Fleeing the cold temperatures of winter for an extended period of time? By following these steps, you can be assured that you won't come back to a plumbing nightmare caused by frozen and burst pipes: (1) Keep the temperature in your home no lower than 55 degrees, (2) Shut off the main water system- be sure to open up all of the faucets and flush the toilets to make sure the water is completely our of your system, (3) If you have an electric water heater, shut off unit at breaker box; for a regular gas water heater, turn thermostat to vacation mode. Now you are ready to ENJOY every minute of your vacation without worrying about frozen and burst pipes back at home!
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Whether you have an electric or gas water heater, it is important to flush it once a year to keep it efficient and keep sediment from building up in the fixtures throughout your home. Follow these simple steps to drain you water heater completely: (1) If your water heater is electric, turn off the power at the breaker box. If your water heater is gas, turn the thermostat to "pilot" setting. (2) Connect a garden hose to the drain valve located close to the thermostat, but don't open that valve yet. (3) Turn off the cold-water supply that feeds the water heater. (4) Open up one of the hot water faucets in your home and then open up the drain valve and pressure relief valve on the water heater making sure that the garden hose is draining some place that won't be damaged by the hot water. (5) Once the water stops flowing from the garden hose, turn the water supply back on. This will assure that there is no more sediment left in the water heater. After the water runs clear, close the drain valve and pressure relief valve. Be sure to close the faucet that you opened in the earlier step. Let the water heater refill with water. (6) Turn the breaker or thermostat back on after the tank is completely filled.