Posted by Bruce Borden in Home Maintenance

​Homeownership is the dream for so many people, but home maintenance—while important—not so much.

​The journey of buying your home is exciting, but what happens once you close? Do you know how to keep your home looking, working, and feeling its best?

​That’s where we come in! We’re here to show you how to keep it in tip-top condition.

​Let’s talk about your water heater, because being able to take a hot shower is good. Very good.

​Did you know that the average lifespan of a water heater is 8-12 years? Your water heater is used daily, and it’s easy to become so accustomed to all its uses (think showering, washing dishes, etc.).

​We’ve put together two easy best practices to ensure your water heater is preforming without properly, ensuring that your bubble bath time goes uninterrupted and stays as relaxing as you deserve after a long day!

Flushing Your Water Heater

​Hard water is found throughout many areas of the country and can cause a build-up of calcium in the base of your water heater. This not only affects your skin, but can also affect the lifespan of your appliances. The calcium can collect to form larger rock type formations which then have the potential to create blockages. In order to help reduce this calcium build up, it is recommended to flush your water heater once a year.

How to Flush Out Your Water Heater:

  1. Turn off the water heater
  2. Turn off the cold water valve (this keeps more water from entering the tank)
  3. Allow 1-2 hours for the water to cool inside the tank
  4. Locate the drain valve on the bottom and attach a garden hose
  5. Place the end of the hose into another drain that will not overflow or fall onto your driveway to drain down to the street drain
  6. Turn a few faucets on inside the home to the hot position (this helps keep a vacuum from forming inside the pipes)
  7. Turn on the drain valve by using a screwdriver to release the tank water slowly
  8. Once the water has finished draining, turn off the drain valve, remove the hose, turn on the cold water valve, and finally, turn the hot water heater back on.
  9. Leave the faucets running until they return to normal flow. Allow at least 30 minutes for the tank to refill and hot water to flow.

Relief Valve Test – Release the Pressure

​Along with flushing out your water heater annually, the safety mechanism of the pressure relief valve also needs to be tested at least once a year. Testing this valve helps to prevent scalding.

How to Test the Pressure Relief Valve:

  1. Locate the test lever (typically found on the top of the water heater)
  2. Raise and lower the test lever a few times (this should lift the brass stem)
  3. You should see hot water running out of the drainpipe at this time

​If there is little to no water that flows after testing it may be time to replace the valve.

​These two simple maintenance routines can help prolong the overall life of your water heater and keep your showers hot and your family happy.

​As a reminder, the M/I Homes warranty is more than just a simple promise on the way we build your home: it’s a commitment to you and your new home long after you’ve closed. Our warranty is supported by an incredible team of experts dedicated to providing the best customer care and easy-to-follow maintenance tips.

​How is your home maintenance journey going? We would love to hear from you!


Bruce Borden


Bruce has been with M/I Homes for over 20 years, has been the National Customer Experience Manager for over 10 years, and has been in the home building industry for over 30 years. Happily married and a proud father, Bruce enjoys outdoor activities and home improvement projects, and has never met someone he didn't like.

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