DIY Water Heater Maintenance Tips from the Pros!

Draining your water heater is a relatively simple, highly recommended maintenance task that removes sediment and allows your water heater to work more efficiently. Minerals that typically reside in tap water, such as magnesium ions and calcium, tend to settle at the bottom of water heater tanks. As these minerals build up, they can interrupt the heat transfer process inside your water heater. This causes the water heater to have to work harder to produce the same amount of heated water for your home. What does this mean for homeowners? Increased energy usage and higher monthly bills. Draining your water heater as needed, usually about once a year, can help you counteract this issue.

While many homeowners are intimidated by water heater maintenance, the process of draining your unit is actually quite simple!

  • First, turn off the cold water inlet valve on top of your water heater.
  • Next, turn off the gas shut off to the water heater.
  • Find the drain valve on your water heater.
  • Attach a hose from the drain valve to the floor drain near your water heater.
  • Open the drain valve, then pull the tab on your T&P relief valve to allow air into the tank and help drain your tank.
  • Drain about 1/3 of the tank. Turn on the cold water valve for about 30 seconds to help agitate the debris on the bottom of the tank and flush.
  • Close drain valve and T&P relieve valve.

Keep in mind that the “harder” your home’s tap water, the more often you’ll have to drain your water heater. Likewise, if your home is equipped with a water softener, you will likely have to drain your water heater less often.

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