Water heaters, whether gas or electric, have become more complex and expensive. They also don't seem to last as long as they once did. However, you can extend the life of your can't live without appliance with some simple maintenance once a year.
Nearly all manufacturers recommend water heaters be drained/flushed yearly, but few homeowners take the time to do this. Sometimes because it is out-of-sight and, therefore, out-of-mind. Or it's not easily accessible or convenient. However, if you make the time for this simple maintenance task, you could add years of hot water to your household. Sediment is the killer. Heating causes calcium carbonate to settle out in the bottom your heater. Water gets under the sediment and turns to steam when the burners come on. This causes the popping noises you sometimes hear. The buildup of sediment reduces the efficiency of your heater and its holding capacity. In addition, it corrodes the valves, heating element and insulation.
All water heaters have hose connection and faucet at the bottom, but draining the unit involves much more than opening up the top. Often the washer and/or waster seat on the faucet or the entire faucet assembly must be replaced after draining. If this is not performed correctly, your unit may leak. There is also a chance that the unit will be damaged during the draining process, so unless you are familiar with serving a water heater, you might want to give us a call.