Whether your water heater is gas-powered or electric water heater sediment can impact its performance. In the case of a gas water heater, that can mean efficiency is reduced to 60% or lower. In an electric water heater, sediment build-up can cause the heating element to burn out. A thorough cleaning, however, can return your electric water heater to 99% efficiency. To maintain proper efficiency of your water heater, experts recommend having it flushed every six months.
While it is possible to remove water heater sediment yourself, it never hurts to seek professional assistance. The first step is to turn off the water and energy supply to the tank. For an electric tank you will need to turn off the breaker. For a gas-powered water heater note the temperature setting of the gas dial and then turn it down to “pilot.” This will turn off the heat without extinguishing the pilot light.
Next, locate the drain valve. The valve should be located near the bottom of the water tank and in some cases may be located beneath a cover. Once the valve has been located, attach a hose to the valve. Run the other end of the hose to the nearest drain location. If there is not a drain nearby, it may be necessary to use a bucket to carry the water away.
Once you have drained the water—and hopefully the sediment, too—turn the water supply back on. If there is still sediment left in the water tank, you may want to flush it again.When you are satisfied, close the valve, remove the hose and allow the water heater to refill before turning the heat source back on.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Dirk Ercken/Shutterstock”