Tips From a Heating Contractor in Phoenix for Flushing Your Heater
You know how much your heating and cooling system does for you, so it’s important to take care of it. With proper regular maintenance, you can do more to avoid unexpected mechanical failures. This process is simple to do on your own. If you don’t have the time for DIY, Sunrise Mechanical is one of the most professional heating contractors in Phoenix and the surrounding areas.
What does it mean to drain the heating system?
You might not realize this, but the baseboard heater in many houses is actually connected to the water heater. It produces steam which circulates through the pipes, providing heat through your open radiators. The problem with steam is that it cools over distance. This leaves water droplets on the bottom of the pipes. The water droplets combine with dry particles, creating a sludge.
This sludge can interfere with your heater’s efficiency if it gets too high. This, in turn, means that you spend more money for lower performance. Allowing the sludge to build up also creates a health hazard for your family, as bacteria and other organisms can thrive in that moist environment. When the hot air blows through, they come right up through the radiator grille and into your living space. Draining the heating system means getting rid of this buildup.
What do we do about buildup in the pipes?
At regular intervals throughout the year, it’s a good idea to clear out any sludge and moisture. TO do this, you only need a few items, which you probably already have lying around:
- A garden hose
- A Philips and a flat screwdriver
- A bucket and dish
- A towel
You also need to have full access to your water heater, electrical system, and the pipes that run through the baseboards.
First Steps in the Process
First things first. You need to turn down the thermostat as low as it goes. This keeps the heater from producing more hot water. Next, turn off the electrical power to the heater. If there isn’t a power switch, turn it off at the breaker in your fuse box. Now you have to wait for a couple of hours. This is very, very important for your own safety. If you don’t allow the water that’s already in the system to cool down, you will get badly burned.
While you wait, if you haven’t already traced the pipes, look for the point where the plumbing system connects to the water heater. This is where water enters the tank. There should be a valve there; close it so that no more water runs through the heater.
Once the water is cool, you can proceed. Look at the base of the water heater. There’s a faucet that looks like the spigot of a hose faucet. Hook up your garden hose there and place the end of the hose in the basement drain. Only after you have everything secure, open the knob and allow the water to flow out. Now follow the pipes until you find the one that’s farthest from the heater. There’s a bleeder valve on the end of it. Open that up with a flat head screwdriver. You should hear a hissing noise.
Now go back to the heater and watch until the water stops flowing out of the hose. Turn off the drain valve and disconnect the hose. The expansion tanks for some water heaters have drainage valves in them, too. Open that valve and use the bucket to catch the water. Then close that valve up.
Now it’s time to go back to the bleeder valve that you opened up at the end of the baseboard pipes and close it up. When you’re closing these types of valves, make sure to screw them shut, but not to overtighten.
Go back to the heater once again, and turn the water supply back on. You have to find the bleeder valve that’s attached to the radiator that’s closest to the water heater and open it. Water is eventually going to start coming out, so keep a small bowl handy to catch it. Close the valve once the water comes. Now, and only now, you can turn on the power to the heater and return the thermostat to a warm temperature.
Wait a bit to see if the baseboards are all getting hot. You might have to do the process over again. If that’s the case, remember to let the heater cool all over again to avoid getting burned.
Getting it done by a professional heating contractor in Phoenix
Doing it on your own is a good way to save money, but sometimes you simply don’t have the time for that. While you can always make more money, you never get your time back. If you want to save time, call in Sunrise Mechanical to get the job done for you. The advantage of this is that we can also take care of many other maintenance tasks at the same time. Our technicians also do an inspection to find any other issues that you might have missed. We let you know what we find and can often take care of the problems right there. This can prevent nasty surprises from showing up later on down the line.
Here at Sunrise Mechanical, we’re one of the most respected heating contractors in Phoenix. With many decades of combined experience in the HVAC industry, we know what we’re doing and can take on virtually any job. As a family-owned company, we understand the value of maintaining your home, and we treat your residence as if it were our own. Getting started is very simple; all you have to do is give us a call or fill in the contact form on this site. If it’s an emergency we can come right over. Otherwise, we’ll set up a free consultation to determine what you need. Don’t wonder about the quality of your service, trust Sunrise Mechanical to fix it and be sure of our quality.