How to Maintain Your Water Heater

How to Maintain Your Water HeaterDraining Your Water Heater

You may not realize how often you use your home’s water heater – but that changes the moment it breaks. To help it run worry-free and even extend its life, check out these water heater maintenance tips.

Drain Your Water Heater

Always read over your owner’s manual before draining your water heater. If you’re uncomfortable performing this type of maintenance, make sure to call a professional.

Step 1: Shut off the water supply to your water heater.
Look at the top of the water heater. You’ll see a water pipe and a water shutoff valve going into the heater. Turn the valve to the off position to shut off the water supply to the tank.

Step 2: Turn off the power to the water heater.
If your heater is electric, shut the power off from the circuit breaker box. The correct fuse should be labeled as belonging to the water heater. It’s important to know that if you fail to shut off the power to your electric water heater, you risk burning out the element. If it’s a gas-powered water heater, turn off the gas supply by turning the valve on the gas line that runs to the tank.

Step 3: Wait for the water to cool.
The water in your water heater can be incredibly hot. Prevent injury by letting your water heater sit overnight to allow the water within the tank some time to cool before you drain it.

Step 4: Attach a hose to the drain valve.
Once your water heater has cooled down, place one end of the hose into a floor drain or, if it will reach, directly outside. Attach the other end onto the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater.

Step 5: Turn on the hot water tap.
To help alleviate pressure, open a hot water tap, like a sink faucet, nearest to your water heater.

Step 6: Open the drain valve.
Once you open this valve, the water will begin to flow out of the tank. Do note that draining the water heater can take up to 30 minutes depending on how full and dirty the water heater is.

Step 7: Turn the water back on to flush the tank with fresh, clean water.
With the drain valve still open, turn the water back on to eliminate any remaining sediment on the bottom of the tank. Once the water runs clear, turn the water valve off.

Step 8: Refill the tank.
Remove the hose from the drain valve. Turn the water back on and start refilling the tank. Once the tank is full, turn the power to the water heater back on.

A water heater needs to be drained as part of its regular maintenance, which can help to ensure a long life! If you do not correctly maintain your water heater, you may find that it fails in function or results in cold bursts of water when least expected. 

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