Plumbing in the Home/water heater flush


I have been putting off a heater flush for years because I am uncomfortable re-lighting the thing. The gas company won't send someone to monitor me. Surely attaching a long hose and giving it a quick drain for a few seconds would at least get rid of part of the sediment and be a solution that could be done more often? I mean, as long as some water is left in the tank...

Dear Jim,

   Don't worry too much about doing the drain without shutting the gas off completely.  You can turn the control valve on the water heater to the PILOT setting, then only the pilot will stay on.  The main gas burner will not light.  Then you can drain the water and refill the tank before turning the valve back to the ON position at which point it will heat the water.  Doing this, you should not have to deal with re-lighting the pilot.

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Thomas Ambler


I am experienced at troubleshooting and solving all types of plumbing problems. Issues related to specific manufacturers fixtures and specifications though are beyond my field of expertise. I have dealt with problems in both rural and urban areas, and with water supply and drainage systems. Plumbing issues can be very obscure... such as odors, stains or occasional seepage. I have even had to chase rats from a customer's sewer line.


I have 25 years experience dealing with plumbing systems (which also includes hot water and steam heating systems). My main expertise is in diagnosing and solving problems. I have worked in construction and installation of new systems but do not regard myself as an expert in that area.

Asbury Park Press, Seattle Times, Denver Post.

I completed high school and one year of college. I served 4 years in the Marine Corps and have education in electronic and electrical troubleshooting and repair. I have attended classes on installing and repair of oil burners, and I have EPA universal certification for air conditioning and refrigeration. I am now enrolled as a full-time student at Everest college to re-train for a new career. Any donations of financial support would be greatly appreciated.

Past/Present Clients
All of Denny's Restaurants in NJ, Several Burger King stores, I have done work at two different homes for Bruce Springsteen. I have also worked for Jim Johnson (of J&J) and his family, Whitney Houston, Steve Forbes and many others.

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