How Often Should You Drain Your Water Heater
It’s generally a good idea to drain your water heater at least once a year, according to both BobVila.com and The Family Handyman. If you live in an area with hard water, though, Angie’s List says you may need to drain it more frequently. Remember, always check your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends.
Water heaters are typically a fairly low maintenance appliance, but remember to drain yours regularly. This may help keep it running efficiently and the hot water flowing.
This article highlights examples of precautions you can consider to help maintain your personal property. Please recognize that a particular precaution may not be appropriate or effective in every circumstance and that taking preventive measures cannot guarantee any outcome. We encourage you to use your own good judgment about what’s appropriate and always consider safety.
Know Exactly How To Shut Off Your Water Heater When It Starts Acting Up
One of the most frequent questions we get from customers at Horizon Services is How do I turn off my water heater? This is something EVERY homeowner should know how to perform. If your water heater is overheating, making strange noises or performing unusually, its extremely important that you do not allow it to run.
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The longer your water heater continues running, the worse the problem could get and the more likely that you are going to have leakage, flooding or worse. Even if you have called a plumbing contractor to come look at the problem, it is still better if you can turn off the hot water heater before the technician arrives to look at your appliance.
Five: Begin Draining The Water Heaters Tank
After attaching your hose to the spigot, turn the lever above it to open the valve. Make sure the bucket is secure on the floor, so it doesnt fall over as the water goes into it. Look at the water coming out. Is it mostly clear? If so, thats a good sign. It means theres not much sediment lingering in your water heaters tank. However, if you see dark water with lots of sediment, your water heater may be having issues. If this is the case, its best to get the condition of your water heater evaluated by a qualified plumber. After draining all of the water out of your water heater tank, shut off the valve.
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Perform A Quick Flush
Before you shut off the water, connect a garden hose to the drain valve and try and flush the water heater tank a bit while the water pressure is on. To do this, open the drain valve for a few seconds and then close it again. The pressure will blow out any sediment stuck in the valve and help the tank drain faster. If quite a bit of sediment comes out, you can repeat this a couple of times.
Be sure that you’ve run your garden hose to either an exterior location or into your bucket to catch the water and sediment that will be released.
The Spruce / Kevin Norris
What Does The Pilot Light Do
The pilot light of your gas hot water heater is a tiny, continuously burning flame that serves to start the burner of the appliance. To put it another way, if the pilot light goes out, the unit will be unable to heat water. It is possible for a pilot light to be extinguished for a variety of causes, including something as simple as a short stoppage in the gas line or an air bubble in the gas line. Warning: If you smell gas at any stage throughout the process, leave the area immediately and contact your energy supplier as soon as possible.
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Why Do Electric Water Heaters Turn Off
There are a few reasons your electric water heater might turn off.
First, if you have a dial or switch on your unit, it may have accidentally been turned to the Off position.
Second, if you have an older model water heater, the pilot light could have burned out.
Finally, if you have a newer model water heater with an electronic control panel, the power supply to the unit may have been interrupted. If this is the case, check your circuit breaker or fuse box to see if a switch has been tripped or a fuse has blown.
When youve determined the cause of the issue, you can take steps to prevent it from happening again in the future.
Four Turn The Gas Valve To On
If you were able to just flip your gas valve to the Pilot position, you would not have needed to use the pilot light at all. Instead, you should be able to activate the gas by turning the gas valve to the ON position. At this point, the water heater should begin to heat the water in the tank. As a result, the burner should be turned on. You will need to follow the whole pilot lighting instructions if, for some reason, it does not work properly. For further details, see the page on How to ignite pilot lights.
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Switch The Breaker On
To turn on your electric water heater, you first have to locate the breaker that controls your electric water heater and flip the switch to the on side.
If your circuit breaker is unlabeled, you must first check your water tank to see the amp rating. It is usually written or labeled in your water tank. Once you have found this, find the breaker switch with the amp rating that matches your water tank.
Twelve Precautions To Take When Turning On Your Water Heater
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Water Heater Vacation Mode: What Is It
In your water heater system, there is an option called vacation mode that allows you to run your boiler at lower temperatures than usual, therefore conserving energy. In most cases, manufacturers set vacation mode at 50° F, which is far lower than the temperature required to heat your house, but high enough to keep any water from freezing while youre gone. Certain systems will not require you to make any changes to the manufacturers settings. It is possible to regulate the temperature of the water by turning a dial.
How To Know If My Electric Water Heater Is Working
Most water heaters today donât make much noise and donât have an indicator button, so you may not get a clear indication that the unit has power at first.
If you arenât 100% sure if you actually turned the water heater on, the first step is to give it some time.
After youâve waited about an hour, there are a number of things to look for. You know thereâs still a problem if:
- Water isnât getting hot
- No water at all
- Weird noises/smells
If you happen to have one available, you may consider using a voltage tester if you want a definite answer right away.
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How To Relight A Gas Water Heater Pilot Light
The problem is often that the pilot light has gone out. This can be caused by the gas supply being interrupted, the gas valve being turned off, or a gust of wind blowing out the pilot flame. Look for a very small flamethe pilot lightthrough the viewing window at the bottom of the water heater. If you dont see a pilot light, try relighting the pilot. Instructions are almost always posted on the water heater, but these generic directions work for most water heaters:
- 1. Turn off the water heaters gas shut-off valve.
- 2. Wait 5 minutes for gas to clear from the water heater.
- 3. Open the access cover to the pilot light .
- 4. Turn the gas valve to Pilot.
- 5. Push down the knob to start the flow of gas to the pilot. Continue holding it down.
- 6. Use a long lighter to reach into the access and light the pilot. Keep holding the button down.
- 7. After holding down the knob or button for about one minute, slowly release it. Make sure the pilot flame stays lit.
- 8. Turn the water heaters gas valve to On. When you do this, you may hear the burner ignite.
- 9. Secure the access cover back in place.
To relight the pilot light of a water heater like the one shown in the above video:
If the Water Heater Pilot Light Wont Light
Why Your Water Heater Pilot Light Keeps Going Out And How To Fix It
With a modern water heater there are usually two parts that will cause the pilot light to keep going out, the pilot light orifice and the thermocouple. A modern water heater has a thermocouple that will shut the gas valve if the pilot light goes out or if it doesnt burn properly. A faulty thermocouple will continually shut down the gas valve which will keep shutting off the pilot light. A dirty or clogged pilot light orifice can cause the pilot light not to be powerful enough to get the thermocouple hot enough to keep the gas valve open. Older models could have also clogged or dirty pilot light orifices that can cause the pilot light not to stay lit as well. We wont tell you how to fix this issue as this isnt a project for someone with inexperience and should only be cleaned or repaired by experienced technicians.
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You Can Now Let Santee Cooper Control Your Thermostat Water Heater During Peak Events
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. Santee Cooper customers can enroll in a new program that would allow the electric company to turn their thermostats and electric water heaters on and off briefly during peak electricity events.
The program, called SmartRewards, gives customers up to $100 in bill credits the first year and up to $50 in credits for subsequent years.
SmartRewards is a demand response program that enables us to partner with you our customers to maintain reliability during periods of high demand or system constraints, manage electricity costs, and reduce carbon emissions, according to the Santee Cooper website.
Customers who sign up for the program will have a small switch installed near their central HVAC controls and/or their electric water heater, which would allow Santee Cooper to cycle the equipment periodically off and on for short durations during a period of no more than four hours to temporarily reduce demand.
Customers who sign up for central HVAC and electric water heater switches will receive a $50 bill credit after the switch is installed and another $50 annual bill credit. Those who only add a switch for an electric water heater will earn a $20 credit when the switch is installed and a $15 annual credit. For central HVAC, the bill credit is $30 upon installation and $25 annually.
Customers who would like to enroll in the program can visit the Santee Cooper website for more information.
What Precautions Do I Need To Follow
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How To Turn Your Water Heater Temperature Down
There is nothing worse than being burned- by hot water in your shower of course. After a long day of work, you want a nice hot shower. However, too hot can be just as much of a problem as too cold. If you noticed that the slightest adjustment to the water nozzles in your bathtub can send your shower from lukewarm to molten lava, you may need to turn down the temperature on your water heater. Not only is water thats too hot incredibly unpleasant, but it can also be dangerous. If this is a problem youre experiencing, youll want to take care of it ASAP. Follow the steps below to learn how:
How Do I Turn My Water Heater On
Has your water run cold? Chances are your water heater has turned off. Your water heater can shut off for a variety of reasons, ranging from minor electrical or gas issues to full system failure. If you have a gas water heater with a pilot light, something as simple as a gust of wind can extinguish the flame. In any case, the first thing you want to do before you pick up the phone and call a technician is to try to turn your water heater back on.
Unless your water heater needs to be repaired or replaced, you should be able to get it back in working order yourself. Heres how to get your gas or electric water heater up and running again.
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How To Turn Up Your Water Heater
You can adjust hot water heater settings to get more hot water if you are unhappy with the recommended temperature. Hot water heater settings are easy to adjust, although electric heaters will require a screwdriver and possibly a small wrench or socket.
Keep in mind that the thermostat is factory preset to a recommended temperature and changing the setting may increase the potential for serious burns.
Turning On An Electric Hot Water Heater
The following are the procedures to take while attempting to start a gas hot water heater, with explanations to follow: Close any faucets or valves that are currently open. Then start by putting on the cold water faucet. Take the lock out tag out of the breaker box and discard it. Disconnect the hot water heater from the main circuit breaker.
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No Hot Water Gas Water Heater
If a gas water heater isnt heating, a common problem is usually that the pilot light has gone out. This may be caused by the gas valve, the natural gas supply, ormore likelythe thermocouple located next to the pilot light.
The following training video for water heater service people is excellent for gas water heater troubleshooting. Skip forward to the 11:15 mark in the video if you want to jump to dealing with no hot water.
Gas Water Heater Troubleshooting Video
First, look inside the inspection window at the bottom of the water heater tank for a small flame: the pilot light. In some cases, this may look like a small LED light. In fact, it may be so small that youll need to dim the room lights to see it.
If the pilot light is out, follow the instructions posted on the water heater or the details below here to relight the pilot light.
The first thing to check on a propane water heater is the gas level in the propane tank outside. If its low, have it refilled.
In the following video, you can see that the most frequent cause of no hot water in a gas water heater is that the pilot light has gone out. This can happen if the natural gas supply is interrupted, the gas valve is turned off, or a gust of wind blows out the pilot light.