Hi all! We’ve been working on our autumn task list. After seeing all the muck we cleaned out of our dryer vent, we decided we better get that hot water heater drained. We’ve been here 3 years and hadn’t done it yet. Shame on us! I was totally expecting brown gunky water to drain out. Boy was I shocked. It was clear water. The water heater looks fairly new. I suspect that the previous owners had put a new one in shortly before we purchased the house. The experts recommend that it should be drained every year. Everyone needs to familiarize themselves with their own water heater. I can’t speak as an expert, but I can walk you through the steps we took.
1. Our water heater is gas, so the first thing we did was shut the gas off by turning the handle perpendicular to the pipe.
2. Then we turned off the cold water supply by turning the lever perpendicular to the cold water pipe. You may have to shut your water off at the main valve.
3. Attach a hose to the drain.
4. Open a hot water tap elsewhere in your home, such as the bathroom.
5. Using a screwdriver on the knob of the spigot, open the drain.
6. Allow water to drain.
7. Open cold water for a few minutes to flush the tank.
8. Close the drain.
9. Shut off your tap water faucet.
10. Allow your tank to refill.
11. Turn on the gas and relight your pilot (if you have a gas tank).
Everything went smooth until it was time to relight the pilot. Someone previously had crimped the gas line to the pilot light. Whoever originally crimped the line did so, knowing the owner would have to call them for a future relighting of the pilot. The gas line tube is copper, so my husband successfully uncrimped it with pliers, and got it lit. He used to work for a gas company, so I wouldn’t suggest anyone else attempt this.
I also want to point out an issue with water heater insulator blankets. Water heater manufacturers in recent years make them with enough insulation already. In fact, many states will void your warranty if you put an insulation blanket on it. You may have noticed the blanket on ours in some photos, but not all. We removed it. Whoever originally installed this water heater was a shady character.
I hope this was helpful.