During winters, you rely on your water heater for a steady supply of hot water. If something goes amiss with the heater, you have to deal with ice-cold water which can be very inconvenient. This is why it is important to take preventive measures at the right time to ensure that the heater keeps working properly. Preventive maintenance also saves you in terms of money and time down the road, minimizing the need for expensive repairs.
When it comes to preventive maintenance, an important task you can do on your own is to drain the water heater. This must be done at least once a year. Here is a look at some of the key benefits offered by water heater draining.
Why Is Draining Water Heater Important?
Draining your water heater is important for a number of reasons. Over time, mineral deposits can accumulate at the bottom of your water heater. The rate at which these accumulate depends on the volume of water your heater processes on average and the mineral content of your home’s water. A small amount of such deposits does not significantly affect the heater’s performance.
However, if you don’t drain the water heater for years on end, a significant amount of impurities may gather up in the heater. These directly impact the performance of the heater. On one hand, it reduces the available space within the heater’s tank so that less water is heated in a single go.
At the same time, mineral deposits can have a corrosive effect on the internal lining of the water tank. If not resolved timely, the tank can sustain significant damage. In some cases, the tank may burst and become damaged beyond repair. In other cases, you may need to spend a considerable sum on having it replaced or repaired.
A final reason why draining a heater is useful is its impact on energy efficiency of the heater. Your heater typically uses coils or a burner to heat up the water. When the bottom of the water tank is deposited with sediments, the coils or burner have to consume more energy in order to achieve the desired degree of heating. This, in turn, drives up your energy bills and makes your heater less energy-efficient. Draining the heater and eliminating mineral deposits ensure optimal energy efficiency of the heater.
A good tip to slow down the accumulation of deposits in a water heater is to lower the temperature of the hot water. This has a direct impact on how quickly deposits gather up in the tank.
How to Drain Water Heater?
The good news is that draining a heater is relatively easy and you can largely manage it on your own. However, you need to know how to go about it correctly in order to make sure you do it right. Here are some steps you can follow during the process.
- Cut Off Electric, Gas, and Water Supply
The first step in draining a heater is to shut down the supply of electricity or gas to your heater. If the heater runs on electric power, you can turn off the circuit breaker from the main panel. If the heater is gas-powered, you simply need to adjust the control knob and move it to pilot. At the same time, also ensure that the supply of water is closed. This is usually possible when you close the supply valve leading to the heater.
- Turn On a Faucet
The next step is to drain as much of the hot water from the heater as possible by turning on a faucet. This will save you the hassle of having to manually remove the bulk of the water from the heater’s water tank.
- Use the Drain Valve
Once you have removed the bulk of the water from the heater, you can use the drain valve to remove the rest. Simply attach a hose to the drain valve and drain the water to a bucket, floor drain, or another spot where you can easily dispose of the water. Keep the valve open and let the water drain through the hose until the heater empties.
- Rinse and Repeat
Even when you drain the heater completely, some sediment may remain deposited at the bottom of the water tank. You will then need to turn on the supply of the cold water, use an object to stir up the sediment, and then once again drain the heater. This should be repeated until you see that there is little to no sediment left.
Hiring A Greenville Heating and Air Expert
If you are looking for professional installation, repair, replacement, or maintenance of water heaters in Greenville, we have got you covered. Here at General Air, we can handle water heaters of all sizes and types. If you don’t want to take a DIY approach to water heater draining, we can also help you with that. Call us today to hire our services or consult our experts.