If the heater is electric, shut off the power. By closing the valve at the cold water connection, turn off the water heater. It’s located on the top of water heater. The cold line is always to one side. The hot water tap should be opened inside the house. The tap should be open to let out air pressure. Open the drain valve at the bottom. It looks like a drain valve. Let the water heater heat for at least one gallon. While you’re working on your water heater, don’t allow anyone to use hotwater – go here.
Maintenance Tip #2 – Remove sediment by dissolving
Mag-Erad, a descaler, can be used to dissolve sediment. A.O. Smith also designs water heaters. This descaler comes with instructions. However, you should ignore the section about leaving the gas water heating element on. By setting the flame to PILOT, turn off the flame. The gas systems can be damaged by heat from the heater that does not contain water. To dissolve sediment, you can also use Lye. It’s highly volatile and flammable. Only a plumber should use this chemical.
Maintenance Tip #3 Controlling the sediment
Use softened water to keep sediment in check. Salt softened water does not reduce sediment. It can only help with another problem. Anode rods have a 50%-65% reduction in life expectancy. 140°F is the ideal temperature for sediment growth. Legionnaires’ Disease is susceptible to temperature rises of up to 115 degrees. Keep both these issues at bay by setting your water heater to 130 degrees. Legionnaires Disease is caused by inhaling water vapour rather than ingestion of infected drinking water. However, hospitals must ensure that the plumbing is regularly drained with 170 degrees water to kill any remaining bacteria.
To check water temperature, heat a cup of water. Then place a thermometer in the cup. You can adjust the dial on a gas water heater until hot water is flowing out of the tap at 130 degrees. Between dial adjustments, allow the water heater to rest. A minimum of one hour is sufficient. You can adjust the size flame with some gas water heaters. Check the center of your control knob to find a small button-shaped screw. This button can be used adjust the flame size. You can leave the button alone if you have trouble getting enough hotwater. A low-watt density element can be installed if there is a sediment problem with your electric water heater. Do not be deceived by the name. While it’s not as heat as a high-watt density element of the same watt, its surface area is twice that of the low-watt and heats up just as well. The production of sediment is slowed down by the reduced heat. A plumber can reduce the water pressure for water heaters with high pressures above 50 psi. More sediment can build up under high pressure.