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Maintaining water heaters is not always easy, especially when you don’t have any experience using these products. At Garry Richard’s Water Heaters Only, we believe in educating our clients about water heaters to resolve small queries. Take a look at the FAQ below for more information. If you have a question that is not listed here, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


What size of hot water tank should I get?

We recommend a tank size of at least 40 gallons. Although one or two people might be satisfied with a smaller tank, you should consider resale value. For a family of three or four, we recommend a 50 gallon tank if it’s electric, or a 40 gallon if it’s gas. For a family of five or more, consider an 80 gallon electric or 50 gallon gas water tank.


Could my hot water heater be causing low water pressure?

Yes, it could. A smaller tank or low flow rate on a tank-less heater can result in lower water pressure when using hot water (or a mix of hot and cold). The best thing to do is to call us so we can investigate, make sure that’s the only problem, and recommend a solution.

Can a leaking water heater be fixed?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If water is pouring out, turn off the water to the tank and call us right away! If it’s just a slow drizzle, try to trace the source of the leak remembering that water will often “hug” a surface. That is, although you might see the drips falling off the bottom of a water tank, the water could be leaking from a pipe above the tank itself, so keep looking up to try to find the leak. If you find the leak coming from a valve or joint in the pipe, you can try giving it a gentle tightening. If that doesn’t stop the leak, give us a call.

What temperature should my water heater be set at?

The default manufacturers’ setting is usually 60o C or 140o F. If you have poor water quality, this setting can help to kill bacteria. However, 140 degrees is very hot and can burn quickly. If you have older or younger family members who may be show to react, it is better to lower the temperature to 49o C or 120o F, which will also save on energy costs. That said, it is best to test the temperature of your hot water at the tap. Run the hot water for a minute or two, then hold a thermometer in the stream of water.

Where is hot water heater thermostat?

On tank-less models, there is a digital display on the unit that can be adjusted. On hot water tanks, there may be a control dial visible near the bottom or top of the unit. On many newer models, the controls are behind an access panel. To adjust these models, you must turn off the electricity at the breaker and/or turn off the gas at the valve before removing the access panel and adjusting the temperature with a screwdriver. Then turn the power/gas back on, and relight the pilot light if needed. Before you start though, check the temperature with a thermometer at the tap. It is best to only make slight changes at one time and recheck the temperature of the water after about three hours.

Do I need to flush my hot water tank?

A hot water tank should be flushed out once a year. This removes a buildup of sediment that can make the unit less efficient and eventually will lead to damage. This is a service we provide, but you can do it yourself. 

Does an on-demand (tank-less) water heater need routine maintenance?

Yes, a tank-less water heater needs to be cleaned once a year. This is a service we provide, or you can do it yourself. Be sure to follow the instructions that came with the unit from the manufacturer and there are differences between models.

Should I turn off my hot water tank if I’m going away?

The answer to this depends on several factors around your home, as well as the climate, season, how long you’ll be away, and whether or not you’ll have someone checking on your home while you’re away. If there is no risk of freezing, you can turn off the water supply and the electricity or gas if you are going to be away for an extended amount of time. You can also turn off the water to the clothes washer, dishwasher, etc. If you are only away for a few days though, the difference in energy use will be minimal. You’ll either be maintaining a full tank of already hot water for a few days, or you’ll have to heat a full tank of cold water up again.

If the temperature could fall below freezing while you’re away, it is likely best to keep the tank on and have someone come to your home each day and turn all of the taps on and off for a few minutes, while also checking around your home for any signs of a leak. Water pipes can freeze and burst, so this is your most important consideration.

Should I turn off my tank-less heater when I’m going away?

There is no need, since water is only heated as it’s needed.


Can a hot water heater produce carbon monoxide?

Yes, if it uses natural gas or propane. In fact, any appliance that uses these has the potential to produce carbon monoxide. Make sure you have working carbon monoxide alarms near your tank or tank-less water heaters. If anyone in your home has any of the symptoms below without an obvious explanation, get everyone out of the house immediately and call 911:

  • Dull headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness


How to Flush Your Hot Water Tank

Before you start, understand that you will not have hot water for a few hours. The process takes much less time than this, but in the middle of the process you need to wait for the water in the tank to cool a bit.

You will need one or two buckets and a garden hose. You’ll also need to know where to turn off/on the electricity, gas, and water refill pipe for the tank. If your tank is in the basement, you may need a pump to drain the water.

  1. If you have an electric tank, turn off the power at the breaker.
  2. If you have a natural gas tank, turn off the gas on the pipe leading to the tank with the valve.
  3. Turn the thermostat setting to “Off.”
  4. Turn off the cold water supply to the tank using the valve on the pipe.
  5. Turn on one of the hot water taps in your house at a sink or tub, and leave it on until you’re finished the entire process.
  6. Put a basin or bucket under the pressure relief valve drain pipe.
  7. Being very careful, because the water will be hot, open the pressure relief valve. Some water should drain. If no water comes out, the pressure relief valve needs to be replaced and you
  8. should call us to fix it.
  9. Wait a few hours to let the water in tank cool down.
  10. Connect a hose to the drain spigot and put the other end of the hose at a lower elevation in a bucket or outdoors.
  11. Turn the drain spigot on and let the water drain until the water coming out is perfectly clear. You can turn the spigot off and on again if you need to dump the bucket out.
  12. Turn the water coming in to the tank back on and let the water run through the tank and out the hose for a few minutes until the water is clear and no sediment is coming out.
  13. Turn the water coming in to the tank off again.
  14. When water stops draining from the hose, turn the drain spigot off and disconnect the hose.
  15. Close the pressure relief valve.
  16. Turn off the hot water tap at your sink or tub.
  17. Turn on the cold water that goes in to your hot water tank.
  18. When the tank is full, open the pressure relief valve to let off any excess air. LEAVE IT OPEN OR CLOSE IT AGAIN?
  19. If you have a gas tank, turn the valve on the natural gas line leading to the tank back on; relight the pilot light and turn the thermostat back up to the selected temperature.
  20. If you have an electric tank, turn the electricity back on at the breaker.
  21. After about half an hour, turn on a hot water tap slowly to release any air in the line and check to make sure you have hot water.


Service Areas

Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Surrey, Mission, Hope, White Rock, Fort Langley, Ladner, Cloverdale, Maple Ridge, Tsawwassen, Aldergrove, Pitt Meadows, South Delta, Tri-Cities, Coquihala

We Are

Licensed | Insured | Bonded
2 Year Warranty on All Work & Parts Supplied and Installed by Garry Richard's Water Heaters Only

Contact Us

We are available 24-7

Langley/ Fort Langley: 604-532-0093
Surrey/ Whiterock/ Cloverdale: 604-532-0093
Aldergrove/Abbotsford/Mission: 604-854-9395
Hope/Chilliwack: 604-793-9396