Water heater drain

Home Maintenance Tips for July

It’s time to give some of your hardest working appliances some tender loving care to ensure you can trust them to work properly and efficiently for years to come. And it time to start thinking about your fall vegetable garden.

  • Give your washer and dryer some love It’s hot outside! You’re probably sweating through a few more shirts and shorts than usual. (No? Just us?) Can your washer and dryer handle extra loads? Nurture your washer and dryer now so you aren’t waiting on a repair service later.

    Let’s take care of the washer first. Add diluted bleach or white vinegar to the washer drum and run a cycle (no clothes) to take care of most cleaning needs and prevent mold from growing. If you have a front-loading washer, be sure clean the gasket that seals the door. Wipe behind the gasket with diluted vinegar or bleach solution to remove any detergent buildup or debris. Leave the door open when you’re done so the gasket can dry.

    Now let’s give the dryer some love. Remove and wash the lint screen. Key word, wash. Especially if you use dryer sheets. Most people remove the lint from the screen each time they use the dryer (keep doing that), yet when was the last time you scrubbed the screen with warm soapy water and rinsed it clean? While you’re at it, check the dryer vent tube for excess lint and remove it.
  • Drain your water heater Even your water heater needs TLC. A once-a-year-flushing improves your water heater’s efficiency and life span by clearing out built-up sediment and minerals that may affect its performance. It’s easy to do if you follow these simple steps. And, you might want to remind people not to expect a hot shower while you’re cleaning the water heater.

    First, turn off the electricity or gas to the water heater. Now, close the cold-water supply valve (usually at the top of the unit) and attach a hose to the drain valve (at the bottom of the unit). If the hose is long enough, drag the hose outside. Or, if you have a floor drain where the water heater is housed, you can remove the drain cover and insert the end of hose into the drain.

    Next, open the drain valve on the water heater. Then open the drain value on the pressure relief tank. Now water should be draining from the tank. When the tank is empty, open the cold-water valve again (the drain hose is still attached) and let the water run clear from the drain hose. When the water is clear, close the water heater drain valve and pressure relief valve, allow the tank to refill, and detach the hose. Turn the electricity or gas back on so the water will heat up and be ready to use.
  • Start planning and planting your fall veggie garden
    There’s always work to be done in the veggie garden. While you’re harvesting tomatoes, squashes and melon in midsummer, it’s also time to plan and plant fall-harvest fruits and vegetables. Think basil, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens such as chard, spinach, and collard greens. Lettuces do well when the temperature cools off, too. It’s also a great time to get potatoes in the ground.