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How to Clean a Gas Water Heater

How to Clean a Gas Water Heater

It is necessary to clean every part of the gas water heater on a routine basis, to ensure proper functioning of the appliance. You can also do this on your own, without hiring professional help. However, you must take care that you fix the parts appropriately to avoid any problems...
Marlene Alphonse
The gas water heater is an important appliance in almost every household, that comes handy in the cold winter months. The main function of this appliance is to heat water and store it for further use. The heated water is transported to various faucets around the house through pipes. There are chances that sediments may get clogged in the pipes and grit or dirt may build up in the water tank. All this can give rise to problems, which may render the appliance useless, if not addressed on time. A malfunctioning water heater is of no service and you may have to get a new one. Instead of spending a huge amount on the new heater, you can clean it of sediments and other grits. You just need to follow the instructions on the operator's manual and your gas water heater will become as good as new.

Instructions on Cleaning Gas Water Heater

Over time, the gas water heater may require cleaning or the parts may need to be replaced. By completing the task of cleaning the gas water heater and its parts yourself, you can save on the replacement cost.
  • Before getting to the task of cleaning the gas water heater, it is necessary to turn off the gas supply, disconnect the gas valve and other connections as a safety measure. The unit must also cool down completely before you proceed to clean it.
  • Dismantle the parts that require cleaning after referring to the instructions manual. Remove and place every bolt and nut carefully, in a place where you can reach for them easily, so that you don't have to hunt for them once your job is done.
  • Remove the burner access panel, which is located at the bottom of the tank. With the help of a brush, clear out the debris on the burner ports. In case of blockage, use a thin wire to dislodge the debris trapped in the holes of the port. Gently clean the area with the help of a vacuum cleaner attached with a small brush.
  • The next step is to check if the anode is in proper working condition or needs replacement. If the water smells like rotten eggs, then it means that the anode are corroded completely and needs to be replaced. For this switch off the pilot knob and the cold water intake.
  • Release the hot water through the drain valve and locate the anode port in the water tank. Remove the old anode from the port by rotating the screws in an anticlockwise direction. With the help of a wrench, pull the corroded anode from the port.
  • The replacement anode can be purchased from any local plumbing store. Just make sure the model matches the old anode, to avoid problems. Once you have got the new anode, wrap a plumbing tape around the threads, near the plug, once. This is to provide insulation to the anode.
  • Fix the new anode into the port and attach it firmly with the screws and wrench. Now open the cold water valve again after closing the drain, so that the water does not flow out. Place the access panel back on the tank and attach it firmly. Once the water has filled, shut off the water supply and light the pilot. Your gas water heater is ready to be used again.
It is essential to go about the process of cleaning and replacing corroded parts of the gas water heater, at least once every two years. This will ensure the parts are in good working condition and the water remains clean.
Vacuum small cleaner brush
adjusting gas water heater
disconnecting valve of heater