When your water heater stops working, it can be a huge inconvenience. It seems like the timing is always the worst and the situation can quickly get frustrating. A great way to prevent an unexpected water heater problem is by doing a little bit of annual maintenance. We recommend that you drain the tank of your water heater once every year. Draining the tank removes the sediment that builds up inside over time and makes sure that the water heater can function efficiently. In addition, regularly draining the tank should extend the life of your water heater and could save you from having to pay for repair or replacement.
Why Do Water Heaters Need To Be Drained?
Within most water heaters, there is a large tank that is full of hot water so that it is readily available for use throughout the home. As time goes on, minerals in the water, along with sand and dirt from the pipes, begin to accumulate as a sediment in the bottom of the tank. The sediment continues to build up, which reduces the efficiency and can eventually break the water heater entirely.
In order to prevent sediment build up and maintain your water heater, Joseph’s recommends that you drain the water heater annually, flushing the sediment out of the tank. The process isn’t that difficult, but if you have any questions or need professional assistance, give Joseph’s Affordable a call — we are water heater experts.
Let’s keep your showers warm! Here’s a few quick steps to help you drain your water heater tank:
How To Drain A Water Heater
Step 1: Turn off the water supply.
In most cases, the water supply valve is located on top of the water heater. Use this valve to shut off the water supply to the water heater.
Step 2: Turn off the water heater.
If you have a gas water heater, you can turn the heater off by adjusting the thermostat that’s attached to the water heater. Turn the knob to the “pilot” setting.
If you have an electric water heater, the safest way to proceed is by turning off the power to the heater at your home’s breaker box. Modern electric water heaters usually have their own circuit breaker, so you’ll want to switch that breaker off.
Step 3: Allow the water in the tank to cool down for a few hours.
The holding tanks inside of water heaters are insulated and will remain hot even after turning the power off. Wait a few hours for the water to cool down before proceeding.
Step 4: Attach a hose to the drain valve.
Locate the drain valve near the bottom of the water heater. Take a garden hose and attach one end to the drain valve and place the other end outside or somewhere where it can safely drain.
Step 5: Turn hot water on in a sink.
Find a sink near the water heater and turn the hot water on. If possible, a sink located on the floor above is preferable. This will release the pressure in your water system and speed up the draining process with the water heater.
Step 6: Open the drain valve.
With most water heaters, you can open the drain valve with a screwdriver, by turning the screw right above the garden hose you connected. The water tank will begin draining.
Step 7: Remove the remaining sediment.
Once drained, turn the water supply valve on for a few seconds. Now drain the tank again. Repeat this process until the water you’re draining becomes clear.
Step 8: Close the drain valve & refill the tank.
Now that the water heater has been drained and the sediment has been removed, it’s time to put everything back in place and get your water heater running again.
Close the drain valve and detach the garden hose. Next, turn the water supply valve back on so that the tank starts to fill up with water. Return to the sink you turned on earlier, the water flowing should be cold now. Turn the sink off. You can now turn the water heater back on by turning the thermostat back on or restoring the power at the circuit breaker.
That’s it! Good work. There’s no greater sense of accomplishment than a successful DIY job.
If you need water heater help or have any questions — Joseph’s Affordable is your water heater expert, give us a call today!