Drain hot water heater on a regular basis. You can either contact a plumber to get this done, or you can follow some simple steps to do it yourself.

Most people never really spare a thought for their water heaters, until such a time that it stops functioning. But the one thing that a hot water heater owner can really do to increase the longevity of the water heater is to drain hot water heater on an annual basis. Draining the appliance helps get rid of sediment that may have already built up inside the appliance due to use.

Why Drain Hot Water Heater

By draining your water heater, you can contribute many years to its life. The job of a hot water heater is to heat water and supply you with hot water for your use. While heating water, day-in and day-out, the process witnesses the release of minerals and other sediments that settle down at the bottom of the tank. Without proper and timely maintenance, these sediments get accumulated and the buildup can eventually clog the water heater’s drain valve. The buildup can be extremely quick and high in some areas of the U.S. where the content of minerals in the water is higher. If you live in such an area, you’ll need to drain hot water heater on a more frequent basis. The basic rule of is to drain the water out of the storage tank, till it runs completely clean.

On the other hand, if you one of the lucky few that don’t have to deal with much sediment buildup when you carry out the draining exercise, don’t bother doing the cleaning chore often.

Things To Remember When Draining Hot Water Heater

Since the drain hot water heater exercise involves handling combustible fuel (gas/propane) or electricity and scalding water, you must use extreme caution during the process. Here’s what you should keep in mind when performing this process:

1.    Always have the drain hose mouth pointed to a safe and proper drain, so that the hot water heater drain can be cleaned without causing any injury or flooding.
2.    Before starting this chore, read the instructions for drain hot water heater, which are printed on your appliance near the gas valve.
3.    If you aren’t comfortable performing this chore, you should ideally avoid it.
4.    You can ring for a licensed plumber to help you get acquainted with the process the first time around.
5.    If using an electric hot water heater, always double check to ensure power supply is off before draining the tank. If you don’t do this, you risk permanently damaging the heating elements.

Step-By-Step Instructions To Drain Hot Water Heater

1.    Cut off the water supply
2.    Drain hot water heater
3.    Flush out all the accumulated sediment
4.    Check the pressure release valve

Step 1: Cut off the water supply

  • Electric water heater users must switch off the power supply at the breaker box.
  • Gas water heater users must set the thermostat to ‘pilot’ setting.
  • Attach a hose to appliance’s drain valve, which is usually located next to the thermostat.
  • Don’t open the drain valve yet.
  • Turn off cold water supply.

Step 2: Drain hot water heater

  • Open the hot water faucet in your sink, so as to prevent vacuum formation.
  • Open the drain valve to let out all the hot water.

Step 3: Flush out all the accumulated sediment

  • As soon as all the hot water has drained out, turn on the water supply.
  • That will help flush out any remaining sediment in the tank.
  • After you see clean water out of the other end of the drain pipe, shut the drain valve.
  • Return the hot water faucet back to original position.
  • Allow the tank to be refilled completely before using the water heater, else you run the risk of damaging the heating element.

Step 4: Check the pressure release valve

  • Turn on power supply once tank is full.
  • Once the temperature of water is back up, check pressure relief valve as per instructions of the manufacturer.
  • If there is any fault with the device, get it replaced.

Finally, you must remember, drain hot water heater once or twice per year only. Follow our instructions and save on unwanted costs and headaches.

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