We take it for granted, modern plumbing and all it has to offer. One amazing advancement is the water heater. Say it with me “water heater” not a “hot water heater”. If it was the latter, then you would not need it as the water is already hot. (sorry one of those things that bother me). Anyway, a tank water heater is really a pretty simple device. A tank full of water and a gas burner on the bottom like a flame on the stove under a pot of water. Or a couple of electric rods inserted into the tank to heat the water.
Why You Should Flush Your Water Heater
That process of heating the water and storing it can also create scale sediment in the tank, over can time affect the performance of the unit. Some things to consider:
- The average tank water heater lasts about 10 years in the U.S. I am sure there are plenty of you reading this thinking I am nuts but it’s true.
- 20% of the energy used to heat the water is for standby. Meaning the tank full of water waiting for you to turn on the hot water. (consider a tankless or on-demand unit)
- Draining the tank annually can prolong its life and boost its efficiency.
- The get the most out of draining you need to do this after the heater celebrates its first birthday. Attach a hose to the spigot on the bottom of the tank and lead it to a floor drain or bucket. Open the valve and drain about 2-3 gallons of water. This should pull sediment from the bottom of the tank.
- You can do this on older heaters, but the benefits may not be the same. If you have a heater that has never been drained, say for the last 5-7 years do not start now. Remember the average heater lasts about 10 years.
- Replacing a water heater on your terms as opposed to once it conks out is always cheaper and easier to accomplish.