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Draining the Water Heater Tank

Reasons Why You Need to Drain Your Water Tank

A water heater has an average useful life of around 13 years. Through this time, sediments like calcium, calcium carbonate, and magnesium can accumulate at the bottom of the tank.

Flushing or draining may help get rid of sediments and bacteria. It may also help extend your equipment’s lifespan and make it operate in a more efficient manner. This will save you money in the long run. Thus, you should consider performing the task regularly.

Frequency of Tank Draining

According to experts, whether you are using a gas or electric water heater, you should drain your unit at least once each year, especially if you have hard water in your area. However, of the US Department of energy suggests that you flush about of quart of water from the tank every quarter as part of your regular maintenance measures, depending on the model and type of your heater.

Following these guidelines, the National Board of Boiler & Pressure Vessel Inspectors say that you need to drain a few gallons of water twice to four times every year, and more in communities with hard water. Thus, to prolong the life of your water heater and to maintain its efficiency, periodical draining, at least once each year, is a sound practice.

It’s also a good idea to consult your user’s manual and know your manufacturer’s recommendation on how frequently and how much water to drain from your equipment.

Because of the high risk of injury you could sustain from scalding water, it is best that you let licensed professionals like Spartan Plumbing handle the task for you. This is also ideal if you don’t feel comfortable doing the job on your own. After all, your safety, as well as the safety of your family, should be your top priority.

Draining the Proper Way

As mentioned, flushing your water heater tank on a regular basis is among the best ways to prolong your unit’s useful life and maintain its efficient operation.

The simple and straightforward maintenance procedure below will help get rid of any sediment build-up in your tank:

  1. Shut the water supply off – Find the valve for the cold water supply at the top of the heater, then set it to off.
  2. Turn the water heater off – If you’re using an electric heater, switch the power off at the breaker panel; just turn the unit’s thermostat knob to the “pilot” setting if you’re using a gas heater.
  3. Attach a garden hose – Locate the drain valve at the bottom of your tank and attach a garden hose. Put the hose’s other end in a bucket near a floor drain. It might be a good idea to have several buckets on hand.
  4. Turn on a hot water tap – Allow hot water from a tap nearest the heater unit to run. This will help ease the pressure from the system, while also helping you drain tank water.
  5. Open the drain valve – When the tank is completely drained, switch the cold water supply on for a little while to clear the remaining sediments. Do this step repeatedly until the water is clear.

To bring the heater back into operation, do the following steps:

  1. Turn the drain valve off
  2. Detach the hose
  3. Switch the cold water supply on to refill the tank
  4. Once cold water starts to flow from the tap, switch it off
  5. Switch on the gas valve from “pilot” position or turn on electricity back to the water heater tank
  6. Inspect the valve opening to make sure there are no leaks
  7. Additional tips from DIY

Spartan Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can assist you with all your plumbing requirements. Call us if you need help with water heater maintenance, as well as any other plumbing concerns.