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How to flush plumbing appliances and faucets

Jan. 13, 2014 @ 11:19 PM

These steps should only be taken once your zone is cleared from the do-not-use ban.

Once you've flushed your hot and cold water faucets, be sure to take these additional steps to flush plumbing appliances.

Ice makers

If you have an ice maker in your refrigerator, first throw away all ice and then: If you have a filter on your ice maker: Some refrigerators, which have ice makers, also have filters on the small water line that feed the ice maker.

If you have or use filters on your ice maker, you want to replace the filter after flushing your refrigerator's ice maker. These filters require routine replacement. This would be a good time to replace the filter to ensure that the water line to the ice maker is completely flushed.

Filtered cold water

Some refrigerators also provide filtered cold water. Check to make sure that you have replaced any filter after flushing that is associated with the cold water supply. Then flush cold-water dispenser for five minutes.

After flushing all of the other plumbing, let the ice maker container fill up completely and discard this ice and clean the container before replacing. If you have more than one refrigerator make sure you perform the same procedure on those units as well.

Dishwashers and washing machines

Dishes and clothes that were washed during the do-not-use order should be rewashed. After flushing hot water pipes and water heater, run dishwasher and washing machine empty one time.

Humidifiers, CPAP and other devices

Throw away any water used in humidifiers, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), oral, medical or health care devices, and rinse the device with clean water.

Water filters

Clean or change your water filter, or contact the filter manufacturer for more details.

Water supplies for pets

Pets need clean water too. Be sure to empty all water bowls, bottles, or other water supplies for your pet. After flushing your water system, wash the pet bowl, bottle or other water supply. Then refill with tap water.

Point of entry/point of use devices

(This may not apply to all customers) If you have a point of entry water treatment system such as a water softener or filter, which all of the home's water passes through before it enters the main plumbing system, you should consider the following general guidelines before completing your household plumbing flushing.

Water softeners: Household water softener, which uses a natural or synthetic resin material to exchange sodium for calcium and magnesium present in the water, should be manually regenerated before flushing your plumbing system. This will ensure that the softener resin has been backwashed and cleaned before flushing procedures begin. If you are unsure of how to manually initiate a regeneration cycle, refer to your softener owner's manual or call you equipment supplier for assistance.

Sediment filters: Household water filters usually fall in two basic categories: Pressure filters, which can be backwashed to clean, or cartridge filters, which have a replaceable element or cartridge If your home has a pressure filter that can be backwashed, you should initiate a manual backwash of the filter before proceeding with, and after completing, the flushing procedures. If you have a whole house cartridge filter system, you should replace the cartridges after completing the flushing procedures.

Point of use filters/treatment: If you have or use point of use filters, which are typically attached to your kitchen faucet you should replace the filter before using the faucet-connected unit. These filters require periodic replacement anyway so this would be a good time to do this.

Reverse osmosis: Reverse osmosis drinking water treatment systems often have pre-filters, which you may want to replace before flushing the RO System. However the actual reverse osmosis membrane module should not require replacement. If the manufacturer of the membrane suggests that you replace this part of the system you should ask them to give you the specific reasons why.

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