If you want to get the most years and lowest energy consumption out of your hot water heater, it’s a good idea to perform regular maintenance on it. Preventive maintenance on water heaters isn’t very hard, but forgetting to do it can reduce the efficiency of the unit.
The water that is coming into your home has some quantity of minerals in it. These minerals don’t harm your family or your plumbing pipes, but they can be a problem for water heaters. The process of heating the water tends to cause those minerals to lose their suspension in the water, leaving them inside the tank. There, in the water heater tank, they recrystallize on the walls and heating elements (for electric hot water heaters) and settle on the floor of the tank. Left alone, they will build up over time, reducing heat transfer and corroding metal parts inside the tank.
Draining and flushing a hot water heater periodically is an essential part of keeping this mineral buildup at a minimum, reducing its corrosive effect and ensuring that the efficiency of your heater isn’t compromised. To do so, first turn off the water heater at the circuit breaker or by turning off the gas. Allow the water to cool before continuing.
Once the water has had a chance to cool, attach a garden hose to the drain valve, located near the bottom of the tank. Place the other end of this hose at the floor drain or outdoors. Close the cold water inlet valve, open the hot water tap at one of your home’s sinks and open the drain valve, allowing the water in the hot water heater to drain out. Once drained, flush out your tank by opening the cold water valve. Allow the water to run until the water coming out of the garden hose is clear.
If you run into any problems while flushing your hot water heater, or if you have any questions about your home’s plumbing, be sure to contact us at Home Comfort Experts. Our trained staff will be glad to help you.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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