Maintaining Your Hot Water Tank Will Keep You From Cold Showers
Many of the calls we receive here at Floors to Ceiling Restoration are remodels as a result of water damage from leaking or flooding hot water tanks. These leaks and floods can be significant for several reasons – hot water tanks are often located in closets, attics, or on second floors and flowing water can damage everything around or beneath their location. Also, water tanks are set to fill up as water goes out. This means there is a continual flow of water into your tank as water is going out of your tank – resulting an even bigger mess to clean up. These six tips from FTCR will keep you in hot water – when and where you want it – and keep the rest of your house dry.
- Know where your water heater is located
You should know where your hot water tank is located and it should be easily accessible. Many times, tanks are located in garages or attics-and can be blocked by vehicles, bicycles, holiday decorations, etc. Storing items in front of your tank can be dangerous – especially in the event of a fire or flood.
- Know what type of water heater you have
It is important to know whether your water heater is natural gas, electric, or propane, and whether or not it’s a tank or a tankless water heater. Be sure to write down the manufacturer, model number, and serial number of your water heater or be able to locate that information on the tank. Make sure to note the age and gallon capacity of the tank. This is important information to know for warranty purposes. Plumbers or repair professionals will also need this information.
- Know how to turn off the water
Before you face a leak or flood, you should know how to shut off both water and power (or gas/propane) to the water heater. This is critical in the event of an emergency and can prevent dangerous situations. Locate the gas valve or power switch (usually near the bottom of unit) so you can turn it off quickly in an emergency.
The water shut-off for the unit is typically located above your tank on the cold side piping.
Also, be sure to know where your main water or gas shut off valves is for your home and what breaker your water heater uses for quick shut off in emergencies.
- Drain or flush your water heater
It is also a good idea to drain your hot water tank at least once a year. First, turn off the water to the tank. Use either a 5-gallon bucket or a garden hose to drain a few gallons out of your water heater, and run it to a place where the hot water will not cause damage. Do not let it run on to your landscaping, as hot water can kill plants.
If there is a lot of debris or sediment evident when draining, experts recommend you make a full flush of the tank. Lower the temperature of the tank, and completely drain the unit using a 5-gallon bucket or garden hose. Again, do not let it run on to your landscaping or anything else that can be damaged by hot water. Turn water back on and allow the water to flush out any lingering debris for a few minutes.
When complete and tank is refiled, turn the thermostat back up to your desired temperature.
Wondering if you have a leak? Check out our post on The Subtle Signs of Leaking Water.
Floors To Ceiling Restoration is a Dallas, Texas property damage restoration company specializing in WATER, FIRE, and STORMdamage repair. We restore, rebuild, and remodel residential and commercial properties throughout the Dallas area. Our mitigation and rebuild services include water and sewage remove, structural drying and restoration, crawl space clean up, and much more!