How to drain 10 year old A. O. Smith electric water heaters
Before starting the draining process, ensure your safety by following these precautions:
* Turn Off the Power: For electric water heaters, switch off the power supply at the circuit breaker or disconnect the unit from electricity. This is crucial to prevent any electrical accidents while working on the heater.
* Allow the Water to Cool: Draining hot water can be dangerous. To avoid scalding, let the water heater cool down for several hours or even overnight. Alternatively, you can use caution and protective gear when handling hot water.
* Gather Supplies: You'll need a few tools and materials for this task, including a garden hose, a flathead screwdriver or pliers, a bucket or a floor drain, and safety gloves and eye protection.
Step-by-Step Guide to Draining Your Water Heater:
1. Locate the Drain Valve: The drain valve is typically located near the bottom of the water heater. It's a brass or plastic valve with a hose bib thread. You may need to use a flathead screwdriver or pliers to open it. Be gentle to avoid damaging the valve.
2. Position a Bucket or Hose: Place a bucket or attach a garden hose to the drain valve. Ensure the other end of the hose is directed to a safe drainage area, like a floor drain or outside where the hot water won't cause any damage.
3. Open the Pressure Relief Valve: To allow air into the tank and facilitate draining, open the pressure relief valve at the top of the heater. Pull up on the lever or turn the valve counterclockwise. Be cautious as hot water or steam may be released. Keep your face and body clear.
4. Open the Drain Valve: Slowly turn the drain valve counterclockwise using the screwdriver or pliers. Start with a small opening to prevent a sudden rush of water. As the water flows out, observe its clarity. Initially, it may be cloudy due to sediment.
5. Monitor the Drainage: Allow the water to drain completely from the tank. You can speed up the process by opening a hot water tap in your house. This helps break the vacuum and allows air into the tank, facilitating faster drainage.
6. Flush the Tank: Once the tank is empty, you can flush it to remove more sediment. To do this, close the drain valve and turn on the cold water supply to the tank. Let it flow for a few minutes, then reopen the drain valve to remove any remaining sediment-laden water. Repeat this process until the water runs clear.
7. Close the Valves: Close the drain valve and the pressure relief valve once you are satisfied that the tank is free of sediment and debris.
8. Turn on the Power: After completing the draining and flushing process, turn the power supply back on at the circuit breaker.
9. Check for Leaks: Inspect all connections and valves for any signs of leaks. Tighten any loose connections if necessary.
Draining your A. O. Smith electric water heater should be performed annually to maintain its efficiency and extend its lifespan. By following these steps and taking safety precautions, you can ensure the process is done effectively and safely. Regular maintenance like this can help your water heater perform better and save energy, ultimately reducing your utility bills. If you're uncertain about any steps or if you encounter any issues during the process, it's advisable to consult a professional plumber for assistance.
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