Home water heaters are usually fairly reliable, whether you’re using it for a shower, washing the dishes, or cooking. Its reliability makes it easy to take it for granted. But as you make your list of fall maintenance items, make sure to include draining the water heater on your list.
Draining the water heater is a task many homeowners don’t think to do, but it’s relatively simple and can help your unit run more efficiently. This can lead to a longer life for your unit, as well as increased energy efficiency.
Take these steps to drain your home’s water heater annually:
- Cut the power. Electric units should be turned off at the breaker box. For gas, the valve should be either be turned off completely. If you’re uncertain about how to proceed, you can ask the professionals at Rinaldi’s.
- Before continuing, let the water cool for a little while.
- Keeping the drain valve closed, attach a hose to the drain that goes to a floor drain or outside. You can also use a large bucket if necessary.
- Shut off the water supply.
- In a bathroom or kitchen sink, turn on a water tap; this will ensure that a vacuum doesn’t form in the line.
- Open the valve and let the water drain.
- After the tank has completely drained, turn the water supply back on and let the water continue to run through the tank until it runs clear.
- When there is no sediment left and the water runs clear, close the drain valve and let the tank fill.
- Important: Some units can be damaged if you turn the heating element back on before the unit has completely filled; check the manufacturer’s instructions or warnings that may be on the tank.
- Turn the heating element back on and let it heat up.
Taking these simple steps to drain your water heater once a year is an easy way to extend the life of your water heater and make it run more efficiently. For all your HVAC needs and to schedule preventive maintenance, contact the professionals at Rinaldi’s.
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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