5 Tips on How to Clean A Water Heater

Homeowners know an important part of home maintenance is cleaning your hot water heater, especially when you need to get it ready for the winter. Doing so can increase the lifespan of your hot water tank and will help to ensure you have a working hot water faucet, with good water pressure that performs consistently well. This is important for both gas water heaters and electric water heaters. If calcium and sediment buildup starts to accumulate inside of your water heater tank it could disrupt water flow and could cause your water heater to perform poorly, and bacteria could start to thrive in the slush that is coating the bottom of the tank. If the area you live in is known for hard water, you may have to do this maintenance more often.


In some cases, this sediment could cause the water at the bottom of the water heater to overheat. The water could become steam, and if the pressure relief valve fails it can actually cause a small explosion that shoots off some of the sediment coat, and it will be loud. This can lead to a crack in the top of the tank, the bottom of the tank, or straight down the middle, where the water runs out, which hopefully as the tank drains it will go to your floor drain. Do not let it get to this point. 


You may keep your water heater in good shape with these some of these DIY steps:


  1. First, you will want to shut down the power for the water heater. Stopping the power at the circuit breaker is one way to be sure there is no electricity going to the hot water heater.
  2. Shutoff the cold water supply to the tank by shutting off the cold water valve. It is important not to leave this valve open.
  3. Unscrew the cold-water supply line and take out the pipe stub that connects to the cold-water port. The cold-water supply line is located at the top of a water heater.
  4. Then you can take a cleaner with a citric-acid base, such as Mag-Erad, and pour this down the hole. It will take eight hours for this cleaner to eat away at the buildup in the tank. After this point, you can attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the heater; the other end of the hose should be outside. Then open the drain valve and connect the cold-water supply to the heater again. You can then turn the cold water back on. Watch the water coming out of the hose; it will be murky for a while. Once the water coming out is clean, you can shut the drain valve and detach the end of the hose.
  5. Before you turn the heater back on, open the faucet that is the farthest away from the heater. Wait until water comes out of the faucet, then turn it off. Do the same to all the faucets and spigots around your house. This is to get rid of air pockets. When you have done that, you can turn your water heater on again, relight the pilot light, set your thermostat and make sure the heating element is active. Now it should be ready to work overtime in the cold months ahead.

If you experience any problems with your water heater, water softener, or sump pump then our experienced plumbers and help with options, including replacing your water heater, or even moving to a tankless water heater. If you have a clog or blockage in any drain, or need help with a slow draining sink or tub do not hesitate to call A-1 Sewer & Septic Service, Inc., a family-owned business with more than 45 years of serving the Kansas City Metro. 


Our team of experienced plumbing technicians can provide you with a quote, and if you have a plumbing issue in the evening or on the weekend, our expert services can be available. Save trips to the hardware store and have peace of mind that a professional plumber brings when the job is done right. Learn how we may be able to help you solve your plumbing problems when you contact a Kansas City plumber today!

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