When is the last time you cleaned your water heater?

            Your water heater most likely will last for 15 years. A little attention a couple of times a year can keep it humming along the whole time.

            Every few months, drain about a quarter of the water from the tank. That removes any sediment and debris that has found its way to the bottom of the tank. It also will quiet the unit down so it doesn’t make as much noise when it runs.

            To do that, turn off the water, and connect a garden hose to the tank’s drain value. Run the water into a bucket until the water turns from cloudy to clear.


            Move boxes, tools or whatever you store near the water tank so they’re at least two feet away from it. It’s a good idea to give the tank some “breathing room.”

            Lower the heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees. That will reduce the risk that someone in your family will get scalded in the shower.