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How to Clean Your Hot Water Tank

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A little bit of maintenance can go a long way for your hot water heater. Annually flushing and cleaning out your tank can eliminate sediment buildup, maximize heating capacity, and improve energy efficiency. And the best part? You don’t need any professional tools or products!

According to Green Living Ideas, it’s possible to clean out sediment from your water heater using nothing more than plain old vinegar. Here’s how:

  1. Disconnect the power to your hot water tank. This is as easy as flipping the switch on your circuit box.
  2. Turn on the hot water on one of the faucets in your home. This will help prevent a vacuum.
  3. Turn off your cold water supply. Turn the shut-off valve located near the top of your water tank.
  4. Drain about one-third of the water from your hot water tank. Attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the heater. Place the other end of the hose in a bucket or outdoors, and open the drain valve.
  5. Locate and remove the anode rod. This rod is located on the top of the tank, recessed into the lid. Removing this rod will require a socket wrench.
  6. Pour vinegar into the tank. Add 1-3 gallons. Use a funnel if necessary.
  7. Replace the anode rod and add water. Turn the cold water supply back on and let it run for 5-10 minutes. This will help circulate the vinegar.
  8. Disconnect the water and let it sit. For best results, the water/vinegar solution should sit for at least 6 hours.
  9. Completely drain the tank. Again, use a hose to drain water from the tank, this time letting it empty completely.
  10. Refill and repower. Close the drain valve, turn on the water and power supplies, and you are good to go!

If you are uncomfortable performing any of these steps on your hot water heater, professional help is available from the experts at Patterson Plumbing. As Colorado’s most trusted plumber, you can depend on us for all of your water heater repair and maintenance needs. Contact us online to get started, or call (719) 544-4922.

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