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Do Water Heaters Need to Be Drained?

When it comes to maintaining your home, one crucial aspect that often goes overlooked is the maintenance of your water heater. A common question that arises among homeowners is: do water heaters need to be drained?

The simple answer is yes; water heaters do need to be drained occasionally to ensure their longevity and efficiency. This maintenance task is crucial for both traditional tank-style and tankless water heaters, affecting their ability to deliver hot water efficiently and safely. In this blog, we will explore the importance of draining your water heater, how often it should be done, and the steps involved in this process.

The Importance of Draining Your Water Heater

Draining your hot water heater is a key aspect of water heater maintenance that can significantly impact the unit’s performance and durability. Over time, sediment buildup occurs at the bottom of the water heater tank. This sediment, consisting of minerals like calcium and magnesium, can lead to a variety of issues, such as reduced heating efficiency, hot spots that damage the tank, and the premature failure of the heating elements. Therefore, you should drain your water heater regularly to remove this sediment and ensure that your system operates efficiently.

How Often Should You Drain Your Water Heater?

The frequency at which you should drain your water heater depends on several factors, including the hardness of your water, the amount of hot water your household uses, and the model of your water heater. Generally, it is recommended that you should drain your water heater at least once a year. However, in areas with hard water, more frequent draining may be necessary to prevent excessive sediment buildup.

Step-by-Step Guide to Draining Your Water Heater

Draining a water heater involves several steps, but by following them carefully, homeowners can effectively perform this task. However, if you’re unsure or uncomfortable performing these steps, it’s always best to contact licensed plumbers.

  • Turn Off the Power Supply: For electric water heaters, shut off the electricity at the breaker. For gas water heaters, turn the gas supply to the ‘pilot’ setting to prevent the burner from igniting.
  • Connect a Garden Hose to the Drain Valve: Locate the water heater drain valve near the bottom of the tank and attach a garden hose. Ensure the other end of the hose is positioned in an area where the draining hot water will not cause damage.
  • Open the Drain Valve: Slowly open the drain valve, allowing the water to flow out. Initially, the water may come out slowly due to the sediment blocking the flow.
  • Open the Pressure Relief Valve: This step is crucial to prevent a vacuum from forming inside the tank, which can hinder water flow.
  • Flush the Tank: Once the tank is empty, briefly turn on the cold water supply to the tank to flush out any remaining sediment. This might need to be repeated several times until the water coming out of the hose is clear.
  • Refill the Tank: Close the drain valve, remove the hose, and ensure the pressure relief valve is closed. Then, turn on the cold water supply to the tank. Once the tank is full, restore the power or gas supply.

Schedule Your Water Heater Services With Aberle Plumbing!

So, do water heaters need to be drained? As you can see, the answer to this question is a resounding yes. Regular maintenance, including draining your water heater, is essential for its efficient operation and longevity. If you’re not comfortable performing this task yourself or suspect your water heater needs professional attention, it’s time to call in the experts.

Aberle Plumbing offers comprehensive water heater services, including maintenance, repair, and installation for both traditional and tankless water heaters. We also specialize in both electric and gas water heater units. Whether you need a routine check-up or tankless water heater repair in Houston, our team of skilled Houston plumbers is here to ensure your water heating system functions flawlessly.

Don’t wait for your water heater to fail suddenly, leaving you without hot showers and potentially facing costly repairs. Scheduling regular maintenance with Aberle Plumbing can help prevent unexpected breakdowns, save energy, and extend the lifespan of your water heater. Contact us to book your service today! Ensure your home’s comfort and safety by keeping your water heating system in top condition with the help of Aberle Plumbing, your trusted Houston plumbers.