Water Heater Maintenance and Flushing – Handyman Skill Builder

– Hey guys, I'm Wade of All Trade and today's episode of
Handyman Skill Builder, we're gonna be replacing a
anode rod in a gas water heater. (tools whirring) Okay, the first thing
we wanna do is turn off the unit 'cause we don't
want the burner firing while we're doing our
work, of course, especially if it's gonna be almost
empty or possibly even empty. Another thing you can do
actually is unplug it. So that's what we're gonna do. We're gonna unplug it. So while we're looking
at doing the anode rod, the other thing we wanna
do is clean out the tank. So at least every six months to a year you wanna attach a hose to this spigot, run it to a floor drain
and crack this open and let some water run
through, let it run through the hot water heater.

What that's gonna do is
clean out the sediment that's gonna be building up
in the bottom of this tank. So not only does it get
into your water supply, it also lessens the
efficiency of the burner 'cause if you can imagine
underneath all the water is this layer of sediment
which actually acts like an insulation layer, preventing
the heat from the burner to get into the water. So it definitely reduces your efficiency. Okay guys, please be careful
when you crack this line because this is hot water
that's gonna be coming out of here. If you wanna do it safely,
another way you can do this is once you've turned off
the unit, go upstairs, open a hot water tap and let it run until cold water comes out.

That way you're not gonna
be releasing hot water down at the bottom. Now, I'm gonna make sure I'm careful, so I'd rather not waste the water. But be careful when you crack this open, you could get burned. (water hissing) So you want to allow this to run for probably a good two to three minutes. Let all the sediment come out of the tank. It's working right now. So just leave it go for
about three minutes. Okay guys, after we're
done getting the sediment out of the bottom of the tank,
we need to drain the tank. So what we need to do
is turn off the water. This is the inlet side
of the hot water heater. This actually is a ball valve, but because it hasn't
been used in a while, the handle was giving me troubles. So that just kind of goes to show you, make sure you're exercising your valves probably every six months.

So if you're doing this on regular basis, you shouldn't run into
these type of problems. If you do, I might just
leave this valve as it is and turn off the main to the house, just to get this job done. And maybe look at replacing this valve in the near future here. So I'm gonna go ahead
and turn off the water. And then I'm gonna drain the tank using the same spigot at the bottom. We want to drain it down probably about half of the tank or so. So once I get the water turned off, I'm gonna turn this valve back on, let it drain and we'll
get right back to it. Once you've drained the
tank, now head around and look for a plug in the
top of the water heater. This one happens to be
labeled "anode" right on it. That may or may not have
a plastic cover on it, but you'll see a hole. Sometimes it'll be
covered with insulation.

Domestic work

So once you open it up, if you take it off and you
see insulation in here, clean it out. I actually did have spray
foam insulation around mine. I've since cleaned it off. But as you can see, there's
the plug at the bottom. So what we're gonna need to get this off as a one-and-one sixteenth socket or a 27 millimeter also works. So I'm just gonna use a 27 millimeter. Get it in there. I'm gonna put a big breaker bar on here. You could use an impact, although I don't like using an impact because some of the stuff that's corroded on the anode rod could drop
to the bottom of the tank and that would be bigger
chunks of material that likely wouldn't come out
the spigot on the other side.

So that's why I'm just gonna
use the regular breaker bar and socket to get this thing off. (tools clicking) Okay, so you might need
some needle-nose pliers to get in there and grab it. Look at that. Isn't that pretty looking? Well at least there's still some left, so that's a good sign. You never want this thing
to be completely gone.

If it's completely gone,
it'll look just like a little pin in the middle. So what you wanna do is
apply some Teflon tape to the threads, throw it back
in the hole, torque it down. You don't have to get
crazy on tightening it. Just make sure it's nice and snug. And then that's about it. (metal clanging) (tools clicking) If you want more helpful DIY
videos, click on the link in the end of this video.

(tools clicking) Now just go ahead, open
up all your valves, open up your valves, fill up the water heater. Make sure you check for leaks and if everything's good to go you're finished your project..

As found on YouTube

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