Plumbing in the Home/hot water heater


I have an electric hot water heater, AO Smith, that I only use for about 4 weeks in a year. Do I need to take any specific action prior to turning off the power for this unit (ie: drain water from tank, flush tank periodically, etc.), or can I just turn the power on/off when needed?

Hi Karl,
Per manufacturers instructions, most water heaters should be serviced by flushing the debris out of the bottom of the tank once or twice a year.  Check your installation manual for the proper procedure. This usually consists of connecting a garden hose to the drain valve and opening the valve and let it run for a couple of minutes.  Remember, this will be HOT water so be careful where you drain it and don't use a cheap garden hose or it will melt and collapse!

Other than that, unless you are in an area subject to freezing, nothing else is required.

Good Luck,

Plumbing in the Home

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Dana Bostick


Pretty much any residential plumbing questions. For "item specific" details such as a specific model of fixture, I will need to research and there may not be any useful information available. Note: I live and work in Southern California. We do not, as a rule, use hot water or steam heating systems, oil fired boilers or private water wells so my knowledge in those areas is pretty limited. There are others here on AllExerts that can probably answer those questions better.


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