When certain appliances in your home break down, such as the dishwasher or dryer, it may be a minor inconvenience, but when your water heater isn’t functioning, it can be completely disruptive, preventing you from enjoying warm showers and getting clean.
Although you can’t entirely prevent breakdowns, especially if your water heater is on the older side, proper maintenance is essential. Cleaning your water heater can make a big difference in how well it functions as well as its lifespan.
Doing this regularly can help you to save a significant amount of money because water heaters can be very expensive to replace. Here is a look at how you should clean your water heater.
Cleaning A Traditional Tank Water Heater
Cleaning a tank water heater is relatively easy. Before beginning the process, turn off the thermostat of your heater . If it is electric, you will need to remove it from the source of power and then turn off the cold water supply.
Next, it is time to drain the tank. Open the hot water faucets around your home to avoid creating a vacuum that will trap water within the tank. Then, find the drain valve on your tank and connect a hose to it.
Position the hose so that it ends in a large bucket that is situated away from the foundation of your home. If you do not have a large enough bucket to accommodate all of the water that may come out during draining, consider positioning the hose so the water will go through your basement drain.
Once you have proper drainage set up, you can begin emptying the tank by opening the drain valve and letting the water flow. Should water fail to flow once you’ve opened the valve, it is possible that your tank has severe buildup that is clogging the valve. A specialized vacuum can be used to remove the clogging, but it is best to call a professional to help.
Once you have drained the tank, open your cold water supply before removing the hose from the drain valve. Cold water can help flush out sediments that are remaining in the tank. Keep running the water until the water that comes out of the hose is clear. Then, turn off the valve and turn your cold water supply back on.
Finally, you can open your faucets. Do not be alarmed if some of the water that comes out at first is unclean; this will clear up after you have run the water for a few minutes. Close your faucets after a few minutes of running them and plug your heater back in or reactivate its thermostat.
Cleaning A Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters are an efficient and cost-effective way to heat the water in your home, and they do not require as much maintenance as tank-style water heaters. Nevertheless, you will need to clean it from time to time, and this works best if you use a submersible pump to remove the sediments and buildup in the tank.
Before you get started, it is best to consult the instructions provided by the manufacturer as each tankless unit will have its own specific steps for cleaning and descaling it.
If you have an electrical model, you will need to disconnect the power going to the heater first. Then, open the access panel and confirm no power is going to the machine using a tester. Close the gas isolation valve, then turn the hot and cold shutoff valves off to stop water from coming in while you are cleaning the tank.
Open the hot water pressure relief valve to eliminate pressure, working carefully as there could be hot water inside of it. Then, connect the hoses to your hot and cold water service ports and place the submersible pump in the bucket. Connect the hose of your cold water to the pump and keep the end of the hot water hose inside the bucket.
Next, add four gallons of white vinegar to the bucket. Then, open the cold and hot service ports and turn the pump on. Allow the vinegar solution to circulate within the heater for at least an hour in order to descale it.
Then, turn the pump off, pour the vinegar out, and close the cold water service port. Next, open up your cold water shutoff valve so that any remaining vinegar residue can be removed, drain the water fully and remove the hose.
Finally, flush the filters out again to get rid of remaining sediments and then restore the filters, open your shutoff valves, put the access panel back in place, open the gas valve and plug the heater back in.
Call The Professional Water Heater Maintenance Team
Cleaning your water heater is one way to extend the lifespan of this essential appliance, but it is best to leave this job to professional plumbers.
Get in touch with the Northern Virginia master plumbers at Baumbach Plumbing & Remodeling to learn more about our water heater maintenance services.