The water heater is one of those plumbing appliances we have in our home that we never really think of until there's a problem. As long as it keeps doing its job, giving us plenty of hot water for showers, laundry and the dishes, we figure everything is going fine. If our energy bills go up, we figure it's the gas or electric companies increasing their prices, not our water heater using more and more energy to heat our water.
In reality, your home's water heater endures more wear and tear than almost any other plumbing appliance in your home. "How's that?" you ask. It's because it's running all the time. Day and night the metal inside your water heater's tank soaks in a hot water bath that, unless you filter your home's water, comes loaded with minerals, sediment and other chemical compounds that accelerate metal corrosion. Chemicals that settle on the interior of the water heater's tank in a thick coating of slimy mud and rust that reduces your heater's efficiency and eats away the metal until it catastrophically fails all over your hardwood floors and carpet.
Compared to many other household chores, water heater maintenance is really pretty easy, and yet a surprising number of people don't know how to do it. By simply flushing the tank of sediment once every 6 months, a homeowner can add years of life to their water heater.
To flush your heater's hot water tank, you will need:
You can use a regular garden hose. However, you may want to consider purchasing a dedicated hose that you can leave attached to the water heater and simply unroll every time you drain it. In addition to saving you the trouble of lugging a hose into your home every six months, this will also reduce the wear on the drain valve's threads. Most modern heaters have nylon (plastic) spigots for their drain. If your hose has metal threads, repeatedly taking it on and off will eventually strip the plastic threads and you'll be calling a plumber to come replace them long before you need to replace the unit.
Step 1 - Cut the power to your water heater
Go to your electrical service panel. Locate and turn off the breaker for your hot water heater. If you don't, your heater will keep running, trying to heat water as you flush it down the drain. Just don't forget to turn it back on when you're done.
Step 2 - Locate the water heater's drain
The drain for your water heater will be near the bottom of the tank and should look like a garden hose spigot.
Step 3 - Attach the hose to the water heater
Be sure to screw the hose all the way on to the drain. The water coming out will be full of sand and rust and it will be under pressure. If the hose comes loose, you'll have one huge mess to clean up so, if necessary, use pliers to tighten it all the way on the bib. By the same token, don't over tighten or you'll be calling your plumber to replace the drain spigot long before you'll need a new heater.
Step 4 - Stick the hose out the window
...or out the door or in a slop sink. Just be sure that the water you drain out of your heater doesn't end up creating a mess somewhere else. Remember, you are removing months if not years of sediment and minerals. This is not the kind of stuff you want in your lawn. It will also be coming out of the hose under full pressure, so be sure to anchor it down and take steps to prevent splashing.
Step 5 - Open the drain
To open the drain valve on Whirlpool water heaters, like this one, you'll need a screwdriver. Other brands may have handles on their valves or require a different tool. Open the drain valve slowly until you've got a full flow.
Step 6 - Let it drain
Depending on how long you've waited to flush your system, you may need to let your water heater drain for anywhere from five to twenty minutes. The water may be brownish and you will see flakes of scale, sand and little stones made up of mineral deposits. You'll know you're done when the water runs clear. If you run out of time before the water is 100% clear, don't worry. The sediment will resettle at the bottom of the tank and your hot water will be as clean as it was, just come back in a month or two and drain the water heater again.
Step 7 - Close the valve and put away your hose
I figure this step doesn't need a lot of clarification.
Step 8 - Turn your water heater back on
As I said in the beginning, don't forget this step, or your shower in the morning will be a lot colder than you'd prefer. While most of the water you drained out of the heater's tank came straight from the supply line at the bottom, a good portion of the hot water that was in the top of the tank got flushed out too. Depending on the size and type of heater you have, it will probably take an hour or two for the hot water to return to normal temperature.
Regularly Flushing Your Water Heater Can Save You Thousands
Ask ten plumbers how long the average water heater will last and you'll get ten different answers. Part of the reason for that is water mineral and sediment content is entirely dependent on where you live and how you get your water. (The EPA requires municipalities to provide annual reports to residents. Click here to find the report for your area.) However, the answers will likely fall within a certain range. In a home with no water filtration or softening, and with no regular flushing of sediment, most plumbers would expect a water heater to last between five to seven years.
With regular flushing, most plumbers would agree, you can easily extend the life of a water heater up to eight to twelve years. Add whole house water filtration to the equation, and your water heater could last up to 15 years.
For questions on flushing your water heater, contact the manufacturer or your local plumber.
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Vent Free Gas Heaters technology is still relatively new to many people and over the recent years have gained much popularity among many households. They are the preferred choice as compared with other conventional home heaters especially to people living in extremely cold countries. More people turned to ventless heaters as they have been proven to be more efficient and therefore more economical too since there is very little fuel wasted during the heating process.
These vent free gas heaters do not require any vent for the escaping air unlike other conventional heaters.The ventless heaters operate using oxygen and gas which are naturally found in the surrounding areas. They are therefore more efficient to use compared with the normal home heaters that do not have this vent free feature.
If you are still unsure just what efficiency means in a gas heater it is simply that almost all the gas gets converted into heat. This is only possible due to the new technology used to produce the gas mixing chambers and to give you the most efficient fuel burning. In the vent free heaters, there is no fuel wastage which also explains the good efficiency level. This also makes the environment clean and healthy besides saving you money on your electric and gas bills each month.
Vent free gas heaters are usually designed in three main types that are run in either electricity, gas or gel. If you are trying to buy one do not just go for the cheapest offers in town. You should instead consider how safe the heater is and you have to firstly check that the room size intended for use for your gas heater is big enough. Do refer to the specifications that are stated clearly by the heater manufacturer. The area of the room is important because you do not wish to encounter any carbon monoxide poisoning in a small room. In fact you should think about installing an oxygen depletion sensor to ensure that you do not have any such health problems.
There are many different kinds of outdoor patio and deck heaters. One is the mounted patio heater, hanging patio heaters, floor and table top models. While floor and table models are great if you are constantly moving around outside, nothing beats a good mounted or hanging heater. They can provide heat in a radius of twenty feet or more, and have many advantages.
A mounted patio heater or hanging patio heaters can extend your outside time through the early or even late part of the fall, as well as in the Winter. You can sit outside, enjoy the stars, have some company over, or even as a cheap romantic escape. They come in a variety of sizes, as well as heating sources. Two of the most common sources are electric or gas fired heaters. Electric heaters have come a long way, and are fully rated for outdoor usage. Gas models have attachments for a small propane cylinder, or have a hose for the larger gas grill tanks. They can be mounted on any smooth flat surface, or a post, and the hanging models can be positioned right over your outdoor table, mounted directly to the base of your umbrella stand.
Other advantages of a mounted patio heater or hanging patio heaters is that they are safer to use than floor or portable models, which is a big consideration when you have kids or guests. They won't get knocked over, and don't take up any floor space. Even if you have a large area, just one or two mounted on a wall or post can provide more than enough heat to allow you to party into the wee hours of the night comfortably.
There are many different mounted patio heater models to choose from. One of them is the Black Steel Wall Mounted Infrared Outdoor Heater. This heater is electric, and puts out 1500 watts of infrared power. It operates at a whopping 90 percent efficiency, and runs on standard household current. The heat dimensions are just 22" long, by 7.5" wide, by 4.5" deep, so it can be easily mounted to just about any surface. Most of all, these heaters don't produce any emissions, so they are considered environmentally friendly. This particular model costs just under $200. You can buy these standard or for a little extra can have a glass cover for the heating element.
When it comes to hanging patio heaters, there are also many models to choose from. One of them is the Umbrella Halogen Outdoor Heater. This is the latest in outdoor heating design, with three 500 watt Halogen heaters that mount directly to an umbrella pole. The heads face down, and having them mounted under your table umbrella helps focus the heat more. This model runs on standard household current as well. This particular model can be purchases for just under $150.
It is important that when you are in the market for a mounted patio heater or hanging patio heaters that you shop around carefully. You want to find one that has to most features, at a price that is right for you. For the best prices as well as selection, your best bet is to shop online. Find a retailer that offers the lowest prices, as well as free shipping.
Whether it's in the riverside or mountainside, an urban or rural area, a residence or a commercial space, chilly conditions will always have the likelihood to present. No one can escape cold temperatures whenever it happens in the outdoors. While you can always run inside and experience the comfort brought on by protecting walls and roofs, you should know it's not all the time you will be indoors.
There are plenty of occasions that happen outside. There are beach weddings, tailgate parties and BBQ get-togethers that can only be held in the open spaces. And with all the fun and excitement felt in these events, it comes as no surprise when these parties and gatherings will extend well into the night. In the commercial sense, there are an overflowing set of customers waiting outside that needs to be seated in total comfort and you simply can't let go of them for they can bring that much needed profit. Moreover, there are simply too many breath-taking views that are hard to resist in the outdoors. There's the magnificent mountain range, the twinkling stars or the sparkling skyline in the night.
It is thus important that you get a piece of equipment that will help you feel comfortable and warm outside. To combat the cold, what you need is a great set of patio heaters. There are plenty of these available in the market and a little knowledge about them will greatly help you in making the right investment.
Patio heaters come in so many types. You can group them based on their fuel sources and models. As far the energy source is concerned, you can get them in units powered by natural gas, propane gas or electricity. As for the model types, there are two categories - the permanent and the portable ones. Permanent units can be found mounted securely in walls and in the ceiling. Since they are often run by natural gas and electricity, they are perfect for commercial establishments. Portable ones can either be table-top or free-standing models. They get their supply from propane tank cylinders and are thus great for home use as well as for camping, hiking and fishing trips.
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