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A water heater

The Big Myth About Your Water Heater

Water heaters are a most under appreciated appliance. They cook hot water 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for 6 to 8 years. The other plumbing fixtures and faucets in your house only perform their function when you use them. If you use them sparingly they will take much longer to wear out. Not so the trusty water heater. 6 to 8 years is all you get.

Many people think, or have been told that they will get a longer life span from their heater if they flush it out once a year or so….

Not true. It may heat a bit more efficiently after you do it but the tank will still only last 6 to 8 years.

Also, the only way to really get bad stuff out of the heater is if you a have a full port drain valve on the bottom. Unfortunately water heater manufacturers use  cheap, little hose bib type valves, like your outside faucet, These valves are bib screw and washer type valves which do not allow good, full force flushing action. If the heater is 4 or five years old and the valve has not been open, many times you cannot even get water through them. I have had to use coat hangers and other MacGyver foolishness to get water out of them, or drill a hole in the bottom of the tank.

It can be quite vexing at times.

Many weekend plumber dudes start draining their heater, a little brown stuff comes out, and then the water becomes more clear and then they proudly announce to their wives that they have taken care of the heater, no need to hire that high priced plumber. Actually the water is just bypassing the rust and sludge because it is not a full port valve.

The moral of this story is if you want to flush your heater out you must have your plumber install a full port, 1/4 turn ball valve with a hose fitting built on to it. They make them for this purpose.  We put them on boilers and other equipment. They cost about $25, plus whatever your plumber charges for his time.

Or you can put your feet up in front of your pulse pounding home theater system during your precious free time like I do. The $2 dollars a month in increased efficiency that flushing your heater will achieve will take a while to offset the $200 the plumber will charge to perform this task.

Got the picture?

Live your life. Don’t worry about the heater until your open the faucet and no hot water comes out.

Next week we will discuss doing relatively  inexpensive plumbing applications and practices that will prevent you from coming home from a hard days work or vacation and finding your house flooded out and your life destroyed.

I have anecdotes on this subject that are real doozies. I would like to hear from you. Give us a call today, 702 460-8682

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