latex-gloved hands hold a hose attached to a water heater that is draining sediment-tinged water
Photo: Ryan Benyi
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13. Keep Your Water Heater Running Efficiently

Flush out the water heater to remove sediment that makes the equipment work harder to do its job. To empty the tank, you'll need to turn off its electrical and water supplies, then connect a basic garden hose to the drain spigot and run it to a sump pump or a sink, or outside through a door or window. Once the tank is empty, turn on the water supply full blast to flush out sediment.

See the step-by-step video

The payoff: You'll save a bit on your energy bills—and you could delay a $700-plus water-heater replacement for several years, says TOH plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey.
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