How To Clean Water Heater Filter: Step-by-Step Guide.

To clean a water heater filter, turn off the power and water supply, remove the filter, clean it with a brush or hose, reinsert it, and turn the power and water supply back on. Water heaters are essential to most households, providing hot water for daily activities like bathing and cleaning.

Over time, mineral deposits and sediments can accumulate in the water heater filter, affecting its performance and potentially damaging the unit. Regular cleaning of the filter can help maintain the efficiency and prolong the lifespan of the water heater. In this article, we will discuss a step-by-step guide on how to clean a water heater filter efficiently and effectively.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your water heater is running smoothly and providing hot water without any hitches.

How To Clean Water Heater Filter: Step-by-Step Guide.


Step 1: Shutting Off The Water Heater And Supplies

Water heater filters are designed to trap sediment and debris that might otherwise damage the water heater. However, over time, these filters can accumulate debris, which can hinder the water heater’s efficiency. We’ll show you how to clean your water heater filter in a few easy steps.

Let’s dive in!

Turning Off The Electricity/Gas Supply To The Water Heater

Before beginning the cleaning process, it’s essential to switch off the electricity or gas supply to your water heater. Here are the key points you need to keep in mind:

  • Electric water heaters: Locate the breaker box and switch off the breaker labeled for the water heater. Alternatively, you can unplug the water heater from the power source.
  • Gas water heaters: Find the gas valve on the gas line leading to your water heater and turn it off.

Turning Off The Water Supply

Once you’ve shut off the water heater’s electricity/gas supply, turn off the water supply. You can use the following steps to accomplish this task:

  • Locate the cold water supply valve on the water pipe that leads to the water heater.
  • Turn the valve clockwise until it’s tightly closed.
  • If there is any doubt as to which valve controls the water supply to the water heater, turn off the main water valve that leads to your home.

Making Sure The Water Is Cool Before Proceeding

It is critical to ensure that the water is cool before proceeding with the cleaning process. If the water is too hot, you might suffer severe burns. Follow these steps:

  • Wait for the water in the tank to cool down for at least 2 hours.
  • Turn on one of the hot water faucets in your home and run hot water for a few minutes to make sure the water is cool.

Now that you’ve shut off the electricity/gas supply, turned off the water supply, and made sure the water is cool let’s move on to the next step.

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Step 2: Location And Accessing The Water Heater Filter

Now that you have turned off your water heater, it’s time to move onto step two of our water heater filter cleaning guide. This step involves finding the filter’s location on your water heater and gaining access to it for cleaning.

Finding The Location Of The Filter On Your Water Heater

To clean your water heater filter, you need to know where it is located. The filter’s location varies based on the type of water heater you have. Here are some common spots where you could find it:

  • Bottom or top of the tank
  • Near the cold water pipe or inlet valve
  • Near the pressure release valve

Refer to your water heater’s manual to locate the filter’s position. If you cannot find your manual, search online using your water heater’s brand and model.

Determining The Type Of Filter (Sediment Or Screen)

Before moving onto accessing and cleaning the filter, it is essential to check what type of filter it is. The two most common filter types are sediment filters and screen filters. Sediment filters are physical barriers that trap the contaminants, while screen filters are wire mesh screens that filter out larger debris.

Knowing the type of filter will help you identify how frequently to clean it. For example, sediment filters trap a considerable amount of dirt, debris than screen filters, which require frequent cleaning about once or twice a year. In contrast, screen filters do not trap much dirt, so cleaning every few months or annually should be sufficient.

Tools Required To Gain Access To The Filter

Now that you have located and identified your filter’s type, you are ready to access and clean it. Before you get started, make sure that you have these tools:

  • A screwdriver.
  • A pair of pliers.
  • A bucket or container to collect the dirty water.

Once you have gathered all the necessary equipment and know where the filter is located, you can start to work on accessing it.

Remember, cleaning the water heater filter is a crucial task that should be performed regularly to keep your water heater functioning at an optimal level.

Step 3: Removing And Cleaning The Filter

Step-By-Step Process Of Removing The Filter

Before starting, turn off the power supply to your water heater. Follow these simple steps to remove the filter:

  • Locate the filter. Check your water heater’s manual if you are unsure where it is located.
  • Turn the valve at the top of the filter to shut off water flow.
  • Remove the filter by gently pulling it towards you.
  • Inspect the filter for any signs of wear and tear. Replace it if necessary.
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Cleaning The Filter Thoroughly With Water

Once you have removed the filter, it is time to clean it. Use these steps:

  • Rinse the filter under running water to remove any debris or dirt that is clogging up the filter.
  • Use a soft brush to scrub any remaining dirt or debris sticking to the filter.
  • Carefully inspect the filter for any stubborn deposits or remaining debris. If you see any, use a vinegar solution to remove them.

Removing Stubborn Deposits With Vinegar Solution

Sometimes, mineral build-up, limescale, and other deposits can accumulate on the filter, making it harder to remove. Follow these steps to resolve this issue:

  • Soak the filter in a vinegar solution for 30 minutes.
  • Take the filter out and rinse it under running water.
  • Dry the filter completely with a clean towel to ensure there is no water left on it before reinstalling it.

Removing and cleaning your water heater filter helps prevent clogging, damage, and a decrease in efficiency. Plus, it ensures that your hot water stays clean and clear. Clean your filter every few months to keep your water heater running and maintaining a high level of performance.

Step 4: Replacing The Filter And Turning On Water Heater

Water heaters are essential in any household, providing warm water for various daily activities, including showering or washing clothes and dishes. However, when the water heater filter becomes clogged, it can cause the water heater to malfunction, resulting in less efficient heating or no hot water at all.

We will discuss a step-by-step guide on how to clean the water heater filter and replace it, ensuring that your water heater operates at maximum efficiency.

Re-Inserting The Filter Back Into The Water Heater

Once you have cleaned the filter properly, it is time to re-insert it back into the water heater. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • Ensure that you have placed the filter in the correct position as it was before.
  • Gently push the filter in and carefully align it with the other part of the filter holder.
  • Make sure the filter is seated securely in the holder before proceeding to the next step.

Ensuring That The Filter Is Securely Fastened

It is vital to ensure that the water heater filter is securely fastened so that it works correctly. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • Check the filter holder to ensure that it is in good condition. If it’s damaged, replace it before proceeding to the next step.
  • Secure the filter holder in place by using the necessary screws or clips.
  • Double-check that the holder and filter are firmly secured in place before turning on the water heater.
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Turning On The Water Supply And Checking For Any Leaks

After cleaning the filter and securing it back in place, it’s time to turn on the water supply to the water heater. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • Turn on the water supply and wait a few minutes for the water to fill the tank.
  • Check for any leaks near the filter and water heater connections. If you notice any leaks, turn off the water supply and fix the issue before proceeding.
  • Once you make sure there are no leaks, turn on the water heater.

Turning On The Electricity/Gas Supply To The Water Heater

After turning on the water supply and making sure there are no leaks, it’s time to turn on the electricity or gas supply to the water heater. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • For electric water heaters, turn the electricity supply back on by flipping the circuit breaker. For gas water heaters, turn the gas supply back on.
  • Make sure there are no unusual noises coming from the water heater, such as hissing sounds or loud bangs. If you notice any, turn off the electricity or gas supply and seek professional help to diagnose the issue.
  • Wait a few minutes for the water heater to warm up fully before using it for any daily activities.

Cleaning and replacing the water heater filter is a crucial task that should be done periodically to ensure maximum efficiency and avoid any malfunctions. By following this step-by-step guide, you can easily clean and replace the filter, saving both time and money in the long run.


Cleaning the water heater filter is a crucial task that ensures the longevity and efficiency of your water heater. Neglecting this maintenance task can lead to potential problems such as lower water pressure, rust accumulation, and shorter water heater life span.

As a solution, this blog post has outlined the steps needed to clean your water heater filter easily and efficiently. With just a few simple tools, you can successfully complete this task and keep your water heater running smoothly. It’s always better to prevent a problem from happening rather than dealing with it after it occurs.

Remember to inspect the filter at least quarterly, and clean it annually to maximize the life of your heater. By following these steps, you will be able to keep your heater running efficiently, save money on energy bills, and avoid major repairs in the future.


I am a mechanical engineer and love doing research on different home and outdoor heating options. When I am not working, I love spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy blogging about my findings and helping others to find the best heating options for their needs.