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How do I maintain my water heater?

The key to solving any hot water heater problem is thorough maintenance. The easiest way to keep your water heater working is to drain/flush the tank. This can prevent a lot of common hot water heater problems.

As your water heater is used, dirt and sediment collect at the bottom. Over time, this can cause rust damage and other problems. It’s recommended that you drain your water heater once a year. Luckily, this is a fairly simple DIY process. Remember, you’re dealing with very hot water. Make sure to read all warnings and instructions on your water heater, and wearing gloves and safety goggles is recommended.

First, determine whether or not your unit is powered by gas or electricity. This should be well marked on your heater. Click here for more information.

Turn off the gas or shut off the electricity to the water heater. Then make sure to turn off the water supply to the unit.

Next, find the drain valve and connect a hose. Any garden hose is fine. The other end of the hose should be located in an area that is safe for contact with hot water.

Making sure the pressure relief valve is open, open the drain valve and allow the dirty water to drain out to a nearby drain. This can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the water heater and how much sediment has accumulated. Once this process is complete, close both the relief valve and the drain valve.

Turn on the water supply. Keep the gas or electricity off as the unit begins to refill so as not to cause damage to the water heater. Once the tank is full again, turn the power back on to the unit. Now you’re all set to enjoy hot water!

Note: Draining your water heater once a year is just a suggestion. If your area has more sediment in the water, you may want to drain your water heater more often.

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