Office and Showroom Hours: Monday to Friday 8am-4pm

The Best Way To Extend The Life Of Your Water Heater

Written on: June 16, 2020

water heater life extensionWith the coronavirus continuing to keep us home much more than usual, it’s more important than ever to keep your home comfort equipment working efficiently and reliably. One of those pieces of equipment, of course, is your water heater.
If you have a conventional water heater (one with a storage tank), one task stands above all others when it comes to extending the life of your water heater and keeping it running at peak efficiency year after year: periodic draining.
About once or twice a year – or twice if your water is particularly “hard” (that is, if it has more than average mineral content), your tank should be drained of sediment. Sediment, which looks like sand or gravel, forms from minerals contained in your water supply; when it gathers at the bottom of your tank or on your water heater’s heating element, it can reduce energy efficiency and clog the tank’s drain valve, which can be a safety hazard.
The good news is that sediment is easy to drain with some basic tools. Here’s how to do it.

A Quick Guide To Draining A Tank Water Heater :

What you need


  1. Turn off the power to the water heater at the circuit breaker; if you have a gas water heater, you will also need to turn off the gas supply.
  2. Fasten a length of garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater. If you can’t locate the drain value, consult your water heater’s owner’s manual.
  3. Run the other end of the hose to the nearest floor drain, or outside your house.
  4. Close the shut-off valve at the water inlet line or main water supply.
  5. Open a hot water faucet somewhere in the house to relieve system pressure inside the tank.
  6. Slide a knee-high stocking over the drain end of the garden hose to capture sediment and scale as the water heater drains; use the rubber band or wire tie to hold it in place. If you capture a lot of sediment, you’ll need to flush your water heater more often.
  7. Using your screwdriver, open the drain valve (the other side of the Y connector where you attached the hose). Use caution: the water that will flow into your floor drain or outside your home will be hot enough to scald.
  8. Drain about three to five gallons of water, which should be enough to capture the needed sediment.
  9. When you’re done, close the drain valve with your screwdriver and remove the hose.
  10. Open a hot water faucet somewhere in the home, then open the shut-off valve at the water inlet line or main water supply. You’ll hear the water heater start to fill. When you have a steady stream of water at the faucet, turn it off.
  11. Turn the power back on at the circuit breaker. For gas water heaters, turn the gas supply back on.

Of course, flushing isn’t the only maintenance your water heater needs – you’ll also need professional water heater maintenance about every two years. If your water heater is due or overdue for a service visit, contact us today – before your water heater fails when you need it most.
Did you know that the average life expectancy of a traditional water heater is 10 years? If your water heater has reached its second decade, it could be time for a replacement. Contact us to learn about propane water heater installation in PA, including storage-type and high efficiency tankless water heater options.
Please note: at Ace-Robbins, your safety and comfort are always our priority. Please see our COVID-19 Service Update Page to learn more about how we are working to keep you and our crews safe and your home comfort systems working through this challenging time.