Your water heater is an excellent appliance to have, but regular cleaning is essential. This allows you to remove built-up mineral deposits, lime, calcium, and rust from the inside the heater. Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind if you plan to clean your water heater.
Don't: Attempt to clean it without disconnecting it
Before you start cleaning your water heater, make sure it is disconnected first. Preparation should always be your first step. Go to the fuse box or electrical panel to turn off either the breaker or the fuse, depending on the type of electrical system you have in your home. Also disconnect the water inlet pipe. Once that is disconnected, drain some water from the water heater. You can do this by attaching a water hose to the drain valve, then putting it in a nearby basin or bucket. Unscrew the water supply line to open the drain valve, then allow some water to empty from the water heater. Close the valve once you're done.
Do: Use the right cleaner
When cleaning a water heater, you need something that can remove the mineral deposits and buildup. The best type of cleaner is called a CLR cleaner, which stands for "calcium lime rust." This cleaner will break up deposits from calcium, iron oxide, and lime. Use about a half of a cap by pouring it into the water heater once the water has been drained. Watch to make sure the pipe doesn't overflow.
Don't: Rinse the cleaner right away
CLR cleaner takes several hours to work. You need to leave it in the water heater long enough to neutralize the mineral deposits and allow them to dissolve. You can test whether it's done by putting a plastic bag over the inlet pipe and seeing if it inflates. If it doesn't inflate, you should be good. Otherwise, you need to wait a little longer and check again.
Do: Rinse the soap thoroughly
Once you have placed the cleaning product inside the water heater, you will then need to rinse it out. Water should run through the water heater for several minutes. Soapy water should be seen exiting the faucet. Continue rinsing the heater until the water coming out of the faucet runs clear with no bubbles. You also need to turn on all your hot water faucets, which will help to flush air from the lines that may have entered during the cleaning process.
Call a plumber, such as Kendall Plumbing & Heating Company Inc, if you have any more questions about cleaning the water heater.