Sediment: A Water Heater's Worst Enemy
Limestone and other minerals are commonly found in water. These minerals collect in the bottom of a water heater and form sediment. When sediment forms in a water heater, it reduces the energy efficiency of the water heater, thus increasing energy costs. By flushing the water heater biannually, you can improve energy consumption and extend the lifetime of your water heater. The following guide will teach you how you can flush your electric water heater in a few simple steps.
Turn off the Power
Before beginning any project that involves electricity, it is important to shut off the power. Go to your breaker box and flip the breaker marked water heater. If your breakers are not labeled, you can turn the main power to the house off.
Turn off the Water
After the electricity has been shut off, you will need to turn off the cold water that goes into your water heater. Either locate the valve by looking for a blue CVPC shut off valve or follow the water line that runs into your water heater to find the shut off valve. If your water heater does not have a shut off valve, go outside to the main water line and shut off the water there.
Drain the Heater
Once you have turned the electricity and the water off, it is time to begin draining your water heater. Connect a garden hose to the water heater drain valve located at the bottom of the tank. Screw it on tightly and run the hose outdoors away from any landscaping that can be damaged by hot water.
For best results, place the water hose at a lower level than the water heater. This creates a gravity feed to help remove the most sediment. Then, flip the pressure release valve open and open the drain valve located at the bottom of the water heater. Completely drain your water heater tank. This should take an hour or two to complete.
Once the water heater has been completely drained, close the tank drain valve and the pressure relief valve. Disconnect the water hose. Open the hot water side of each faucet in your house. Turn the cold water inlet back on and allow the air to be bled from the water lines before continuing to the next step.
* Tip: Remove all aerators from your faucets before turning the water back on to keep sediment out of your faucet aerators.
Refill Tank and Turn on Electricity
Once you have ensured all air has been bled from the water lines, it is time to let the water heater's tank refill. Close all faucets and allow the tank to refill with water. Wait at least one hour before turning the electricity back on. If you turn the electricity back on before the tank has time to fill, you can burn out the top element in your water heater.
Many people do not think about their water heater until it starts failing. You can avoid these unpleasant surprises by performing regular water heater maintenance. A water heater should be flushed twice a year to improve efficiency and improve the life expectancy of the water heater. For more questions about water heater service, contact a company like Mechanical Energy Systems.