3 Water Heater Problems That Can Be Fixed By Draining Your Tank

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Your water heater has operated reliably for the past several years. It has allowed you to wash your dishes, do laundry, and take warm, steamy showers. However, as you continue to use your water heater, contaminants will collect in your water tank. Draining your tank on a regular basis will eliminate these three problems caused by contaminant buildup:

Discolored and Odorous Water

Although your water supply is filtered at your local water treatment plant, it isn't completely purified. Water that flows through your main and into your plumbing system contains minerals (such as calcium and limestone) and small amounts of sediment.

When water enters your tank, it does so by flowing through a long dip tube that leads to the bottom of your tank. Since minerals and sediment are heavier than water, contaminants in your water supply will accumulate below your tank's dip tube. When you call for hot water through one of your home's water fixtures, a pipe in the top of your tank will draw water from your heater and send it throughout your plumbing system.

Due to this design, minerals and sediment that collect at the base of your tank will remain relatively undisturbed—until they surpass the bottom of your dip tube. Once these contaminants rise above the bottom of your dip tube, they'll be agitated and pulled into the hot water that's delivered to your various water fixtures, which results in discolored and odorous water.

Premature Heating Element Failure

If you have an electric water heater, then your tank contains two heating elements. One element is located near the top of your tank, and the other is located near the bottom. When minerals and sediment accumulate at the base of your tank, they can rise to the level of your lower heating element and cause it to prematurely fail.

This problem occurs due to the design of your elements. Your elements must remain in constant contact with water to remain at a safe operating temperature. However, when minerals and sediment make contact with your element, they'll cause your element to overheat. It only takes a few seconds for your element to burn out once it overheats.

Air Pockets

Air pockets can enter your water tank through your water main or through unsealed anode rod threads, but the most common way for air pockets to form inside your tank is through the heating of the minerals.

Calcium, one of the minerals that contaminate your water supply, releases carbon dioxide when it's heated by your elements or burner assembly. When pockets of carbon dioxide collect in your water tank, they'll cause a rumbling or popping noise as they travel throughout your tank and plumbing system. Once pockets of carbon dioxide are released through one of your water fixtures, they'll typically be accompanied by a strange odor.

How To Drain Your Tank:

To drain your tank and stop these three problems from occurring, collect your garden hose and a bucket. You may want to have a partner assist you in the draining process as well.

Screw your garden hose onto the drain valve at the bottom of your tank. Pull the lever on your relief valve and close the water supply valve located on the inlet pipe above your tank. Additionally, shut off the power (or gas) supply to your water heater. Walk the other end of your hose into your yard and place it inside your bucket. Have your partner stand next to your bucket and open your drain valve to begin draining your tank.

Have your partner notify you when the water flowing into your bucket is clear. Once the water entering your bucket is clear, you can close your drain valve and restore your tank's water supply. However, you must leave the relief valve open to allow air to escape from your tank while your tank is refilling. As soon as a steady stream of water begins squirting out of your relief valve, close the lever, restore the power supply, and pack up your equipment to finish the job. Drain your tank at least once a year to keep minerals and sediment from causing future problems.

If these problems continue after you drain your tank, then hire your local plumber for an inspection. Your tank or heating elements may have already sustained damage that requires professional repair. If this is the case, then try visiting http://www.smedleyservice.com to get quote for the cost of repairs.

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24 February 2015

New Trends In The Construction Industry

My name is Brandon McCauley and this blog is about new trends in the construction industry. In this blog you'll learn about new types of materials that are long-lasting and durable. You'll also find out how new homes and businesses are being built to be more energy efficient. I continually study new trends and the latest developments in construction because this is an interest of mine. I'm always amazed when I see new building and home designs that are out of the ordinary. If you also like learning about new construction trends, I think you'll find my blog very interesting and informative.