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Downs Blog

January 2014

How to Flush a Water Heater

Flushing a water heater is a simple, but effective maintenance task that will extend the life of your Water Heater, and also increase it’s operating efficiency.  As the years pass, Sediment gets trapped in your Water Heater, which over time can build up and eventually prevent the drain valve from working.  Also, Iron, Magnesium and Calcium can build up on the bottom of the water heater, which will discolor, or rust your hot water taps.How to Flush Your Water Heater

1.  Turn off the Power (if the tank is electric), or set the Gas to the lowest setting, or Pilot if you have a Gas Water Heater.

2. Turn of the Cold Water Supply to the heater, which is usually at the top of the Water Heater.

3.  Attach your garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the Water Heater.

4.  Open the Hot Water Faucets in the house, to let the tank drain quicker.

5.  Open the drain valve on the Water Heater and let it drain completely.  This could take some time as the drain may be slowed by sediment.  Also, be careful when opening the drain that you don’t use too much force, and break the valve.

6.  After the Water Heater has completely drained, close the drain valve, and open the Cold Water Supply.  Fill the Water Heater about half way, and then close the Cold Water Supply.  Repeat Step 5 again.  If the water coming out of the Drain Host is clear, you can stop.  If not, repeat this step again.

7.  Once the Water draining out of the Water Heater is clear, you can  close the Drain Valve, and open the Cold Water Valve to let the Water Heater Fill up.

8.  Open up all of the Hot Water Faucets in the house to let any air out of the system.

9.  Turn the electric back on to the Water Heater, if it’s electric, or turn up the gas to the original position if you have a gas Water Heater.That’s it, you’re done!  These simple steps have added years to your Water Heater and increased it’s efficiency.  If any of these tips of steps are above your DIY comfort level, please call the professional plumbers at J. Downs Plumbing.

Winter Plumbing Tips:

Taking a little time now to properly get your plumbing ready for winter can you save you a lot of money during winter.  The winter months are especially hard on plumbing.  Pipes can freeze and burst, heat can be lost, and the cold weather makes your plumbing systems work harder.  Here are a few tips to get your plumbing ready for winter.  If you’re not comfortable doing any of this work yourself, please call our professional plumbers at:609-815-5144 

Winter Plumbing Tips:

1.  Insulate your Hot Water Heater.  Using a Hot Water Heater blanket is a great way to insulate your Hot Water Heater. Doing this will cut down on your energy consumption, leading to lower energy bills, and will extend the life of your Hot Water Heater, because it doesn’t have to work as hard.

2.  Insulate your Water Pipes.  Most homes, especially in the South East are built on crawl spaces, which means a lot of water pipes run through the crawl space, and are subject to freezing in the winter.  Simply insulating the pipes will reduce this risk, and also keep your energy costs down.

3.  Turn off Water going to your outside Faucets, and remove hoses.  Putting an insulator on the spigot also helps.

4.  Perform Water Heater Maintenance.  Performing Water Heater Maintenance is a simple and cost effective way to extend the life of your water heater.  Having this done by a professional plumber, like J. Downs Plumbing  , will also give our professionals the opportunity to check your system, and make sure it’s ready to survive the winter.  

5.  Purge the water from your sprinkler system.  Having air blown to purge water from your sprinkler system, will prevent costly repairs due to a frozen system.

6.  Learn where your main water shutoff valve is.  This will let you empty the pipes if you are away on vacation, so you won’t come home to frozen, or busted water pipes.While some individuals might imagine they don’t need help repairing things around the home, there are occasions when hiring a professional plumber can’t be avoided. So to make your life easier, build a relationship with a good plumbing company, knowledgeable to assist you when problems occur. Below are a few key times when you should hire an expert Plumbing Company, like J. Downs Plumbing.

First sign of problems

Is your toilet flushing at a slower rate than normal? Do you have a water line that leaks water? Don’t let a small issue turn into a much larger problem. Contact your plumbing company the moment you notice something is wrong. That way, he can pinpoint the problem and do what’s essential to repair it in a timely manner. It’s always cheaper to fix a small issue, before it turns into a much larger problem.
 
An issue is only temporarily fixed

A temporary fix may turn into a disaster if you continue to ignore it. You may potentially have a pipe burst or a clogged drain over flow and you will be in for an even bigger mess than you imagined. Instead of trying to put a band-aid on the situation, call a plumbing expert, 
fast, to ensure you don’t wind up dealing with more than you can handle.

You are planning a remodel

Redoing your home may be lots of fun, and will add value to your most precious asset. But, remodeling a bathroom without consulting a Professional Plumber could mean you’re sure to run into a number of problems you never would have expected. Give J. Downs Plumbing a call to help in your remodel, and let us add value to your home.

You don’t have the time or skill:

Let’s face it, typically you simply don’t the time or skill to tackle a plumbing job. Although it may be possible for you to handle the job, plumbing work can get extremely messy. So make your life easier, hire a professional plumber, so you can get on with the more enjoyable things in your life.