If you’re like most Las Vegas, NV, homeowners, you don’t spend much time thinking about your water heater. As long as it delivers hot water when you turn on the tap or shower, you probably don’t give it a second thought. However, skipping regular maintenance could cause your water heater to experience more malfunctions or a shorter lifespan. One of the best ways to make sure that your water heater efficiently heats water and lasts for as long as possible is to drain it once a year. Here are some tips on how to do it safely and without making a big mess.
Reasons To Drain the Water Heater’s Storage Tank
Draining the water heater gets rid of sediment buildup in the tank. Sediment from hard water can build up on the tank’s heating element and valves. The sediment interferes with heat exchange. When the element can’t release heat into the water, it may overheat and burn out. This would require a pricey repair or early replacement of the water heater. Getting rid of the sediment also makes more room for water in the tank. You won’t run out of hot water as fast by getting rid of the sediment.
Prepare for Draining the Tank
To drain your hot water heater’s storage tank, you’ll need a garden hose and a flat-head screwdriver. It’s also a good idea to wear old clothes and some rubber boots. Begin by turning off the water supply to the water heater. You don’t want it to feed more water into the tank as you’re trying to drain it. To turn off the water supply, twist the cold water supply valve on the top of the water heater. Rotate it clockwise until it’s closed. The valve is usually blue.
Turn Off the Water Heater
You must turn off the water heater before draining it. If the electric heating element is exposed to the air, it can quickly burn itself out. Turn off the water heater at the breaker box. On a gas water heater, you’ll also need to turn the pilot off. It’s a good idea to turn off the water heater at night, then plan to drain the water the next morning. This gives the hot water time to cool off to room temperature.
Attach the Garden Hose
Locate the drain valve near the bottom of the water heater’s tank. Attach the garden hose to it. Make sure the garden hose is securely screwed onto the drain valve. Some hot water heaters have a valve cover. If yours does, you’ll need to remove the cover in order to attach the garden hose. Put the other end of the house into a drain. If there’s no drain, take the other end of the garden house outdoors, and allow the water to drain away from your home. You can position the hose to empty the water onto your driveway or lawn.
Start the Draining Process
Open any hot water tap in your home, such as the kitchen sink’s hot water tap. This will reduce some of the hot water pressure in your pipes. Open the water heater’s drain valve. Keep in mind that the water may still be hot. You may want to wear rubber gloves when handling the water heater’s valve. Once the water stops draining from the hose, turn on the cold water supply to the water heater. Allow some cold water to get in and rinse any leftover sediment out of the tank. Close the valve, and drain the rinse water. Repeat this until the water runs clear. If the valve opening gets clogged, you’ll need a plumber to fix it.
How Often To Drain a Hot Water Heater’s Tank
For most homeowners, it’s only necessary to drain the water heater’s tank once per year. However, if your home has particularly hard water, you may need to drain it every six months. If your water heater is close to the end of its lifespan, it’s also a good idea to increase the frequency of this essential maintenance task.
You can trust our plumbers at BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair to provide you with cost-effective water heater maintenance. We also offer reliable heating, plumbing, and air conditioning repair, replacement, installation, and maintenance services. Our indoor air quality solutions and duct sealing services are designed with your comfort in mind. For more details about how to drain a hot water heater, get in touch with us at BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair today.