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HOW TO: Drain Your Water Heater


Of all the things that civilization has brought us, including sliced bread, hot water may be the very best. It’s certainly up there, without a doubt. So, it would follow that if you really value that hot water, you’d want to care for and protect the equipment that makes it possible.

Whether you’re doing it as a bit of regular maintenance or because you’re leaving a vacation or rental home unoccupied, draining said water heater is one of the easiest things you can do to keep that particular appliance in tip-top shape.

Why You Should Drain Your Hot Water Heater

Most water supplies contain lots of random minerals in various quantities. Get enough of them together and you get “hard” water, which really just means it has a lot of minerals in suspension. Over time, these minerals settle out and land in the bottom of your hot water heater. Given enough time, a layer thick enough to interfere with the function of the appliance will develop.

Before you reach that point, a maintenance flush is in order. How often you flush depends on a lot of factors, including the size of the hot water heater and how often it’s used. A good rule of thumb is to flush your water heater every six to 12 months, whether you think it needs it or not. It’s better to wash those particles out before they become a problem.

Of course, draining your water heater isn’t just about flushing particles. If you’re going to leave a house sitting empty for a significant period of time, you should empty the hot water tank. Draining the hot water heater is an important part of winterizing vacant homes, it helps to protect the heater itself from damage due to low temperatures. When the water lines are also drained, emptying them completely keeps them from freezing and bursting.

How to Drain a Water Heater

Draining a hot water heater is a really simple process. In fact, the hardest part is working with water hot enough to scald you. Before you even get started, snagging some thick dishwashing gloves or other heavy, insulated and very importantly, non-absorbent, form of hand protection.If you’re wearing thick cotton gloves, for example, they’ll just hold that extremely hot water against your skin.

With your skin adequately protected, draining or flushing your hot water heater is a piece of cake. Just follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the water heater. If it’s electric, flip the breaker; for gas units, turn the gas off or set the unit to “pilot.”

  2. Wait patiently for the water to cool a bit. The longer you give it, the safer you’ll be. (You can skip this step, but do so with caution)

  3. Turn the cold water off. You can’t drain a water heater that’s constantly filling up!

  4. Open some faucets. Pick a faucet or two close to the water heater and turn the hot side on and leave it on until you’re totally done with the draining portion of the show. This helps speed up the draining and prevents vacuums from forming in the pipes.

  5. Attach a water hose. It’ll screw onto the brass drain valve near the bottom of the unit.

  6. Pick a spot to dump the water. There’s a lot of water about to come out of that hose, so choose your disposal option carefully. Outdoors is a good place to run the hose (just not too close to the house), but if you can’t reach that far, a sump pit, floor drain or big bucket will do.

  7. Open the valve! This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Open the value (you may need a screwdriver). If you’re flushing the hot water heater, then let it run a few gallons at a time into a bucket so you can tell when the sediment has finished coming out of the unit.

If you’re draining your hot water heater because you’re leaving the house empty for a while, you’re essentially done with the water heater now (winterizing a home is a whole different blog). If you’re flushing sediment, keep going until you see the water run clear, then do all those steps in reverse for a hot water heater with shiny clean insides and hot water.

Hot Water is Pretty Cool, But Flushing the Heater Safely Can Be Tricky…

When you’ve given draining your hot water heater a lot of consideration and decided you’re not ready to DIY it, you don’t have to start calling random plumbers for help. Just log in to your HomeKeepr community and select from the recommended plumbers in your area. Other pros are staking their reputations on the quality of work they do, so you know every recommended listing is for a company you can count on.

Drone Inspections - Drone Based Roofing Solutions

Whether you work in the solar, insurance, or roofing industries, more than likely you’ve heard about drones.  Aside from inspections, they’re a trend right now.  And for very good reason. As of late, there have been advances in drone technology. Orange County Drone Inspectors are constantly saying that they’re fundamentally changing the way to measure and inspect a roof. Using a drone is a lot safer and because of its technology, it’s more accurate than manual roof measurement and inspections.

Drone Inspections Improving Accuracy

Drone Inspection Service Providers in Orange County, CA say that when you manually have to measure a roof, you get twisted tape measures to inconsistent endpoint selections.

You’ll even get inaccessible edges, without the right measurements you can throw the hole inspection off.  Orange County Drone Inspection Service Providers often say that depending on who you hire, certain businesses will have the latest advances in drone mapping technology.  They’ll be able to take accurate measurements of exact square footage, roof features, pitch, surface areas, and slopes in just minutes.

Tests have shown that when drones take measurements, they’re 99.4% accurate.

You don’t have to worry about inaccurate data or even having to go back to the site to gather any missed information.  Their solutions use a set protocols for selecting endpoints.  This means that measurements are complete and dependable.

Drone Roof Drone home Inspections Orange County

Drones Are More Cost Effective

Accidents do happen on industrial job sites.  When it comes to drones, Orange County Drone Home Inspectors say you reduce and eliminate the need for ladder assists and having someone physically collect data collection. Furthermore, the use of drones will cut the amount of time employees spend on a dangerous site.

Drones Bring In A Great Return On Investment

Today’s drones give you a more cost effective way of gathering information.  Not only will you get actionable data but you’ll receive a good ROI.

The roofing industry has learned that drone solutions are at least three times faster than your traditional methods. But the return on investment for drones on rooftops will go beyond just savings time and resources.

Drone Home Inspectors In Orange County, CA say that drones deliver more productive set of data, this is compared to gathering manual measurements. Drone mapping not only delivers data on roof planes, slopes, and areas, you also get a detailed point cloud that captures the entire roof high resolution detail.

This generally applies to either gathering data for residential and commercial sites. All data that’s gathered can be shared in a variety of export formats.

Prepare Now For The Retirement Years

No one relishes the thought of this, but as we get older and well into our retirement years, we might need to start thinking about ways to adjust our home to be more convenient to use in the future. Maybe you’re thinking what do we mean by this? As we all know, advancing age is very often accompanied by various health issues, limited mobility being one of them. For some, with retirement, might come to a more limited income. What are some of the things that can be done ahead of time to prepare for these possibilities?

If you have been thinking about doing some home improvements, you might also want to think about incorporating features that would be easy to use for anyone who has limited mobility. What types of features could be included?

Are you considering re-doing the flooring in the near future? Perhaps you could consider installing slip resistant flooring or low-density carpet.

There are other additions you could make that would make life easier such as installing easy to clean surfaces, intercoms or video phones, even a central vacuum system could prove very convenient. You also may want to consider installing better lighting in areas like closets. If you are planning to redo the closet, think about adding adjustable shelving and hanging rods, also make adjustments so that the closet door is easy to open.

These are some of the simpler things to do that in the long term could help someone who is getting older to be able to stay in their much-loved home for longer. There are many more things that can be done and these will be discussed in future articles.

If you have any questions, please contact us.


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