Water Heaters May 19, 2011

Most people already know that they should drain some water from the heater at least once per year. Because most people don’t know why, it rarely gets done. Sediment from incoming water, calcium carbonate, and particles from the sacrificial anode rod can all add to the build-up in the bottom of your hot water heater. This sediment can cause many problems that shorten the life of your water heater.

Water heater sediment can:

  • Reduce the efficiency and capacity of your heater
  • Act as a breeding ground for bacteria
  • Clog you temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P Valve)
  • Clog your drain
  • Weaken the tank
  • Burn out the heating element
  • Release sediment into your home causing damage to your fixtures

Some of these simply cause your heater not to perform at its best, however, some can cause complete failure and possibly flood your home. Draining your heater on a regular basis is one of the easiest ways to extend the life of your water heater.

You can drain your electric water heater by following these easy steps:

  1. Turn off the power at the breaker and your water
  2. Hook a water hose to the bottom of the heater and run it outside or into a drain in your home.
  3. Open the drain where you just installed the hose
  4. Open the T&P Valve to allow air to enter from the top
  5. Drain water from the water heater until the water runs clear
  6. After the water runs clear, close the T&P Valve and the drain line valve
  7. Turn on the water
  8. Bleed the air out of the line by turning on the hot water faucets in the home
  9. Finally, turn the power back on to the water heater.

This simple process will extend the life of your water heater and save you on repairs. As always, if this is beyond your abilities, then it is best to call a plumbing professional like A+ Plumbing Professionals.