Tip & How-To about Heating & Cooling

How to maintain a Water Heater

A water heater can last you many years if you take proper care of it. Every few months, you should check your water heater for leaks and flush it out to avoid buildup of sediment inside the tank.

Before draining and flushing your water heater, turn off the gas or electrical power and let the water cool down a little. Close the incoming water valve, and attach a hose to the drain valve to run the water into a large bucket, or to a drain or the outdoors.
Open the drain valve, and turn on one hot water faucet somewhere in the house to let in air. When all the water has drained from the water heater, turn the cold water valve on and off until the water from the drain runs clear. Then close the drain valve and the hot water faucet, open the cold water valve, and turn the water back on.
This is also a good time to test the temperature-pressure relief valve, which keeps pressure in the boiler from building up too much. Lift or lower its handle. Water should drain from the overflow pipe. If it does not, call in a repair professional as this could result in a potentially dangerous situation.

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1 Answer

After plumber flushed out my gas water heater the valve where he connected flush hose leaks. 1st only a few drops, but now a dinner plate size puddle. It never leaked before this. I had the flush done


Put a brass garden hose cap over the dripping drain valve.
Call the plumber.
Absolutely the plumber should take care of this for you since the cap has to be tightened pretty tight.

See illustration:
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/drain-with-cap-500.jpg
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-water-heater-drain-valve.html

Comment back and let me know what happens.

Oct 01, 2012 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

I have a 40 gallon rheem water heater for a mobil home that is leaking from the top.


If water heater is leaking, then open following 2 links to avoid tank rupture and troubleshoot leak:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Emergency-steps-for-leaking-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-is-leaking.html

Open following link if you want to install your own gas water heater:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html

40 gallon electric heater at Lowes costs 207, and is easy do-it-yourself using same basic information shown in link above for installing gas heater, except less work.

To have gas water heater installed, can run $2-300 for installation plus cost of heater.
40 gallon natural gas water heater at Lowes starts at $300+, and tanks with longer warranty cost more and last longer.
Trailers require specific type of gas water heater, so be sure to request correct model.

If you maintain the tank: keep chemicals out of same room as gas water heater, attach bare copper ground wire between hot and cold pipes, flush tank each 6 months, clean gas burner each year as shown in manual, read the manual entirely for specific information about your model, and inspect/replace anode rod every 2-3 years then basic 6-year tank can last much longer.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html

Apr 08, 2011 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

water leaking observed from the bottom of the tank. What's the problem? Should I replace the old 21V40-2 unit? if so, what kind of tank is ok to replace the present unit? What's the price and installation fee? Thanks.


If water heater is leaking, then open following 2 links to avoid tank rupture and troubleshoot leak:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Emergency-steps-for-leaking-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-is-leaking.html

Open following link if you want to install your own gas water heater:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html

To have gas water heater installed, can run $2-300 for installation plus cost of heater.
40 gallon natural gas water heater at Lowes starts at $300+, and tanks with longer warranty cost more and last longer.

If you maintain the tank: keep chemicals out of same room as water heater, attach bare copper ground wire between hot and cold pipes, flush tank each 6 months, clean burner each year as shown in manual, read the manual entirely for specific information about your model, and inspect/replace anode rod every 2-3 years then basic 6-year tank can last much longer.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html

Apr 07, 2011 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

Water is found leaking at the bottom of the tank, near the plastic cap, at the centre of the tank. What actually happens and how to resolve. The heater has been installed more than 5 years ago. From the given s/no, is the heater manufactured in year 2004. Please advise. Thanks alot


A) Calculate date of water heater manufacture from serial number located on side of tank:
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/WaterHeaterSerialNumberDecoder.pdf
Date of manufacture is not date of installation.
Warranty is usually from date of manufacture
Serial number also shows tank size in gallons, tank volts and watts, and whether tank has 1 or 2 elements.

B) Troubleshoot leaking water heater:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-at-bottom-of-water-heater.html
Several things can be looked at to see where leak is coming from.
Carefully go over tank pipes and valves to eliminate every suspect.
Final suspect: tank is rusted out.

C) If tank is rusted out, then tank needs to be replaced before it ruptures.
Ruptured tank can cause major damage and water runs until shut off.
To prevent rupture, turn off power to heater, turn off valve located above tank, open tub faucet for a moment to relieve pressure on tank.
Turn on heater only when needed until new tank is installed.
4500 Watt water heater produces 21 gallons hot water per hour.
Shower uses 6-9 gallons hot water. Bath uses 12-14 gallons hot water.

"It is possible to limp along with a failed water heater if the leak is slow and if you turn off power and water when not using hot water. That trick could buy time, possibly up to 3 months. With time, you can consider how to make the system do more for less as well as comparison shop, get competitive bids, etc"

D) Now you're home is safe from damage.
If tank is only 5 years old, it rusted out pretty quick.

There are three things you can do so next heater lasts longer.

1) Learn about anode rods, and inspect anode rod every 1-3 years.
Loosen anode rod before installing new tank so replacement is easier.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html

2) Attach electrical ground wire between hot and cold pipes to prevent stray current from reducing life of water heater
http://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html#straycurrent

3) Flush tank each 6 months to prevent sediment
http://waterheatertimer.org/Clean-sediment-out-of-water-heater.html#flushelectric

Dec 28, 2010 | Rheem 81VP6S/430126 Water Heater

1 Answer

We have a Rheemglas Standard Electric Water Heater 81V400 B and it's leaking water from the tank and also the hot water only lasts for a short period of time. I've been reading and have read that the water heaters should be flushed periodically. We have never flushed our water heater, could that be the cause of our problem?


if your water heater is leaking from the tank, and not around any fitting, then you will need to replace the heater.
you can flush the heater, once a year is always recommended, however once every 2 years is sufficient.

scale, and deposites inside the tank will cause erosion and eventually eat through the walls of the tank. not much you can do to prevent this. the steel in the new tanks just don't last like they ued to.

Sep 09, 2010 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

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