Let's face it, none of us have enough money to be constantly calling repairmen to our houses for those annoying, can't quite put your finger on it problems. We have to adult-up and try and figure these things out. Also delaying fixing some of these issues can seriously damage things in our home that we rely on every day.
So it's Family Handyman to the rescue once again:
Popping or gurgling coming from your water heater is a sign of excessive sediment buildup in the tank. Annoying noises like this are caused by steam bubbles percolating up through the muck.
On a gas water heater - the sediment creates hot spots that can damage the tank and cause premature failure.
On an electric water heater - sediment buildup can cause the lower heating element to fail. So flushing offers a payback in lower energy bills and extended heater life.
-Shutting the water heater down.
-Turn the breaker off.
-Turn the thermostat to "Pilot" (if you have a gas model).
-Shut off the water supply to the appliance and let the water cool.
-Then hook a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Put the other end of the hose into a bucket and open the drain valve. (Dump the bucket outside so the sediment doesn't clog your pipes.) Keep draining until only clear water discharges. If the tank empties before the water turns clear, open the water valve and allow more water into the tank to further rinse it.
-Once you're done rinsing, close the drain valve, let the tank refill and turn the water heater back on.
Sure we can always call someone, but it's a great feeling when we can fix something on our own, and it gives us the confidence to keep trying to fix more and more things that have the ability to either drive us crazy or to cost a small fortune in replacements.
This weekend would be a good time to start making a list!
Source: excerpt from Family Handyman