak is between the meter and the house.

If the leak is indoors:

  • Make sure the flapper valve in toilet tank seals completely
  • Check for water under sinks
  • Inspect showers and tubs for drips
  • Look for puddles around washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters

If the leak is outdoors:

  • Look for standing water near spigots
  • Check for wet spots near sprinklers and irrigation systems when they aren’t being used
  • Inspect plumbing lines to outdoor water features

What is professional leak detection?

Even using the methods above, you may not be able to pinpoint the exact location of a leak inside of your home. Leaks can be deceiving: the place where water damage is may not be where the leak is originating from. In fact, it’s not unheard of for an upstairs leak to drip down to a downstairs wall.

In such a situation, you have two options:

  • Make some less-than-educated guesses about where the leak is and start hacking away at your drywall trying to find it.
  • Bringing in a professional for expert leak detection.

Here’s what a professional has that you probably do not: acoustic detection equipment. This is the bread-and-butter of finding hidden leaks. Here’s how it works:

When the water in a pipe moves past a crack or fissure and leaks out, it generates sound and vibration. This is slight: even listening your hardest, you’ll never hear it. It’s far below the range of human ears. But, it is there, and thanks to electronic equipment, it can be detected. Acoustic leak detection traces the source of the sound back to its point of origin, giving our plumber a pinpoint location for the hidden leak, whether it’s behind a wall, in a ceiling, or under the foundation.

Of course, our plumbers have ways of verifying this location. In addition to leak detection, we have endoscopic snake tools that we can push into pipes to visibly see the leak or hole in the pipe. This is most useful once the plumber has a general ballpark idea of where the leak is.

From there, it’s just a matter of cutting into the drywall in that exact spot to access and repair the leak.

Repairing plumbing leaks

Always call a professional plumber to help you find, diagnose, and fix leaks. A water leak in your home is no time for DIY work! Our plumbers here at Wagner can help you find hidden leaks and deal with them fast, before they cause more damage to your home.

For 24/7 plumbing service here in Albuquerque, call our team today!

Here’s what you should do to care for your home’s sewer line

Chances are that you don’t spend much time at home thinking about your sewer line. Most of the time, the sewer line is out-of-sight and out-of-mind. However, sewer line problems can result in expensive headaches for homeowners. In this article, we’ll review what you can do to care for and protect your home’s sewer line, including preventing clogs and guarding the line against tree roots.

Watch what you put down the sink

Unfortunately, many homeowners have gotten into the habit of treating their kitchen sink like a trash can. After all, the garbage disposal makes this a convenient way to get rid of waste. However, not everything should go down the sink. In fact, certain food waste has a propensity for getting trapped deep in the sewer line, where it can start to form a clog.

Sewer line clogs are bad news. As the clog begins to impede the flow of wastewater to the municipal sewer, all your home’s drains begin draining more slowly. When the clog reaches the point where it constricts the entire line, there’s the potential for a sewer backup event. When this happens, wastewater can no longer exit the home ecosystem. What goes down, unfortunately, must come back up. The result can be a disgusting and devastating flooded home, costing thousands in potential repairs and mold remediation work.

You can do your part to avoid a sewer line clog by disposing of these particular items in the trash, not down the sink:

  • Oils
  • Grease
  • Eggshells
  • Rice
  • Produce Stickers
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Flour
  • Potato Peels

Clear out the shade trees

Your front yard trees and bushes might look nice, but they could pose an imminent threat to your home’s sewer line. First, figure out where the line runs from your home to the municipal sewer underneath the street. You can typically do this by tracing a line from the sewer line drainout to the street. Next, determine if there are any trees within the immediate vicinity. As a general rule of thumb, you want to have ten feet clear on each side of the line to prevent tree roots from getting close to it. However, every tree and bush is different: some with faster-growing, more aggressive roots may need to be relocated even if they’re more than ten feet away.

The consequences of having trees close to the line could be severe. Here in Albuquerque, tree roots are ever-thirsty for valuable water and nutrients. Even the smallest leak in the line will begin to attract nearby roots to grow toward this life-sustaining source. Eventually, the roots—looking to absorb the most-possible liquid—grow either around or into the line. This can either exacerbate an existing leak or lead to a clogged sewer line.

When it comes to nearby trees, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By preemptively relocating nearby trees to other parts of your yard, you may save yourself and your home from a sewer line nightmare down the road.

Schedule a sewer line inspection

The plumbers here at Wagner have professional-grade tools we use to inspect and assess the state of local sewer lines. Arguably, the most useful of these tools is the endoscopic camera. Essentially, this is a tiny camera attached to a snake tool. During a sewer line inspection, we feed this snake down one of your drains and into the sewer line. As the snake is pushed further into the line, we can watch through video to visually inspect for any cracks, clogs, or other problems.

A sewer line inspection doesn’t always have to be something that gets scheduled once you know you have a problem. In fact, it’s a great preventative maintenance step. Since many clogs—whether caused by grease or tree roots—form slowly over time, a camera inspection can determine if there is a growing problem that needs to be preemptively dealt with. Our plumbers can then use specialized tools to clear the forming clog before it completely blocks the line and causes a sewer line backup.

Why you should hire a professional for drain cleaning and clearing clogs

Clogged drains and toilets are a regular part of life in your home. Before you reach for that drain cleaner, however, you should know that there are benefits to bringing in an expert to clear your sink, shower, or toilet clog. When you hire a professional for drain cleaning, you’re getting access to their expertise, drain-safe tools, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your drain was cleaned successfully.

Hire a professional for drain cleaning here in Albuquerque.

Have a clog? Have a professional plumber out to inspect the issue and clear the blockage.

For fast and reliable drain cleaning services here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, call our team at Wagner. We’re your local drain cleaning specialists. Be sure to check out our specials for ways to save money on our clog clearing services.

Why hire a professional for drain cleaning?

Drain cleaning and clog clearing is a job best left to a professional. Here are five reasons why you should hire a professional for drain cleaning projects in your home:

#1. Home remedies can’t clear the toughest clogs

Some people may swear by them, but most home remedies to clear clogs just don’t work. Many clogs are tougher than they initially appear. Here are some common home drain cleaning tactics and their shortcomings:

Hot water and dish soap

The problem here is that PVC pipes are often not built to handle boiling water. In fact, PVC and the glue at the joints near the sink trap can be damaged by temperatures above 140 degrees. This means that you effectively need to heat water—but not too much—and then hope that it retains enough heat by the time it reaches the clog to re-liquefy trapped grease. It’s a long shot, and this remedy also assumes that grease is the problem.

Coat hanger

Many people use a wire coat hanger to reach into the shower drain and pull out trapped hair. Two issues: first, the coat hanger wire may not be long enough to reach the clog. Second, this may clear some of the hair, but is unlikely to remove all of it. You’ll be right back at square one soon.

Baking soda and vinegar

Again, this home remedy calls for boiling water to be poured down first, which is not recommended for homes with PVC piping. The combination of baking soda and vinegar may clear a mild, weak clog, but it’s unlikely to really impact a deeper, stronger one.

#2. Plumbers have the right tools to get the job done

Outside of a small plunger and a wrench, most homeowners do not have access to the wide assortment of clog-clearing tools that a professional plumber does. Here are some of the tools of our trade and how they help clear a wide variety of drain and pipe blockages:

Plungers

Every American homeowner has a toilet plunger in their home. Professional plumbers often carry several, with different-sized and -shaped plungers playing different roles in drain cleaning projects. The typical plunger, for instance, is highly effective on sinks and drains, but toilets often require a ball plunger that creates better pressure.

A Wagner plumber feeds an auger line into a sewer line.

Sink Auger

Commonly known as a “drum auger,” this is a specialized tool plumbers use to clear sink and shower drain clogs. The auger contains a steel cord. The plumber positions the cord inside of the drain and then turns the auger’s handle to extend it out. As the cord snakes into the drain and around bends, it pushes into and through clogs, clearing them.

Snake Tools

Our plumbers carry a wide range of different snake tools for clearing clogs. The type of clog often dictates the type of snake tool that gets used for a particular job. For example, snake tools with barbs and hooks are better at clearing out shower drains because they can catch amassed hair for the plumber to then pull out of the pipe.

Endoscopic “Snake” Camera

We’ll review more about this in a minute, but this is essentially a specialized snake tool that features a tiny digital camera with a light at the end. Plumbers use this to see into the pipes, typically by feeding the snake into the drain and then watching its travel with the homeowner on a small screen.

Water Jets

While not needed on every job, high-pressure water jets can be used to blast through deep, stubborn clogs. This is preferable to using chemical solutions since the water jet does not harm the pipes or plumbing. Our plumbers will often use water jets to clear significant sewer line blockages.

#3. Store-bought chemicals don’t always work

Take a trip to your local hardware store, and you’ll find a wide variety of drain cleaners available. Many homeowners decide to use these chemicals instead of bringing in a professional plumber, but there are drawbacks:

  • Ineffectiveness: Many of these drain cleaning chemicals are not powerful enough to clear a stubborn clog deep in your pipes. Even when they break through the clog, they rarely clear it out completely, which sets the stage for future clogs in the very near future.
  • Pipe Damage: Avoid drain cleaning products that contain hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid. These strong acids may work against the clog, but they can also damage your pipes, sink, garbage disposal, and everything else they touch. According to The New York Times, even the drain cleaning products that say they won’t damage pipes will do some damage to them.
  • Storage: For good reason, many homeowners are understandably nervous about keeping drain cleaning products around their homes. These products are dangerous, especially if accidentally consumed by children or pets. If you do have drain cleaning products, keep them elevated and out of the way in a cool, dark place.
  • Safety: If you are going to use these chemical drain cleaners, you need to clear the area around the drain. Wear protective eyewear and plastic gloves—preferably ones that cover your wrists. Make sure you properly dispose of the plastic bottle in a way consistent with hazardous waste disposal in your area.

For these reasons, our professionals only use chemicals as a last resort to clear a clog. In a vast majority of cases, we can clear the clog with a plunger, our snake tools, or other non-chemical methods.

#4. You don’t know what’s down there

Every clog is different. Many shower clogs, for instance, are caused by the buildup of hair deep within the drain, whereas kitchen sink clogs can be caused by stuck food waste or solidified grease. What the clog is made of often determines how it should be handled. For example, our plumbers may use a plunger to attempt to clear a toilet or sink clog, but that is far less effective on shower drain clogs, where a specialized snake tool should be used to snag, and then remove, the trapped hair.

In other cases, you may know what’s down your drain—and want it back. Jewelry, such as earrings and wedding bands, often is accidentally flushed or sent down the drain. You’ll want the assistance of a professional plumber for this: our team has specialized drain endoscopes—basically, cameras attached to a snake tool—that allow us to look down into the drain and find lost items. We can then use other snake tools to retrieve the item without damaging it or pushing it further into the pipe.

#5. Clogged drains could indicate other problems

A clogged sink, shower, or toilet drain might be just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Your home could be experiencing the start of a sewer line clog. Some of the warning signs of a blocked sewer line include:

  • All the drains in your home have clogged simultaneously.
  • The physically lowest drains in the home—typically, the bathtub or shower drain—are backing up.

At this point, you need to stop running the water, turn off the water supply to your home, and call our team for 24/7 emergency service. A sewer line blockage is a serious issue for any home and could lead to a sewer backup.

Clearing just one pipe will not do anything to remove the clog. Sewer line clogs are much deeper in the system. In fact, it’s often the process of attempting to clear the clog—which may include adding more water, continuing to flush the toilet, or adding liquid drain cleaner—that exacerbates the problem.

At Wagner, we’re your locally trusted plumbing team

Since 1928, Wagner has been Albuquerque’s trusted name in plumbing services. When you need to hire a professional for drain cleaning in your home, call us. We offer 24/7 emergency service, and one of our experienced and friendly plumbers can quickly be at your home to clear the clog and get your kitchen or bathroom back to normal.

Fall is the perfect time of year for a water heater flush

All water heater tanks require a regular “flush out” to remove accumulated (and trapped) sediment, mineral deposits, and other forms of buildup at the bottom of the tank. Ideally, as a homeowner, you should flush your water heater tank twice per-year. However, at the bare minimum, an annual water heater flush is an absolute must.

A water heater that goes too long between flushes will:

  • Become less energy-efficient, as accumulated sediment and minerals block the heating element from warming the water as effectively.
  • Live a shorter life, as corrosive elements will be allowed to build up inside the tank with uninterrupted regularity.

As an Albuquerque homeowner, you should perform or schedule a water heater flush at least once per year.In other words, taking care of regular maintenance for your water heater can end up costing you money, both in the present and in the future. The good news is that a water heater flush is easy for most homeowners to perform themselves and only takes a few minutes.

However, if you need assistance with this or any other water heater maintenance project, be sure to call our team of experienced plumbers here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Since 1928, the team at Wagner has built our reputation on helping local homeowners with their home maintenance needs.

Performing a water heater flush

Step #1: Turn off the system and cut the power

Start by turning your water heater’s thermostat to off and then—depending on the type of system you have:

  • Gas Water Heaters: Shut off the gas line to the water heater.
  • Electric Water Heaters: At your home’s breaker box, turn off the power to the circuit the water heater is on. If you’re not sure what circuit the water heater is on specifically, you may want to turn off power to the entire home for this process.

Step #2: Turn off the cold water supply and run hot water

Your water heater has a cold water intake supply line with an adjustable knob near the top of the water heater. You’ll want to shut this off so that no new water is entering the tank. Then, at your kitchen sink or in a bathtub, run the hot water running. This latter step is critical to preventing issues with the lines while draining.

Step #3: Position a bucket (or connect a hose)

Near the bottom of the water heater tank is a spigot that controls the outflow of water for drainage purposes. You have two options here:

  • You can position a large bucket underneath the spigot and drain directly into the bucket. As you can probably imagine, there’s more water in the tank than your bucket can hold, so you may need to empty the bucket once or twice while draining. As we’ll discuss below, it’s not always necessary to drain the water heater entirely, however.
  • You can connect a garden hose to the drainage spigot and run the hose to a bucket. This is especially useful if the placement of your water heater makes positioning a bucket directly beneath difficult.

Either way, the bucket is crucial. As the water drains out of the water heater, you’ll be able to see it in the bucket, which will provide you with a visual key as to when to stop.

Step #4: Start the drainage process

Turn that drainage spigot to open. At first, the water coming out of the water heater and into the bucket will most likely be brown or rust-colored. As you continue draining, this water will eventually start to run clear. If it’s been a while since your last water heater drain, you may need to drain the entire tank to remove all the accumulated sediment.

Step #5: Flush out the remainder

Once you either have clear water or have drained the entire tank of all its water, it’s time to flush. With the bucket and hose still positioned as before, open that cold water supply valve you closed in Step 2. This will allow cold water to run through the tank and into the bucket, carrying any remaining sediment or buildup along with it. Again, keep an eye on your bucket: as soon as its water is clear, you’re done. You can empty the bucket, detach the hose, close the drainage valve, and turn your water heater back on.

Call Wagner for all your water heater maintenance needs

The team at Wagner is here to help with all your water heater maintenance and upkeep needs, including your annual flush. If you need assistance with the flush process—or have reason to believe that your water heater isn’t working properly—you’ll want to call our team for service. We maintain, repair, and replace water heaters here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.