Most people don’t give much thought to their water heater maintenance  – they just turn on the faucet and expect hot water to come out. Water heaters are relatively maintenance free, and you can keep your water heater in peak operating condition just by performing two simple maintenance tasks every six months: test the pressure valve and then flush the tank.
If the pressure release valve is not operating properly, the tank can potentially over pressurize and explode. Flushing the tank prevents sediment build up, which can reduce your water heater’s energy efficiency and clog your water lines. Consult your owner’s manual or other maintenance guide for instructions on how to safely perform these maintenance tasks.
•Water heater makes a rumbling or clanking noise.
Chances are this is related to sediment build up. A “flush” of the water heater may be all that is required.
Follow these steps to flush your water heater:
CAUTION: The water is hot and there is danger of being scalded. Use caution and keep children and pets away from the area when flushing water heater.
1.) Attach a garden hose to the drain valve (looks like a hose bibb) at the bottom of the heater. Run the garden hose either outside or to the nearest drain.
2.) Open the drain valve, which will allow the water to drain through the hose.
3.) When the water is running clear – after about 20 minutes – close the drain valve and remove the hose.
4.) Turn on a hot water faucet in your home and let it run until all air bubbles are out of the line, then turn it off.

More Details on How to Flush a Water Heater.

•Water heater is not producing enough hot water.
If the water heater runs out of hot water too quickly, increase the temperature on the water heater thermostat. If the temperature is set on the highest setting, flush the water heater according to the directions above.
•The unit is not producing any hot water.
Your pilot light may be out. Follow the instructions on the tank on how to light the pilot, or call your local gas company who will relight it for free!
If the unit is electric, it may have a reset button on the tank itself. Depress the button and if that doesn’t help, try the designated circuit breaker in your electrical panel, it may have tripped.
Be sure to EARTHQUAKE STRAP your hot water heater.
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