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Jim Connors: Hi! I'm Jim Connors with Rheem Manufacturing Company. I'm showing you how to make an existing water heater more energy-efficient. Now, I'm going to show you how to drain your water heater.

A water heater's tank can act as a settling basin for solids, normally suspended in the water. It's not uncommon for hard water deposits to accumulate in the bottom of the tank. This scale accumulation can also coat the gas thermostat or electric heating elements and decrease the efficiency of the water heater and shorten the overall life.

Consult your owner's manual for proper procedures for eliminating the scale buildup. The most effective way is to drain a few gallons of water from the bottom of the water heater periodically. In areas with a poor quality, it maybe necessary to do this several times per year. Shut off the incoming water supply and the gas or the electricity to the water heater. Attach a hose to the drain valve located at the bottom. Run the hose to a location outside the home.

Remember, the water maybe hot, so you use caution and keep the hose off the lawn and away from children. Open the drain valve and release a few gallons of water. Close the drain valve and open up the incoming water supply water valve to refill the water heater. Remember to leave the tap open as the water heater refills to get any air out of your system. Once the tank is full again, turn on the gas or electricity. Performed regularly, this maybe the best way to maintain the water heater.

Those are some tips on saving energy by draining the water heater. Next, I'll talk about what to do with your water heater while you're away on vacation.