Keeping Your Water Heater in Excellent Condition

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 Written By Mike's Plumbing


Keeping Your Water Heater in Excellent Condition

You walk past your water heater and out of the corner of your eye you notice some discolored water on the floor. You panic at its sickly brown color. 

"My heater is broken!' you think but is that really the case? Don't panic, because in this blog we'll be discussing what this water means and what you can do about it if you live in Northwest Indiana.

What to Check

Before you begin anything, make sure to check the age of your water heater. Age can often be a large factor in what is happening to your heater and if it's repairable or time to buy a new one. After checking that and if the problem still persists, its time to take a closer look at the water.

What the Water Means 

Leaking water that is discolored can have multiple meanings. A newer heater can still produce discolored water but that doesn't mean it's broken. Iron plumbing, specifically galvanized iron plumbing can corrode over time and release rust-colored water. Newer water heaters with plastic or copper water supply lines can have weird colored water, but most likely from your water supply. An easy way to test this is to run a tap somewhere else in the house. If it comes out discolored you can count your water heater out of the equation.

Maintenance and Why it's Important 

A water heater needs a maintenance schedule to truly keep it up to date, especially considering how hard it works during cold Indiana winters. This consists of flushing your water heater by running cold water through into wash out any sediment in the tank. Doing this not only makes sure that your water is clean, but also that you significantly extend the life of your water heater.

How to Flush Your Water Heater

Step 1: To flush a hot water tank, turn off the power supply for electric heaters or turn the gas knob to pilot mode first if your heater supports it.

Step 2: Turn the cold water inlet valve to the off position on the water heater. 

Step 3: Connect a garden hose or hose bought from any hardware store to the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater.

Step 4: Take the hose outside far enough from your home to begin draining.

Step 5: Open the drain valve, along with some nearby hot water faucets, to let the water drain from the tank. The goal is to completely drain the water from the heater. 

Step 6: Open the cold water inlet to flush the tank as cold water runs through it. This process should last a few minutes.

Step 7: Close the drain valve, but make sure to leave the cold water inlet on. Make sure that a few hot water taps in the house are open. This is so the system will purge excess air. 

Step 8: Once the hot water taps stop hissing and popping water, close the hot water taps and reopen the drain valve once more at the bottom of the tank. Keep doing this until clear water comes out. Afterwards, close the drain valve.

Step 9: Repeat steps 1 through 8 as much as necessary until water runs clear from the drain valve.

How Long Should a Water Heater Last?

A good, well-maintained water heater should ideally last 10 to 15 years before needing serious attention. If your water heater is up there in age and you continually run into issues, its time to replace it and we can help with that. Don't let the cold Northwest Indiana winters get you without hot water. Call us to fix the problem ASAP!