Fall is the perfect time of year for a water heater flush

All water heater tanks require a regular “flush out” to remove accumulated (and trapped) sediment, mineral deposits, and other forms of buildup at the bottom of the tank. Ideally, as a homeowner, you should flush your water heater tank twice per-year. However, at the bare minimum, an annual water heater flush is an absolute must.

A water heater that goes too long between flushes will:

  • Become less energy-efficient, as accumulated sediment and minerals block the heating element from warming the water as effectively.
  • Live a shorter life, as corrosive elements will be allowed to build up inside the tank with uninterrupted regularity.

As an Albuquerque homeowner, you should perform or schedule a water heater flush at least once per year.In other words, taking care of regular maintenance for your water heater can end up costing you money, both in the present and in the future. The good news is that a water heater flush is easy for most homeowners to perform themselves and only takes a few minutes.

However, if you need assistance with this or any other water heater maintenance project, be sure to call our team of experienced plumbers here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Since 1928, the team at Wagner has built our reputation on helping local homeowners with their home maintenance needs.

Performing a water heater flush

Step #1: Turn off the system and cut the power

Start by turning your water heater’s thermostat to off and then—depending on the type of system you have:

  • Gas Water Heaters: Shut off the gas line to the water heater.
  • Electric Water Heaters: At your home’s breaker box, turn off the power to the circuit the water heater is on. If you’re not sure what circuit the water heater is on specifically, you may want to turn off power to the entire home for this process.

Step #2: Turn off the cold water supply and run hot water

Your water heater has a cold water intake supply line with an adjustable knob near the top of the water heater. You’ll want to shut this off so that no new water is entering the tank. Then, at your kitchen sink or in a bathtub, run the hot water running. This latter step is critical to preventing issues with the lines while draining.

Step #3: Position a bucket (or connect a hose)

Near the bottom of the water heater tank is a spigot that controls the outflow of water for drainage purposes. You have two options here:

  • You can position a large bucket underneath the spigot and drain directly into the bucket. As you can probably imagine, there’s more water in the tank than your bucket can hold, so you may need to empty the bucket once or twice while draining. As we’ll discuss below, it’s not always necessary to drain the water heater entirely, however.
  • You can connect a garden hose to the drainage spigot and run the hose to a bucket. This is especially useful if the placement of your water heater makes positioning a bucket directly beneath difficult.

Either way, the bucket is crucial. As the water drains out of the water heater, you’ll be able to see it in the bucket, which will provide you with a visual key as to when to stop.

Step #4: Start the drainage process

Turn that drainage spigot to open. At first, the water coming out of the water heater and into the bucket will most likely be brown or rust-colored. As you continue draining, this water will eventually start to run clear. If it’s been a while since your last water heater drain, you may need to drain the entire tank to remove all the accumulated sediment.

Step #5: Flush out the remainder

Once you either have clear water or have drained the entire tank of all its water, it’s time to flush. With the bucket and hose still positioned as before, open that cold water supply valve you closed in Step 2. This will allow cold water to run through the tank and into the bucket, carrying any remaining sediment or buildup along with it. Again, keep an eye on your bucket: as soon as its water is clear, you’re done. You can empty the bucket, detach the hose, close the drainage valve, and turn your water heater back on.

Call Wagner for all your water heater maintenance needs

The team at Wagner is here to help with all your water heater maintenance and upkeep needs, including your annual flush. If you need assistance with the flush process—or have reason to believe that your water heater isn’t working properly—you’ll want to call our team for service. We maintain, repair, and replace water heaters here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

This fall is the time to schedule your evaporative cooler shutdown

As we put the summer behind us and get into the cooler months of fall here in Albuquerque, it’s that time of year again: time to schedule your evaporative cooler shutdown. A professional swamp cooler shutdown is an essential part of winterizing your system and getting it ready for colder weather. In this article, we’ll review the reasons why you should schedule a shutdown with our team and what our service includes.

At Wagner, we’re your local swamp cooler experts. We repair, maintain, and replace all types of coolers. Be sure to give us a call to schedule your fall shutdown and spring startup services.

Swamp Cooler Maintenance Rio RanchoWhy is it important to shut down a swamp cooler for the season?

Your evaporative cooler works hard throughout the summer to bring your home effective cooling. However, during the winter, it’s a potential liability. All swamp coolers contain water in both their lines and pans. Here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, we’re no strangers to freezing nighttime temperatures in the winter months. If those lines aren’t properly drained, the water inside of them can freeze and break the line. Then, when that ice thaws, you have both a leaking system and lines that need to be replaced. The presence of melted water in the spring can also attract insects and lead to metal corrosion that shortens the overall lifespan of the system.

What does our evaporative cooler shutdown service include?

A professional swamp cooler shutdown accounts for this by completely draining any remaining water from the system’s lines and pans. Our team then cleans the system after a long summer of use; seals the vent leading to the inside of your home; and covers the system to protect it from rain, snow, ice, and freezing temperatures during the winter. As part of our service, our technicians also inspect the unit for any problems that could prevent the evaporative cooler from performing as it should in the spring.

With the right protection in the fall, your swamp cooler will be in good condition and ready for use again in the spring when things start to warm up.

Why hire a professional?

As mentioned above, you do not want to take the risk that any residual water is left in the lines, as this can—and most likely will—freeze due to our wintertime overnight lows here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Any frozen water in lines can lead to a major headache when spring rolls around.

Another common cause of problems is an improperly fitted cover. The cover for your evaporative cooler needs to be breathable, but also protect the unit from the elements. Any gaps in protection could lead to preventable corrosion or damage to the system.

Finally, only a professional can inspect the system during the shutdown and identify potential issues that could impact how it runs next spring and summer. Trust us: it’s better to address those problems in the fall than when the heat returns next year.

Call Wagner to schedule an evaporative cooler shutdown this fall

If you haven’t already, now’s the perfect time to have one of our technicians get your swamp cooler ready for the winter months ahead. Go ahead and call us to schedule your evaporative cooler shutdown here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. In fact, our team of HVAC and swamp cooler experts is here to help with all your home service needs. When you need your swamp cooler maintained, repaired, or replaced, give us a call.