As with all major home appliances, your water heater should have come with its own personal instruction manual. This manual should be kept handy as it details the information every homeowner needs to know regarding this apparatus, including a proper maintenance schedule and to-do list.
You Water Heater:
Before beginning any maintenance it is important to get-to-know your appliance first. This will help to ensure an understanding of its parts and how the process will proceed. Most water heaters are designed the same:
· Water Shut-Off Valve: located at the top of the water heater
· Pressure Release Valve: located at the top of the water heater as well and should have labelling next to it and piping leading into the wall
· Water Drain: located at the bottom of the water heater and is usually easy to spot as it has threads where a hose may be attached
It is also extremely important to know whether or not you have a gas or electric water heater before beginning any step. Look around the appliance for any labeling, warnings, etc., that will help determine this. In addition to this labeling, gas run appliances have a pilot light. If you see this, you will know that it is gas run.
Why Maintenance is Important:
As a water heater operates, pumping water through the tank, sediment and other minerals begin to settle on the bottom. These extra ingredients can play havic on your water heater as it not only can cause rust but also causes the appliance to work harder than it should. These issues ultimately end up shortening the lifespan of your water heater.
The good news is that, as mentioned, maintenance of your water heater is simple and is cheap. All that is required to perform the maintenance tasks are the following items:
· Shut off all heating sources including the gas (if gas run)or the circuit breaker (if electric run).
· Gather all of your supplies (listed above).
· Make sure to protect your hands from any steam and heat by wearing the mentioned gloves.
· Turn off the water to the water heater.
· Attach the hose to the water drain.
· Turn on the Water Drain and open the Pressure Release Valve (locations mentioned above).
Don’t worry if the water appears dirty at first, this is due to the sediment that has been collected within the tank. Wait 10 to 30 minutes, allowing all of the water to drain.
· Turn off the Water Drain and remove the attached hose.
· Place a bucket under the Water Drain.
· With the pressure valve still open, turn on the water to the water tank.
· Turn on the Water Drain to allow the rest of the sediment to be flushed out.
· Check the water coming out of the tank to make sure that it is clear. If it is, you are then ready to refill the tank.
· Close the Pressure Release Valve.
· Refill your tank with water.
· Turn on the gas or the circuit breaker. NOTE: do not do this before the tank is completely full.
Once all of the steps are completed, your water heater should work great. To keep the appliance working at its best, make sure to follow these steps once a year.
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