Gas water heater maintenance is the most dangerous out of all the different kinds of water heater maintenances you can perform. As long as you follow the safety precautions outlined in your owners manual and the extra safety precautions that are discussed on this site you will do fine.
Although gas water heaters are the most dangerous of all of the types, they are also the most common water heaters in homes today. Gas water heaters work about two times as fast as electric water heaters do, and running a gas water heater costs about ½ as much as an electric water heater to heat the same amount of water.
Gas water heaters have changed a great deal over the last several years to make them more efficient, but to get the life you would expect out of a gas water heater it is very important that you give it proper maintenance. Gas water heater maintenance is close to the same steps as electric water heater maintenance, with a few differences.
The first thing you should do when beginning your gas water heater maintenance you should check that your gas water heater is receiving sufficient airflow to the burner area. Also make sure that there are no flammable materials or liquid near your gas water heater. You should also visually inspect your pilot light and burner through the site glass. Your gas water heater manual should include information about what a proper burning pattern should look like.
You should also inspect your venting and other connections normally located at the top of your gas water heater. This is considered regular gas water heater maintenance that should be done periodically. Every 2 weeks or so it should be a regular routine that you do the gas water heater maintenance listed above.
When doing your regular gas water heater maintenance you will want to follow the same type of steps as the electric water heater maintenance with a few different things. You will first want to shut off the gas supply to the water heater. Make sure that the pilot light burns out. This will ensure that there is no more gas trapped inside of the burner chamber.
Following the next steps for gas water heater maintenance are the same as electric water heater maintenance. The first thing you will do is close the feed line valve to the water heater. After the valve is closed, attach your hose to the drain valve on the water heater and make sure that the open end of the hose is somewhere that hot water is not going to damage it. A driveway or the drain side of the sidewalk works very well.
It is also very important that you open a hot water faucet in your house somewhere. This will prevent the vacuum effect from happening to your water lines. Open the drain valve slowly and make sure that the hose is not leaking. If the hose is leaking, close the valve and tighten the hose. If the hose is not leaking, it is ok to open the drain valve. Drain all of the water out of the tank.
After the tank is drained, you should then open the feed line valve back to the tank. This will flush out any extra debris inside of the gas water heater. This step is probably the most looked over step when doing gas water heater maintenance. Watch the open end of the hose, and when the water that is coming out is clean, it is then time to close the drain valve to the water heater.
Remove the hose from the water heater that you were using to drain it. It is also a good idea to walk the hose out, lifting it above your head and draining all of the excess water out of it. Roll the hose up and store it properly. Taking care of the tools you use for doing your gas water heater maintenance and keeping them in a designated area will help you for the next time.
It is now time to turn the gas back on and ignite the pilot light. It is very important that you follow your owner’s manual instructions while doing this procedure. Each gas water heater is pretty much the same, but some manufactures have different procedures. After your pilot light is lit and your water heater is back to burning, you are done with your gas water heater maintenance.