Every homeowner in Edwardsville, IL, has routine chores to do to keep their household in good shape, and for the most part things like cleaning the gutters or shoveling snow get done when they’re needed. One chore that’s often overlooked is the annual water heater maintenance, when it’s good to drain off the water in your heater tank and flush out the sediment that’s settled in the bottom of the hopper. This sediment can seriously sap the energy efficiency of your water heater, and cleaning it out only takes a few minutes once a year. Here’s how to do it yourself.
Step 1: Play it Safe
Water heaters generally have a gas or electrical hookup to heat the water in the tank. Before performing any kind of water heater service, you always want to safely disconnect this energy supply. If you have an electric water heater, flip the breaker at the mains panel to completely interrupt the power. For a gas water heater, twist the valve closed until the pilot light goes out. If you’re not comfortable doing that yourself, or if you need help relighting the pilot, your local gas utility is almost certainly able to schedule a visit by a technician.
Step 2: Drain the Water Heater
After the power is off, let the tank cool for a few hours to avoid burns. Once it’s at a temperature you can handle, connect your garden hose to the spigot on the bottom of the tank and run the line out to a spot in your yard where you can drain 20 to 60 gallons of water without causing a problem. Come back in and twist the input valve closed to shut off the inflow of water, then open the outflow spout. It should only take a couple of minutes to drain the tank.
Step 3: Flush the System
Once the flow has slowed, you should have a small amount of water and sediment left in the tank. To get rid of that, go ahead and reopen the inflow valve. Water from the main should now flow into your water heater and out through the hose.
Step 4: Refill the Water Heater
After about five minutes, most of the sediment is probably gone. Close the outflow valve and let the tank refill. Finally, after removal of the hose, go ahead and switch the power back on or relight the pilot.
*Remember – if you’re not comfortable doing your own repairs, it’s safer and easier to call the professionals at Morrison for repairs in the Edwardsville, IL area!