Extending the Life of your Water Heater
Extending the life of your water heater is like a gift for you and your family!
Doing a little preventative maintenance will save you a big surprise bill, which is particularly important this time of year! You will ALSO save yourself the unpleasant feeling of stepping into what you think will be a hot shower, only to be blasted with freezing water! That’s something we all want to avoid!
This is what we call a “5-Minute Maintenance” because you will spend 5 minutes or less saving yourself big headaches and big replacement or repair costs. This is ABSOLUTELY worth the investment, and right around the New Year is a perfect time to do it.
What you’re going to do is drain th water heater – but NOT as your manual may suggest, all the way. Although it is recommended by manufacturers to completely drain a heater to maintain it, you can get away with less. All you really need to drain to get the benefit is a couple of gallons!
Why Drain the Heater at All?
Over time, any type of water heater tank will build up sediment- which has three harmful effects on your home’s hot water system.
First, the sediment takes up space, effectively making your water heater smaller.
Second, the sediment can insulate the bottom of the tank in a gas water heater. This is where much of the flame’s heat is absorbed into the water. It can even cover a lower element in an electric water heater which causes a reduction in heating efficiency.
Third, the sediment scratches the glass lining of water heater tank. This results in exposed metal which leads to rust and eventual tank failure.
So our “5-Minute Maintenance” is going to be a simple partial drain of your heater. You can extend the life of the tank and increase the efficiency of the system by performing this simple trick once a year.
How to Partially Drain your Heater:
First, shut the unit down, either by turning the gas valve to “pilot” or “off”, or flipping of the breaker to an electric unit.
Then, turn off the cold water supply line, usually located on the right side as you face the unit. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve on the water heater tank, and run it to a drain.
Turn on a hot water faucet somewhere in your home to allow the water to flow, and then open the drain valve toward the bottom of the tank.
Check the color of the water that drains- at first it may appear dark, but after just a few gallons it will become clear. At that point, you can close the drain, and turn off the hot water faucet you had turned on previously.
Turn the cold water supply back on, turn the power or gas supply back on, and you’re done!
The next time you turn on a hot water faucet, there may be a couple air pockets, so don’t worry if you hear a bit of noise!
This tip was brought to you in part by Blueprint Building Inspections. I would be happy to share more quick, money-saving and value-adding tips with you. I am offering free 30 minute consultations! Call 416-762-8255 or e-mail me today, to book yours!