How to Flush Pipes
Flushing pipes is an excellent way to rid your home plumbing of built up silt, dirt and debris. It is something older homes require. If you are moving into a new home or experiencing problems with your existing home’s plumbing, there might an obstruction or corrosion in your water pipes, but it is not common. Flush water pipes to remove debris or build-up clogging your pipe lines. To properly flush pipes, you have to open all the faucets and shower valves completely. This action pushes water through the piping system and dislodges obstructions. You must be careful, however as large debris can harm faucet components.
TIP: Old pipes might need to be flushed longer than new water pipes. Flushing pipes requires some knowledge of plumbing so it should only be attempted if you are certain of the problem.
Shut off the main incoming water valve on the home water pipe lines. In most homes this valve is located between the water heater and the main incoming water pipe. It usually has a red handle.
Attach a drain hose to the draining valve of the water heater, and run the hose to a floor drain or drainage area. Drain the water heater by opening the bottom drain valve, turning the valve to the left. After draining the water close the drain valve completely. Then turn the main water valve to the “on” position. This will flush the sediment from the water heater and prevent them from clogging pipes during flushing.
Remove all faucet screens from the kitchen, bathroom and other faucets, including outdoor spigots. This allows more sediment and debris to pass through the pipes and prevents the debris from building up on the screens. Larger debris also will pass through the faucet more easily.
Turn on all faucets and spigots in the home and let them run for several minutes. This will flush pipes of sediments and other clogs. For moderate sediment build up in newer homes a ten minute pipe flush will be ample. For homes over ten years old with major build ups, allow a half an hour pipe flush, or more as necessary.
After you flush pipes in your home, turn off all faucets and spigots when you are finished flushing the pipes and replace the screens you removed.