Maintaining Your Water Heater

Posted by HTP on Mar 3, 2017 3:00:00 PM

Maintaining your water heater can be a major factor in the number of years it stays working efficiently. A great way to maitain your unit is to drain it. While opinion may vary on how often you chose to drain your tank, you should try to always do it at least once a year.

Not sure how to get started on this? Below are step by step directions. Of course, if you don't feel comfortable doing this on your own it is never a bad idea to consult a professional before getting started or even to do the draining for you.

Shut off the water supply to your water heater

In most cases the water pipe and shut off valve will be located at the top of your unit. Turn the valve to shut off the water supply to the tank

Turn off the power to the water heater

If you have an electric water heater, turn off the power from the circuit breaker box. It is CRUCIAL to remember that if you fail to shut down the power to your electric water heater you risk burning the element out. If you have a gas water heater shut off the gas by turning the valve on the gas supply line that runs to the tank.

Give the water some time to cool off

Because this is a water HEATER the water is going to be extremely hot. To prevent any kind of injury it is best to let your water heater sit overnight to allow the water to become cool before your drain it.

Attach a hose to the drain valve

Once you have given your heater time to cool off place one end of the hose into a floor drain or outside if you find the hose will reach. Attach the other end of the hose onto the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater.

Turn on the hot water tap

Turn on a hot water tap at a sink that is closest to your water heater. This will help alleviate pressure.

Open the drain valve

Opening this valve will cause the water to begin flowing out of the tank. Draining the water can take up to 30 minutes but is dependent on how full and dirty the water heater is.

Turn the water back on to flush the tank with fresh, clean water

While the drain valve is still open, turn the water back on to eliminate and remaining sediment. Once the water is running clear you can turn the water valve off.

Refill the tank

Remove the hose from the drain valve and turn the water back on. Start refilling the tank. Leave a hot water tap/faucet open to allow all the air from the tank to leave the system. Once clean water rund out of the tap, the heater is full and flushed. Now is i full and you can turn the power to the water heater back on.


Happy draining!



source for DIY tank draining from :




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Topics: Water Heating, Tech Tips

Tech Tip: Do you have enough make-up air to support proper combustion?

Posted by Chris Bernier on Mar 9, 2015 1:24:00 PM

Combustion Problems? Do you have enough make-up air to support proper combustion?

Determining if a space is confined:

1. Find the total BTU being fired in the space in question.

2. Multiply that by 50. This will total the number of cubic feet of space that is needed to support combustion.

3. Find the volume of space in question using this formula: Length x Height x Width = Volume in cubic feet.

4. If the number from step 2 is larger than the number from step 3 the space is considered confined.

Verifying if a space is confined: Example: A 100,000 BTU gas fired boiler and a 50,000 BTU gas fired water heater are being installed in a room that is 30 feet long, 29 feet wide and has 8 foot high ceilings.

1. What you need: Find the total cubic feet of space needed to support combustion and ventilation.


Total Cu. Ft. = Total BTU Load x 50

Total Cu. Ft. = 140 x 50

Total Cu. Ft. = 7000 Cu. Ft.

2. What you have: Find the total cubic feet of space where the gas fired equipment is to be installed.


Cu. Ft. = Length x Width x Height

Cu. Ft. = 30’ x 29’ x 8’

Cu. Ft. = 6960 Cu. Ft.

3. Solution: The total cubic feet needed is greater than the total cubic feet available and the space is considered confined. 7000 Cu. Ft > 6960 Cu. Ft. Combustion air must be acquired from another space.

Methods of Getting Air

Here are some guidelines to help.

Sizing the opening for outside air (NFPA Interpretation)

One opening, within 12 inches of the ceiling, shall be installed to the outside of the building and must have 1 square inch of free air for every 3000 BTU’s fired in that space.

Example: A boiler room has a 50,000 BTU gas fired water heater and a 100,000 BTU gas fired boiler. How big must the free air space opening to the outside be?

Answer: The free air space must be 50 square inches or a 10 x 5 inch opening to the outside of the building. (100,000 BTU’s + 50,000 BTU’s = 150,000 BTU’s; 150,000 BTU’s/3000 BTU’s = 50 square inches)

Complications: The above formula for free air space does not account for grills or louvers made of wood, plastic or metal. Some grills/louvers have the total of free air space pertaining to that grill or louver. If no information is present, the following sizing percentages should be used: Wood/Plastic = 25% free area; Metal = 75% free area.

Louver Sizing Using Wood/Plastic:

A 10 x 10 inch unmarked wood or plastic louver has a total of 100 Sq. In. The percentage of free air is 25%. 100 Sq. In. x .25 = 25 Sq. In. Free Air This type would not work for the example given.

Louver Sizing Using Metal:

A 10 x 10 inch unmarked metal louver has a total of 100 Sq. In. The percentage of free air is 75%.

100 Sq. In. x .75 = 75 Sq. In. Free Air. This type would work for the example given.

Advantages of Direct Vent Water Heaters:

Unlike non-direct vent heaters, this type of water heater is connected directly to the outside by two pipes. This means the water heater uses outside air for combustion and not air used to heat or cool the building. Direct vent water heaters always have access to an adequate supply of combustion air and will never create negative air pressure or function inefficiently. Direct vent water heaters can be vented either horizontally or vertically offering more flexibility during installation.

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Topics: Tech Tips

Top 10 Installation Mistakes with Modern Gas Condensing Equipment

Posted by Chris Bernier on Mar 2, 2015 12:12:00 PM

Are you familiar with the top 10 installation mistakes that occur with modern gas condensing equipment? Read our list below to see what you should avoid! 

1. Vent Run Exceeds the Limit - Many vent runs exceed the limitation of elbows because the installer did not account for bend reductions, termination kits, and developed pipe length. Maximum vent runs for individual units are listed in the manufacturer’s manual and vary between product brands and models. See the installation and operation manual for more details.

2. Improper Combustion Air – Most products can be power or direct vented with 2”, 3”, or 4” Schedule 40 PVC, CPVC, and PolyPro. These products use large volumes of make-up air. Make sure you do the math to ensure the room, or vent depending on the application can handle the required make up air for the total BTU appliance load in that room.

3. Gas Line Undersized - Check the gas meter rating plate to ensure the gas line can support the combined BTU rating of all the gas appliances in the building. Consult the Natural or Propane Gas Supply Piping chart and plumbing diagrams in the manual to size the gas piping system correctly. Minimum pipe sizes designated by the manufacturer do apply. Confirm the BTU load and check the BTU rating on flex gas connector packages.

4. Gas Shut Off Valve Not Full Port - A full port manual gas control shut off valve should be connected to the gas line before connecting to the unit. Some conventional port gas valves can restrict gas flow enough to effect proper combustion.

5. Did Not Bleed the Air Out of the Tank Before Powering On - Before starting up the unit, the installer must purge all of the air completely out of the system. Then turn off the water and power the unit on.

6. Not Enough Pitch on the Exhaust Run - To avoid accumulation of condensate water in the exhaust run, position the horizontal venting upwards no less than 1/4" per foot from the appliance to the termination. Condensate (water) must run back to the appliance without obstruction. Proper support is crucial when hanging materials.

7. Improper Combustion. – Installation locations, altitudes, gas pressures, and applications vary. Once installed and running, proper combustion must be verified. Just like an automobile gets an inspection regularly, so should your condensing boiler or water heater. A unit operating with incomplete combustion may work fine today, but will be costly long term. An installer with working knowledge of a combustion analyzer should perform this test.

8. Recirculation System Lacks Proper Control - Control the DHW recirculation system pump with a timer and / or an aqua stat. Insulate the piping. Recirculation pumps that are just hard wired and run 24/7 waste fuel, reduce efficiency, and cause excessive wear on the system. Consult your manual for instructions.

9. Incorrect Condensate Drain Pipe Material - Use PVC, CPVC, or vinyl for the drain line. Do not use metallic materials. Condensate is acidic and ranges from 4.0 to 6.5 ph and must drain with PVC or CPVC and/or be neutralized first.

10. The Manufacturers Manual – One comes in every box for a reason. More often than not the installer never read, reviewed, or looked at it. It has the answers to 99.5 % of all questions called into tech support lines.

Consult the product manual for installation diagrams and instructions. Improper installations will usually void the warranty.

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Topics: Tech Tips

Find the Support You Need in HTP's Expanded Footer

Posted by HTP on Feb 9, 2015 10:24:00 AM

The staff at HTP has been working on website updates to help you better find the support you need!

Check out our new and improved footer, made with organized sections to assist you when navigating HTP's website. The footer is broken down into Customer Support, HTP Warranty, Shop HTP Parts, and a Stay Connected section. We hope that these links will help you easily find the page you are looking for. 

The new footer also includes our social media accounts, so you can easily connect with us! Our accounts include our Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Don't forget to follow us for interesting articles, product updates, installation pictures, high efficiency heating news and more!


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Topics: Tech Tips

Tech Tip: Cleanliness and High Efficiency Heating

Posted by Peter Seddon on Aug 20, 2014 2:21:50 PM


        In the world of high efficiency boilers and hot water heaters, most of them share a common fact – the cleaner the environment they operate in, the better the long term reliability will be. Most, if not all, boilers and hot water heaters rely on an inducer blower to provide combustion air to the burner. These blowers draw all their air from the outside or inside, depending upon the nature of the intake air lines. Many of these units allow the intake air to momentarily circulate inside the burner/blower enclosure. When the air around the unit is laden with lint, dust, dirt, insulation particles, bugs and the like, some of these things may find their way into the blower and hence the burner assembly.


       The effect of this contamination is usually a code indicating loss of flame or no flame detected. Many attempts to relight the unit fail. The net result of an unclean utility room can be more headaches down the line. I recommend that every so often the area around the units be vacuumed and washed up to keep the area neat and clean. You will be happy and so will your boiler or water heater.

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Topics: Water Heating, Tech Tips, Space Heating

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