The average lifespan of a water heater is 5 years. With regular maintenance and proper use, this number can be stretched. It is important to know that your system’s efficiency can be decreased by the dirt and sediments can enter the tank. If disregarded, the unit will rust and before you know it; you already need to find a replacement.
1. Find the water heater.
Locate the unit. Make sure you are wearing the right gear before touching it. E.g rubber gloves, rubber boots, mask and well-fitted clothing.
2. Determine the type of hot water system that you have.
Simply read the labels around the unit. You will surely find an indication on what type of system it is.
This will help you prepare for the job ahead.
3. Locate Water Shut Off Valve, Pressure Release Valve and Water Drain
The water shut off valve is usually located at the top of the unit. It looks similar to the water valves in your backyard.
The pressure release valve can be found in the same location. It must be labelled. You will find a series of pipes from the water heater into a wall. Follow the piping to the other side. It usually opens up to the yard. Make sure the area is clear from any impediments.
The water drain is at the bottom of the unit. It is a spout with threads to allow hose attachment.
After locating the water unit and knowing what it runs with, prepare for maintenance procedures. But before anything, shut off its line from the circuit breaker or turn off the gas supply. Then, get a hose and a bucket.
4. Turn off the water supply and attach the hose.
5. Open the water drain and pressure release valve.
Water will drain and then gradually stop. Open the pressure release valve to get rid of the vacuum and for the water to continue draining.
You might notice that the water looks murky. This is due to sediment build-up at the bottom of the tank.
Allow the drain to run for 10 to 30 minutes.
6. Turn on the Water to Flush the Rest of the Sediment Out.
Close the water drain and detach the hose. Put a bucket below the drain. Turn on the water supply to the tank while the pressure valve is still open. This is flush out the sediments left inside the tank. Continue draining until the water is clear.
7. Refill the Tank
Close the water drain and then the pressure release valve. Turn on the water to refill the tank. Make sure the tank is fully refilled before running the unit again.