9 Steps to Maintain your Hot Water Heater

Hot water heaters usually have a warranty of 10 to 15 years.  But did you know through regular maintenance you can improve the efficiency and longevity of your hot water heater?  Maintenance instructions are provided with a new water heater purchase and are often overlooked by homeowners.  According to “This Old House” the common reasons for hot water heater problems are caused by the following condition:

“As water is pumped into your water heater tank dirt, sediment and various minerals settle on the bottom. Depending on your water quality these extra “ingredients” can add up rather quickly robbing your water heater’s efficiency and costing you in the long run. If left unchecked they can not only make your water heater work harder but also allow your tank to rust and slowly be eaten away until you need to replace the entire unit which is very costly yet easily preventable. And cheap to prevent!”

Note: Before you begin, be sure to read all safety warnings on the water heater.

You will need the following supplies: a bucket, a hose, and safety gloves.

Follow these 9 maintenance steps:

  1. Shut off electric or gas supply the night before you plan to drain the water heater.
    Note: Read instructions on the water heater.
  2. Turn off water supply to water heater.
  3. Attach the hose to the water heater.
  4. Turn on the water drain to release the water from the water heater tank. The water will drain from the hose and then slowly stop.
  5. vacuum valve on water heaterOpen the vacuum.The water will begin to flow out again.  Allow the water to drain for 10 to 30 minutes.
  6. Turn off the water drain and remove the hose.
  7. Place the bucket below the water drain.
  8. With pressure valve still open turn on the water to the water tank and then turn on the water drain to allow the rest of the sediment to be flushed out. Allow a few gallons worth of water to drain. Be sure to check the water draining out and make sure it’s clear. If it is, then you are set to refill the tank.
  9. Refill the tank:
    • Make sure the water drain at the base of the tank is turned off.
    • Close the pressure release valve.
    • Turn on the water to allow the tank to be filled.
    • Once the tank is full you can turn the gas or circuit breaker back on.

Caution: Do not turn the heating unit on until the tank is full. If the tank is not full it can cause  damage to the unit.

Note: You can drain a few gallons a month from your tank especially if you live an area with a lot of sediment in your water. You don’t need the hose. Just use the bucket for this month to month maintenance.


For professional assistance, contact – Dun-RIGHT Plumbing & Heating – 24/7>Service.Call 877-386-7454.

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