If you have a storage-tank water heater, the main maintenance task involves periodically draining and refilling the tank. While many homeowners do this job themselves if you want the job done correctly (to avoid getting water all over the basement!), schedule an appointment with a credentialed plumbing technician.

Why Is It Necessary?

Over time, calcium and other minerals will settle at the bottom of the water-heating tank. This can interfere with the heating process. This is especially the case with electric water heaters with the heating element at the bottom of the tank. Neglecting to drain the water heater can result in higher water-heating bills and early failure of the appliance.

How to Drain the Water Heater

  • Locate the line that supplies water to the water heater. Turn the water supply valve all the way clockwise to shut off the water to the unit.
  • Make sure every hot water tap in the house is turned on (though not all the way). This will keep air from accumulating in the pipes.
  • With electric water heaters, power should be shut off. This ensures that the heating element doesn’t overheat once it’s no longer surrounded by water. Similarly, turn off gas in combustion water-heating systems.
  • Attach a garden hose to the tap at the bottom of the appliance. Pull the other end of the hose outside or to a household drain. (Avoid draining directly into your wife’s favorite flower garden!) The end should be lower than the water heater so the water will drain properly.
  • Open the drainage valve at the bottom of the unit by twisting it all the way counterclockwise. Then allow the tank to drain.
  • When it’s finished draining, simply close the valve and disattach the water hose. Turn the water taps off in the house that you turned on at the start of this process.

A trained plumbing technician can do this job for you, along with checking other aspects of your water heater’s operation. For more information on maintaining your New Jersey home’s storage tank water heating system, please contact us at Pipe Works Services We service Chatham, Morristown, Basking Ridge, Union, and the surrounding areas!

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