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Water Heater Maintenance – Clean The Filter

Water Heater Maintenance – Clean The Filter

Water heater maintenance is fairly straightforward, and many property owners know how to do the basics, such as flushing the tank twice per year, checking the anode rod, and other aspects. However, many property owners either do not know about or forget the air filter, which is often a black mesh ring circling the bottom of your water heater. This air water heater maintenance clean filterfilter will help keep dust and other grime from getting into your heater’s heating system. However, dust will build up on this filter, and this reduces the air flow to your heater, thus creating a less efficient heater since your heater requires air to ‘breathe’.  You should clean your water heater’s filter each time you flush your tank.

Cleaning your filter only takes a few minutes and requires no special tools. Follow these straightforward steps.

Turn Off Gas/Pilot Light

You do not want any dust flowing up into your heater while you are cleaning, so shut off the gas flow first.

Remove Filter

The filter is kept in place with a simple catching mechanism. Find the catch mechanism, undo, and remove from your heater’s bottom.

water heater maintenance filter catching mechanism



To clean your filter, you can use compressed air to blow away the excess dust. If you don’t have an air compressor, then lay out your filter on the ground, and then spray with water until the dust is removed.


If you use water to clean your filter, then hang your filter to dry, or wipe down with a cloth.

Put Filter Back in Place

Once your filter is dry, replace underneath your water filter by stretching around the bottom, and then using the grasp mechanism to secure. Check on all sides to ensure that your filter is sitting properly and without any gaps to allow dust through.

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  1. This is some really good information about taking care of a water heater. My fiance and I just bought a home and we want to make sure that we take care of the home. It does seem like it would be smart to clean out the filters for the heater every month.

  2. Drew says:

    Great advice for cleaning your filter. If done regularly, it can really extend the life of your water heater.

  3. vicki says:

    I just paid 85$ for a plumber to see why my pilot light went out. I couldn’t get it going , but he did , and took the dirty filter off. It had been on 3 years and I had no idea there even was a filter. Hopefully that is all that was wrong, but he checked it over and watched it awhile.

  4. Richard E Smith Sr says:

    How or where can I get one of these filters? Also what is the cost?

    1. Michael Stone says:

      Please check with your water heater manufacturer to see whether one is needed or not, and if so, where to purchase one and the cost.

  5. Mike A says:

    We just paid $90 for the same lesson. We have a 2 yr. old gas water heater and I have never in 60 yrs. heard of cleaning any filter on a water heater. I think it may be because of the new computer tech used with them now. My grandparents and my parents had gas water heaters and never once cleaned any type of filter. I have had only electric water heaters all my adult life. Many in the dirty, nasty garage and have never cleaned one. But…. l learn new things all the time. Expensive lesson. Hope someone saves some money by reading these posts.

  6. Michael ,where can I buy a filter for my whiry pool hot water heater 40 gallon Allen

    1. Michael Stone says:


      Please try doing a Google search for the manufacturer’s website, and then contacting the manufacturer.

  7. Renee says:

    My water heater went out last night and a call to the company helped me get it lit again and suggested that I clean the filter. The bottom of my water tank is basically sitting on a drain pan with no way to insert an object to clean it. Any suggestions? I noticed this problem after speaking with the tech.


    1. Michael Stone says:

      Sorry, but we don’t know. Our article references an easily removable filter.