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How Do I Clean My Water Heater?

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Home Comfort, Hot Water Heaters, Maintenance

How Do I Clean My Water Heater?

Your water heater is one of the most heavily used appliances in your home. It is constantly working for you — fr...

Posted by Ryan | February 16, 2022

How Do I Clean My Water Heater?

Your water heater is one of the most heavily used appliances in your home. It is constantly working for you — from dishes to showers, and laundry too.

You wouldn’t put off cleaning your front-load washer or dishwasher. Your clothes won’t be as fresh and your dishes won’t be as sparkling. So why not put the same care into the machine that supplies water to those appliances? Maintaining your water heater helps lots of home systems run better and cleaner.

Putting a little love and care into your hot water system can help reduce hot water heater repairs. And if you don’t have the time to clean your tank, just remember that water heater professionals are a phone call away and ready to help.

Water heater temperature control knob

Get the Most Out of Your Water Heater

Just like your furnace, your hot water heater does a lot of the heavy lifting in your home. To ensure you are getting maximum performance and maximum heat, here are some basic cleaning tips to keep in mind.

Flushing Your Hot Water Tank

Flushing your hot water tank is one of the most effective ways to ensure it runs smoothly. It’s recommended that you flush your water heater once every six months to clear calcium and mineral buildup. This also removes stagnant water that can cause odours and weird tastes in your water.

You can flush your hot water heater on your own carefully, by following these steps:

  1. Turn off the water supply and power to your hot water heater.
  2. Attach a hose to the water to the drain valve directing to a basement drain or outside if possible.
  3. Open a hot water tap on a floor above the hot water heater to create pressure, forcing water out of the tank.
  4. Open the drain valve and let water through the hose. This typically takes 20-60 minutes depending on the size of your water heater.
  5. When the water has drained from the tank, turn the cold water valve at the top of the tank three times. This will mix the sediment from the bottom of the tank helping it escape through the hose.
  6. Open and close the drain valve three times to effectively rid your tank of all the sediment.
  7. Repeat the steps above until you see clear water running from the hose. Once clear, close the tank drain valve.

If at any point during the flushing process you become unsure, Action Furnace’s fully trained hot water heater technicians will ensure no damage is done to your system. Call to book today.

Going Tankless

Tankless hot water heaters are gaining popularity due to your ability to save up to 30% on natural gas use, lowering your utility bill! Tankless hot water heaters also provide hot water in seconds with no standby loss or water waste.

So how does cleaning a tankless hot water heater differ from cleaning a conventional water tank? It’s not that much different, just a bit faster!

  1. Grab a large bucket (at least 19 litres), two hoses, a submersible pump and 15 litres of white vinegar.
  2. Shut off all valves connected to the hot water heater, including the gas valve.
  3. Connect the cold water valve to one of the hoses and attach the other end to the pump.
  4. Fill your bucket with vinegar and place the pump inside. Vinegar will help remove calcium and other minerals that build up in the system.
  5. Attach the second hose to the hot water valve and the other end in the bucket.
  6. Turn on both water valves and the pump for up to an hour, letting the vinegar run through the system, loosening up any sediment buildup.

Once again, if at any point you are unsure about cleaning your tankless hot water heater, Action Furnace’s fully trained technicians are only a phone call away.

Air Filter Awareness

Did you know many hot water heaters have an air filter just like your furnace? These filters help keep dirt and dust from entering your tank and building up in the heating elements. This can affect how your water heater operates overall.

Cleaning these filters is as easy as: remove, wash, dry. Our hot water experts always make sure your filters are pristine during an Annual WOW! Tune-up.

The Benefits of Water Heater Maintenance

Water heater maintenance has benefits beyond keeping your home’s water supply clean. Clean water will feel better on your skin and make your other appliances happy. But it can help your pocketbook as well.

Better Performance

A clean hot water heater functions better because it’s free from the sediment that builds up thanks to Alberta’s extremely hard water. Sediment buildup increases how long it takes the heater to warm up, and ultimately affects your water experience. Trust us, no one wants a lukewarm shower.

Less Frequent Repairs

Just like your furnace, your hot water heater will operate better when it’s well taken care of. Regular maintenance will ensure things like your pilot light and thermostat are working properly. Regular checks will also alert you to any potential problems that could lead to big disasters, such as a leak or other water heater repairs.

Increased Longevity

Most hot water tanks have a lifespan of 8-12 years, but that lifespan can be cut short if you neglect cleaning and maintenance. Annual water heater maintenance helps keep all the parts of your water system running clean. And regular cleaning ensures you get maximum performance for the duration of your hot water heater.

Running kitchen faucet

Hot Water Peace of Mind

Even though you’ve read this blog and know how to clean your hot water heater, we know you might still want to leave it to the professionals. That’s why Action Furnace is pleased to offer on-demand professional hot water heater service as one of the many perks of our Comfort Club Membership.

Comfort Club Membership gives you the peace of mind of front-of-the-line service, annual water heater tune-ups, waived diagnostic fees and 20% any future repairs that might be needed.

Done everything you can to maintain your hot water heater but it’s still not pumping out clean, hot H2O? Action Furnace also offers top-of-the-line installation services in Alberta. We specialize in installing energy-efficient, residential hot water tanks. Click here for a quote today!

So there you have it, your go-to guide for cleaning your hot water heater. Now you can enjoy your steamy showers worry-free and finally get to all those dishes that have been piling up!

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Written by Ryan Tutak

Ryan is considered one of Calgary's most knowledgeable residential HVAC specialists. Working in the industry for over 12 years, he's helped thousands of homeowners with their heating and cooling systems. Outside of running Calgary's most reputable HVAC business, you can find him on the Golf course practicing his short game or traveling with his family. His main goal is to create a positive collaborative culture, one in which his employees are excited to come in and are motivated to work hard. He spends the majority of his day working directly with Home Comfort Advisors, Service and Maintenance Technicians, and Customer Service Representatives ensuring they are fully prepared to lead the Home Service Industry in Customer Service.

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