A soothing shower under a piping hot stream of water is just what you need when you walk in from the relentless weather outside. However, if your water heater is acting up, you may be in for a very unpleasant surprise. If you want to avoid nasty shocks of the cold-water variety, maintaining your hot water heater in great condition is a must. You can call in the pros from Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating if your heater has some serious issues, but there are things that you can do on your own.
Sedimentation- What Is It and Why Is It Bad?
With regular use, it is impossible to prevent sediment and sludge from accumulating in the tank of your water heater. When this sedimentation is excessive, your heater is no longer able to work at peak efficiency. In fact, you may find that your heating bill is as high as always while you are taking showers in lukewarm to cold water. This is one plumbing problem you want to fix immediately and thankfully, you can try your hand at draining the tank before you call in the pros.
How to Drain the Water Heater
The first thing to do is to shut off the power supply to the heater. If you have a gas heater, you can turn the thermostat to Pilot setting. With an electric heater, you switch off the power breaker. Next, you want to cut off the water flow through the heater. Turn off the water source using the lever or knob to stop the water flow through the pipes leading into the heater. Make sure the knob or lever is turned tight to prevent the flow completely.
The next step is to attach a hose to the draincock. Not sure where that is? You will find if somewhere along the bottom of the tank. If you are still not able to find it, call in a plumber and ask him to show you where it is and how to drain the tank. You can use the knowledge the next time your heater needs draining.
Once the hose is attached, open the drain cock so that the water remaining in the tank flows out taking with it the sludge and sediment as well. Once this is done, simply close the drain valve and then let the cold water supply into the tank resume. Now you are ready to turn the power back on and enjoy your hot water shower for as long as you want.