Just like your car, the quality of care you give your water heater is a reliable indicator of how efficiently it will operate. After all, if you don’t clean the storage tank as suggested by the manufacturer, your system won’t last as long as it could. Moreover, you’re likely to experience more water heating breakdowns and a spike in your energy bills.
Flushing and Scrubbing the Storage Tank
One of the essential maintenance tasks that should be performed at least once a year is flushing and scrubbing the storage tank. The reason for this is that unless your water supply is perfectly clean, you’re going to have sediment buildup inside your water heater.
As the sediment accumulates on the bottom of the tank, an insulating layer is formed that obstructs efficient heat exchange. This means your water heating system must work longer to bring the temperature of fresh supply water to the thermostat’s setting, and continue to maintain that temperature.
If you hear popping and banging noises from the storage tank, experience fluctuations in hot water temperature, or you haven’t performed water heater maintenance in the last year, it’s time to flush out your water heating system.
The first step is to turn off the energy source, whether setting the gas valve to “pilot” or turning off the circuit breaker to your electric water heater. Then:
- Turn on hot water fixtures for 15 minutes to cool stored hot water.
- Turn off the water intake valve.
- Attach a hose to the drain valve.
- Extend the hose to a place where you can safely drain the tank, such as a floor drain, bathtub or outside your home.
- Turn on the drain to empty the tank.
- Remove the drain valve.
- Use a thin brush to scrub the bottom of the tank.
- Turn on the water intake valve to flush out the remaining sediment.
- Turn off the drain valve to refill your water heater.
- Turn on the gas or electricity, and you’re finished!
For more information on water heater maintenance, contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning today. We’ve served Fresno residents since 1970!
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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