Plumbing Troubleshooting for a Slow-Running Hot Water Faucet

April 7, 2011

If you have a hot water faucet that seems to be running slow while the rest of your plumbing is okay, then you probably have sediment build-up in your hot-water line.  While sediments can accumulate in all water lines, those that carry hot water are more prone to it because the heat corrodes the pipe lining more easily. You can hire a Dallas plumber or an Atlanta plumber to take care of this problem, but since it does not require any special skills or tools, you can undertake this task by yourself.  What you need to do is to backflush your hot water lines; this post teaches you how.

Go to the basement, or where ever it is that your water heater is installed.  Turn off the cold water supply to the heater tank.  This is usually a valve located on the cold water line.

If you have a faucet in the basement, turn it on and simply allow the water to run on full.  If you do not have a basement faucet, simply choose the one that is located at the lowest point in your house.

Go to the slow-running hot water faucet.  Close the drain on the sink or tub so that no small parts will accidentally fall into it.  Unscrew the aerator screen at the end of the spigot; and take care to keep it in an upright position so that the rubber washer inside it will not fall out.

Use a dime (yes, the coin) to close off the aerator screen; some designs will allow you to fit the dime on top of the washer while in others it will have to go underneath.  Reattach the aerator to the faucet.

Slowly turn on the cold water tap until it runs full.  This will cause the water to run backwards through the hot water line since the faucet is blocked.  The sediments and other sludge will be running out of the basement faucet which has been left on all this time.  Let the water run for several minutes, until the water runs clear on the basement faucet, indicating that all the sediments have been flushed out.  Note that you shouldn’t turn this faucet off until you have removed the dime in the slow-running hot water faucet.

Turn off the stopped-up faucet and remove the dime; replace the aerator as it was before.  Turn off the basement faucet and restore the cold water supply to the heater tank.

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