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Water Heater Tips from Mr. Rooter

Your Local, Expert Olympia Plumbing Company

Monday, October 13, 2014 - 11:21am

As the summer weather comes to an end and outdoor activities make way for indoor activities, this is a time to re-connect with family, and spend quality time with loved ones. However, if you have to travel away from home to do this, it is important that you take steps to make sure that your home is protected while you are away, ensuring that you won’t come home to an unexpected inconveniences or costly damages. One important step that you should take is to prepare your water heater. With just a few simple steps you can make sure that your water heater does not malfunction while you are away.

  1. If you water heater is electric, unplug it from the wall. If it is gas, turn the gas off. When turning the gas off to your water heater, make sure that the pilot light has gone out to confirm that the gas is truly off. At the bottom of the water heater is a control box, turn the knob to the OFF position.
  2. Turn the water off to the water heater. The shut off valve may be located either inside or outside of the house. Follow the water line from the back of the water heater to locate the shut-off valve and turn it clockwise until it does not turn anymore.
  3. Locate the drain at the bottom of the tank. This drain should be threaded so that a water hose can connect. This allows you to screw a water hose onto the drain, and divert the water to an outside location or indoor basin. If your water heater drain is not threaded, you will need to use a bucket.
  4. Open the air vent at the top of the tank by flipping the lever upright. Then turn the water heater drain handle in a counter-clockwise motion until it is all the way open. Your water heater can take up to 30 minutes to fully drain.
  5. Turn all of the faucets in the house on and leave them on. Use pipe wrap insulation to cover all of the pipes leading into and out of the water heater. Wrap your water heater tank with a blanket.

Coming home from a relaxing and joyful visit with loved ones to a broken water heater could be devastating and expensive. Take these few simple steps to ensure that your water heater will be protected while you are gone and easily restored when you get home. If you have any questions or need more guidance about winterizing your water heater, contact Mr. Rooter of Olympia.

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