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3 Better Ways to Track Your Home-Related Expenses

by Mary Gilbert


Owning a home means having a place that’s safe and secure to come back to after a long day at work, every day, forever, until you decide it’s time to buy a different home. In exchange for all this homeiness, all you have to do is keep all the broken bits together, maintain the grass and track home-related expenses.

 

Oh yes. If you don’t do a little bookkeeping, the tax man gets his and more. Might as well keep that cash as not, right?
 

Why You Should Track Home-Related Expenses

Your primary residence isn’t an investment, this has been said time and again (especially since the market crashed entirely), but that doesn’t mean that when you go to sell you have to take a loss. Far from it.
 

In fact, as of the writing of this article, you’ll likely qualify for a tax exclusion (meaning you won’t pay taxes on this amount of profit from your home sale) of $250,000 if you file on your own or $500,000 if you and your spouse file your taxes together. But, if you sold and there was more than the applicable amount in gains, you’ll have to pay taxes only on the profit above the mark. When you have all your ducks in a row, it gets a lot easier to see what side of that line you stand on.
 

Reducing Your Tax Burden is the Goal

When your gain from your home sale exceeds your tax exclusion, there are two ways to help improve the situation with all those receipts you’ve been saving (you have been saving them, haven’t you?). First, you can deduct expenses related to selling your home, provided these are not expenses that affect the house physically. Think closing fees, brokerage commissions, and some seller-paid closing costs.
 

The other way to reduce your capital gains burden is to produce records that account for your extensive remodeling. These are the kinds of projects you definitely need a hand with. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Adding an additional room
  • Upgrading your kitchen
  • Replacing flooring
  • Having new landscaping installed
  • Putting on a new roof
     

The best part? These don’t have to be from the same tax year as when you sold. If you added that bedroom three years ago, pony up the receipts and reduce your tax burden. Unfortunately, regular home maintenance isn’t included on this list of ways to save a few dollars. Make sure you keep those receipts separate.
 

Get a Little Help From Your Friends

Keeping track of your personal finances, let alone the expenses related to your home, can be a daunting task. There are so many ways to pay these days and so many different kinds of things to pay for. This is the very reason, though, that you must be even more careful when tracking home-related spending.
 

Everybody has their own system, to be sure, but some are clearly superior to others. For example, if your plan is just to toss a bunch of receipts in a bucket until you get around to sorting them and manually recording each one, you may want to look into something a bit more efficient.
 

Even an Excel workbook is out-modeled these days, but there are several different types of apps you can use to help track your expenses, including:
 

  • Complete personal finance apps. Popular apps like Mint and Wally are essentially full personal finance packages that happen to store receipts. While you can give these apps permission to grab you bank information from a variety of banks all at once, you may end up with enough data that it’s a trick to find those old receipts down the road.
     
  • Dedicated receipt storage. ShoeboxedReceipts by Wave and Expensify are far more focused on the receipt part of your financial picture. All allow you to photograph and upload the receipts in question, can export the data you collect as a variety of reports and have a cloud-storage option, so you don’t have to worry that you’ll lose your receipts if you change phones or need to reload your operating system. PS. BTW, Shoeboxed will actually take that bucket of receipts and process them for you if you mail them in.
     
  • Receipt storage designed for homeowners. Not to toot our own horns, but toot toot. HomeKeepr allows you to scan your receipts in and helps you track home-related expenses automatically. All you need to do is snap a picture of your receipt and the software does the rest. You can then sort your receipts by the service type or business so you can see at a glance how much you’re spending on your project. Unlike other receipt trackers, HomeKeepr can track and maintain records for related items like appliance manuals and maintenance tasks that are due for your home.
     
  • Are You Ready to Invest in Your Home This Year? Let the expert's on The Mary Gilbert Group assist with all your Real Estate needs. 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 
     

  • By: Homekeepr, David Weinstein

Hey, Siri, Shut the Shades! Smart Blinds for Homeowners

by Mary Gilbert


It seems that everything is getting smarter these days. You’ve got your basic smartphone, your smart security system, your smart speakers and even smart refrigerators. It should come as no surprise that someone managed to make window blinds that are pretty smart, too.

On first glance, these things look like one of the least useful smart products out there. When you dig a bit deeper, though, it’s clear that smart blinds, much like smart thermostats, are actually a great way to save energy and make your home safer, all while you lounge on the couch conversing with Alexa and Siri.
 

What are Smart Blinds?

Smart blinds, like most things that are considered “smart,” are literally window blinds that can be controlled remotely through a smartphone app, and, in this case, by the voice assistant of your choice. You can use the app to open the blinds, close the blinds or set them somewhere in between.
 

While this doesn’t sound like much, if you think about the regularity at which you perform these mundane tasks, having smart blinds take care of themselves is a huge time saver in the long run. But, that’s not really what’s so cool about them. Here are a few things that are, though:
 

  • They help people with disabilities. People with a variety of disabilities are benefiting from smart homes in lots of ways. When it comes to blinds, it means making it easier for everyone to let the sun shine in or to shut the blinds at night for a little privacy.
  • They increase safety. Whether you’re going on vacation or you’re just working late, having blinds that are able to shut on their own makes it look like someone is home, even when you’re not. It helps to deter crime, which is a good thing, for sure.
  • They can save energy. By cleverly orchestrating the times that your blinds are open or closed, you can help reduce the use of your HVAC system all year long. More on this later.
     

There are few drawbacks to having smart blinds, if you can get beyond the price point. Many manufacturers are still treating these devices as luxury buys, pushing the cost of a single blind into the hundreds of dollars.
 

Ikea recently announced it would be releasing its own line of basic smart blinds in the US on April 1, 2019. They’re still not in everybody’s price range, but are far more accessible with units starting around $135.
 

How Do Smart Blinds Save Energy?

Before you rush out to buy smart blinds because your electricity bill is out of control, keep two things in mind: first, not all blinds will perform the same or have the same features, so make sure to read the packaging or ask a knowledgeable person about those energy saving functions. Secondly, smart blinds are only as good as the person telling them what to do. So, if you don’t tweak your programs a little bit to dial in your settings, you’re not going to get great results.
 

Like any blind, smart blinds can be used to help reduce the strain on your HVAC system. This is done largely by blocking the sun’s rays that warm up your home. Other types of smart window treatments can act as insulators against the cold. Neither is perfect, but they do work pretty well.
 

When it comes to saving energy, you will have to tell the blind what you want it to do. If you want the smart blinds on the west side of your home to close entirely around 1 pm and stay closed until 4 pm, set it in the app. Some blinds, like those from MySmartBlinds, can automatically determine when to open or close, but you’ll need to enable this feature if you want your blinds to close in response to solar radiation.
 

Smart blinds are a great investment if you plan to stay in your house for a while. Not only are they neat and gadgety for anyone interested in the Internet of Things, they can really reduce your utility bills. It could take a while for them to pay for themselves, though — shop carefully!

 

Contact the experts on The Mary Gilbert Group for all your Real Estate needs! 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

 

By: Homekeepr, Rob Morelli

Cutting the TV Cable

by Mary Gilbert


With cable and satellite costs rising constantly, many Americans are finding streaming television the way to go, and old school television antennas are taking the place of satellite dishes on rooftops.  Are you thinking about cutting the cord?  Maybe these
 ideas can help you decide: 

 

Wherever there is high-speed internet, there is the ability to use any streaming device or smart tv.  Most are affordable and have a monthly subscription fee. 

 

  • - Smart tv’s come pre-loaded with different streaming service apps.  Many need subscriptions, and most offer a free trial period to help you determine if their service is right for you. 

  • - Devices that plug into televisions from different streaming companies can be purchased, and for small monthly fees, you can stream movies, and many television series.  PCMag has the most recent information on these plug-ins, as well as cost, features, and reviews of each. 

  • - Major satellite companies are finally offering streaming services at the fraction of the cost of their monthly fees, and you can cancel at any time without fear of being charged for cancelling a contract.  Similar to their satellite services, you choose what channel package that fits your viewing choices, as well as your budget. 

  • - Are you afraid you’ll miss your favorite sports contests if you cut the cord? Don’t worry--you can stream live sports events, and GroundedReason tells you how. 

 

Cancelling your cable or satellite service may have you worried that you won’t be able to watch the major networks.  If you live in a large area with nearby local stations, (within twenty miles), an indoor antenna will work fine.  But for better reception, as well as more channels, you’ll need an outdoor antenna.  Read on to learn how this old-fashioned idea is more modern than ever: 

  • - Indoor antennas can be places almost anywhere in your home for good reception, or use a flat one that can be mounted on or near a window, out of direct sunlight. 

  • - Outdoor antennas still look like something from outer space, but are smaller and come with wireless remotes so you can control the direction that you need it to be pointing to pick up different channels. 

  • TechHive offers some advice on choosing an outdoor antenna, as well as their top picks. 

  • Installing an outdoor antenna can be done by anyone with a few tools, who is comfortable with climbing a ladder to get to the roof, making sure the antenna is grounded, and who has a few hours to devote to the job.  Otherwise, a good handyman with antenna installation experience should be hired for the job. 

 

If saving money is on your agenda, then choosing to watch television and movies with streaming services and antenna tv is one way to put money back into your pocket.  Not only will you no longer be paying for channels you never watch, you will be in control of what you watch, and how much you’ll pay.

Contact the experts on The Mary Gilbert Group for all your Real Estate needs! 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

Photo credit: cnet.com

Exploring Roseburg Oregon: Poker Craze Texas Hold’em Tournament

by Mary Gilbert


February 23, 2019 - 4:00 PM to 11:59 PM

Come join us for our annual Poker Craze Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament!  Enjoy a fantastic evening with great food, wonderful prizes, and fun for all in attendance! Conducted by professional tournament operator, “Team Casino” the tournament will include a number of prizes including a TOP grand prize for the poker champion.

For more information call (542-440-4396

Courtesy of The Mary Gilbert Group

Photo Credit: visitroseburg.com

Recession Watch: Will Another Downturn Rock the Housing Market?

by Mary Gilbert


The Great Recession has receded in the rearview mirror, and pretty much every American would like to keep it that way, thank you very much. But we're still all too aware that the whole financial disaster was precipitated by a deluge of bad mortgages. Sure, we've had nearly a decade of booming home sales and prices. But now that they're slowing their roll, the whispers are starting to mount: Is another recession around the corner?

About 39% of Americans think the economy is slowing down, while 17% think we're already in a recession or depression, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Yes, we might see a recession soon, economists say—but there's no need to panic. That's because the financial factors that helped cause last decade's crash don't exist this time around.

"We're just scared because of what happened last time. And that's not what's going to happen [again]," says Lisa Sturtevant, a housing consultant and chief economist at Virginia Realtors, the state's real estate association.

If there is another recession, she says, "most people are not going to lose their house. Most people are not going to lose their jobs.”

That's a relief to hear—but then again, few experts predicted the last housing bust.

If a downturn does hit, probably toward the end of this year or the beginning of next year, most economists believe it will be brief and not nearly as painful as the last one. They anticipate that unemployment, currently at an extremely low 4%, will tick up slightly and there will be fewer new jobs created. But they don't envision widespread layoffs resulting in scores of foreclosures and plunging home prices, as we saw in 2008–09.

“We’re at a record-low level of unemployment. The economy can’t stay here," says Chief Economist Danielle Hale of realtor.com®. She forecasts a recession beginning within the next two years. "This one will be mild."

Why it looks like we're due for a recession

Although a recession can be precipitated by a housing bust, trade war, or global event, this time the U.S. economy may simply become a victim of its own success.

With national unemployment so low, employers have to compete hard for talent by offering higher wages. Those increased costs are often passed onto consumers. This in turn causes inflation as goods and services become more expensive. If inflation rises much higher than wages, then the country has a problem.

Enter the U.S. Federal Reserve. It battles inflation by notching up interest rates. The downside is that makes it more expensive for businesses to borrow money to expand or bring on more workers. And that can effectively slow down the economy.

It's like someone blowing too much air into a balloon—eventually a little needs to be let out or it'll pop. Similarly, the Fed needs to siphon off a little of the economy's helium. It hiked rates four times last year, when the economy was hurtling along, but this year it may do it only once, if at all.

Actually, economic cycles in which the economy is growing and more jobs are being created historically don't last more than a few years. The longest stretched from 1991 to 2001. This summer will mark the longest economic expansion in U.Shistory from the trough of the crisis in June 2009.

So the good times eventually must come to an end.

This slowdown, coming on the heels of a wild run-up in home prices, may feel like déjà vu. But the main culprit behind the previous housing market bust was the torrent of subprime mortgages doled out to underqualified and often uninformed buyers. When those owners defaulted, it created a domino effect, ultimately affecting all corners of the nation's economy.

After that, lending laws were considerably tightened across the board. Borrowers today must be in much better financial shape in order to snag a mortgage.

"Underwriting is a lot tighter, and the [loans] are a lot less risky," says Joel Kan, who oversees economic and industry forecasting at the Mortgage Bankers Association. "Households are in a better position to absorb the shock than they were back then."

Will a recession lower home prices?

Buyers on a budget shouldn't pin their hopes on a recession to create a vast clearance sale of deeply discounted properties. Prices aren't expected to plummet, although they may dip in more expensive markets. Overall, price appreciation will likely just continue to slow.

But if the Fed lowers interest rates again to counteract a poor economy, mortgage rates will likely go down, too. That will also make it cheaper to buy a house.

"If there is a recession, the people with stable jobs will see it [as] a second-chance opportunity to buy a home," says Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors®. Yun doesn't anticipate a recession this year, or next. "Prices may [or may not] come down. But certainly buyers will be in a better negotiating position."

And even in a shakier economy, overall demand for housing, which keeps prices up, isn't going to evaporate. The huge millennial population is getting older, settling down, and having children—and searching for homes of their own. Those life factors are not likely to change, and they create a massive demand for housing. A decade ago, it was mostly Gen Xers at that stage, a smaller generation with less impact.

The places that are most likely to see prices sink are more expensive markets that have experienced years of steep price hikes. For example, Silicon Valley's San Jose, CA, could see corrections, says Hale.

Markets with more housing than buyers, such as Miami, where new developments have been going up at a breakneck pace, may also soften, says Norm Miller, a real estate finance professor at University of San Diego.

The luxury market, which is the priciest 5% of homes in any area, will also probably be affected.

"There are just more expensive homes [than affordable ones] for sale, and so the luxury market is likely to be more vulnerable to price corrections in the event of a recession," says Hale.

A recession could worsen the housing shortage

One of the signatures of the past recession was the overabundance of newly built homes. When the economy collapsed and the buyers disappeared, builders across the nation were forced out of business basically overnight. Abandoned construction sites were littered across the country. The industry still hasn't caught up with the renewed demand, and another recession could worsen the situation.

Only about 875,00 single-family homes were built last year, according to the National Association of Home Builders. But the nation needed about 1.1 million to ameliorate the shortage. If another downturn hits, builders will likely construct even fewer homes, says Rob Dietz, chief economist of the NAHB.

That means when the country recovers, we could experience even greater housing shortages than we've seen over the past few years.

The pace of single-family home construction growth is already slowing down, from 9% in 2017 to about 3% in 2018. Dietz predicts it will be less than 2% in 2019.

Building is expected to remain strong in places with strong population growth, such as the Southeast, Texas, and the mountain states of Montana, Idaho, Colorado, and Utah. Folks need places to live, after all.

But the current higher mortgage rates make it harder for folks to buy homes. Meanwhile, inflation results in higher land, materials, and construction labor costs. That typically translates into fewer new homes going up.

“For builders, it means that demands will fall back in some markets and they will pull back," says Dietz.

Renters won't be spared by a recession

Cash-strapped tenants hoping for a rent break likely won't get lucky even if the economy does start to slump. Rent price growth is likely to slow or even stall as fewer folks are going to be dropping big bucks on housing, says Greg Willett, chief economist at RealPage, a property management technology and analytics company focused primarily on rentals. But it's not likely to fall.

The exception is the luxury market, where landlords will have the most trouble finding tenants.

"Luxury will feel the pain first,” says Willett.

There could be some longer-term consequences as well as fewer rental developments are typically built when the economy sputters, so when things are a bit rosier, there may be fewer units available to fill demand.

Depending on how long the recession lasts, some condo buildings that can't find buyers may eventually go rental. That's most likely in places with an oversupply of housing, such as Miami, Miller says.

"[The last] financial crisis was unique with an unprecedented number of foreclosures, home price declines, and a stunning drop in homebuilding," says Dietz. “The question is whether we’re going to experience a soft landing, a bumpy landing, or a crash landing."

Contact The Mary Gilbert Group for all your Real Estate needs! 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

By: Realtor.com, Clare Trapasso

364 White Fir Way: 2+ Acre Lot in Prime Garden Valley Location!

by Mary Gilbert

Roseburg OR Real Estate For Sale
364 White Fir Way, Roseburg, OR  97471

Prime Garden Valley location! This 2.09 acre lot is located in an area of custom homes and is ideal for your dream home! A quiet cul-de-sac lot with end of road privacy and serene views over the vineyard to the Callahans! Underground utilities. Make your Oregon dreams come true! What are you waiting for?

Mary Gilbert, Licensed Realtor in Oregon has distinguished herself as a leader in the Roseburg OR real estate market. Mary assists buyers looking for Roseburg OR real estate for sale and aggressively markets Roseburg OR homes for sale. 

Mary, Licensed Realtor in Oregon brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Roseburg OR home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future –Mary Gilbert of Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley will help make the most of your Roseburg OR real estate experience. Give her a call today, 541-371-5500, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

Weatherstripping Windows and Doors: How to Find the Leaks

by Mary Gilbert


o/~ “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose…. even though your windows are closed….” o/~

 

If that sounds disturbingly like your home in the middle of winter, we’ve got to talk. You may not want to admit it, but something is very wrong with your windows and doors. On cool, calm days you can’t really tell if it’s cold inside because you have the thermostat turned down a bit or if if that chilliness is cold air leaking in from your windows, but on windy days there’s no doubt.
 

Just looking at those windows makes you shiver. Don’t suffer needlessly from low indoor temperatures and high utility bills. Instead, do something about it! It’s time for weatherstripping.
 

What is Weatherstripping?

Weatherstripping is essentially any material you use to close up gaps between two surfaces of building materials located on an outside wall (generally). The act of installing weatherstripping is also commonly known as “weatherstripping,” so it can get a little confusing.
 

Even though it may look like your house doesn’t have any gaps between, say your window trim and the wall or the upper and lower portions of your double-hung windows, the chances are good that there are lots of small cracks you’re just not seeing. As a result, you’ll end up leaking climate controlled indoor air out into the outdoors. Sometimes this is really obvious. You’ll feel the air temperature differential or you’ll literally see bright light shining through the gaps when the room is darkened.
 

More often, though, you’ll find some of the gaps and miss a lot more because they can be very hard to detect. Homeowners and pros alike handle this issue in a few different ways:
 

  • They perform yearly maintenance on the weatherstripping. When you’re positive that your home isn’t leaking air, there’s not really any reason to refresh the weatherstripping or recaulk everything that is nailed to something else. But if you’re not sure of your leak status or you simply don’t think you will be able to tell where leaks are forming, spending a day laying down new beads with the caulk gun and replacing any worn weatherstripping will ensure your home is ready for the coldest and hottest days.
  • They take advantage of infrared camera technology. Infrared cameras are really cool. Or, at least, they can show you where things that are really cool happen to be located. Although they’re not fool-proof, if you want to give this tech a try, you can pick up a model that will attach to your smartphone for a lot less than the units the pros tend to use. When an area turns up icy blue (or another color, depending on your camera settings), you can then manually inspect that area for unexpected air flow.
  • They enlist the help of a energy specialist for an energy audit. Many utility companies have an energy specialist on hand to help with energy audits. Even those that don’t will keep a list of independent home pros that can perform the same service. They have all kinds of neat tools in their bags and will not only point out the drafts, but can help you deal with these and the other energy losers in your home.
     

You may be surprised (or even alarmed!) at how much of your home’s indoor air is leaking in from the outside and the other way around. But you can’t efficiently weatherstrip your home until you know where the leaks are, so it’s a painful, but necessary first step Again, if you’re just really in love with the caulk gun, a refresh never hurt anything, but you probably have other things you’d like to be doing.

 

Contact The Mary Gilbert Group for all your Real Estate needs! 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

 

By: Homekeepr, David Weinstein

Decluttering the Hard Stuff

by Mary Gilbert


After the holidays roll around, we usually come across a couple of boxes of decor we haven’t used in a few years, the kids find that they have no room for their new things, and we simply realize it is
 time for a throwing out party!  Use these tips to have a decluttering and start the new year off clutter-free! 

 

  • - You could make some extra cash if you’d get rid of those not-so-stylish sweaters you have stored away.  Sell them in social media website marketplaces or give them to a charity to sell. 

  • - Non-sentimental decorations that haven’t been used in a few years should be given the same thought as clothes you haven’t worn lately:  get rid of them. 

  • - Many schools and other charities hold warm clothing drives this time of year.  If you have coats, gloves and other cozy gear in good condition that haven’t been worn in a year or two, even adult sizes, have them cleaned and donate them. 

  • - Books are items that are very difficult for readers to declutter, but you can stop the growth of your book pile.  Go to the local library, sign up for a card, and check out books! If you love them, then buy a copy.  That way, you won’t have books you’ll likely not read again stored or crowding your home. 

  • - Your children can help with the room-cleaning and let them decide what they want to give away.  If they can’t remember the last time, they played with something, and if it’s not extra-special to them, put it in a giveaway bag.  Call local non-profit daycares and homeless/domestic violence shelters to see if they can use them. 

  • - Take time to clean up your computer.  Look for old documents and downloads that you’re no longer using and remove programs that you nor the computer need.  It will free up memory and may even help the speed of your computer. 

  • - Old blankets and other bedding that isn’t being used would be a great donation for animal shelters! Gather everything in a bag and give your local pound or shelter a call. 

  • - In the bathroom closet and medicine cabinets, you may find a lot of lotions/creams/soaps that have never been used.  Donate these to assisted living centers or homeless shelters. 

  •  

It can be difficult to let things go, because we hold on to things because we just know we’ll need them as soon as they’re gone.  It’s best to set a few things to get rid of, or amount of time to spend on the cleaning, or just a date to start our throwing-out party and stick to it.  

 

Contact the experts on The Mary Gilbert Group for all your Real Estate needs! 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

Photo credit: wellnesscentreportstephens.com.au

Exploring Roseburg Oregon: Sportsmen’s & Outdoor Recreation Show

by Mary Gilbert

 

February 15 -  12:00 PM - 9:00 PM
February 16 - 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
February 17 - 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Enjoy learning about activities from hunting and fishing to camping and boating!  There will be a climbing wall, hydroflight, aqua drome, and a fish pond for kids! 

For more event information call (542) 440-4396

Event Website

Courtesy of The Mary Gilbert Group

Photo Credit: visitroseburg.com

How to Drain Your Hot Water Heater

by Mary Gilbert


Of all the things that civilization has brought us, including sliced bread, hot water may be the very best. It’s certainly up there, without a doubt. So, it would follow that if you really value that hot water, you’d want to care for and protect the equipment that makes it possible.

 

Whether you’re doing it as a bit of regular maintenance or because you’re leaving a vacation or rental home unoccupied, draining said water heater is one of the easiest things you can do to keep that particular appliance in tip-top shape.
 

Why You Should Drain Your Hot Water Heater

Most water supplies contain lots of random minerals in various quantities. Get enough of them together and you get “hard” water, which really just means it has a lot of minerals in suspension. Over time, these minerals settle out and land in the bottom of your hot water heater. Given enough time, a layer thick enough to interfere with the function of the appliance will develop.
 

Before you reach that point, a maintenance flush is in order. How often you flush depends on a lot of factors, including the size of the hot water heater and how often it’s used. A good rule of thumb is to flush your water heater every six to 12 months, whether you think it needs it or not. It’s better to wash those particles out before they become a problem.
 

Of course, draining your water heater isn’t just about flushing particles. If you’re going to leave a house sitting empty for a significant period of time, you should empty the hot water tank. Draining the hot water heater is an important part of winterizing vacant homes, it helps to protect the heater itself from damage due to low temperatures. When the water lines are also drained, emptying them completely keeps them from freezing and bursting.
 

How to Drain a Hot Water Heater

Draining a hot water heater is a really simple process. In fact, the hardest part is working with water hot enough to scald you. Before you even get started, snagging some thick dishwashing gloves or other heavy, insulated and very importantly, non-absorbent, form of hand protection.If you’re wearing thick cotton gloves, for example, they’ll just hold that extremely hot water against your skin.
 

With your skin adequately protected, draining or flushing your hot water heater is a piece of cake. Just follow these steps:
 

  1. Turn off the water heater. If it’s electric, flip the breaker; for gas units, turn the gas off or set the unit to “pilot.”
  2. Wait patiently for the water to cool a bit. The longer you give it, the safer you’ll be. (You can skip this step, but do so with caution)
  3. Turn the cold water off. You can’t drain a water heater that’s constantly filling up!
  4. Open some faucets. Pick a faucet or two close to the water heater and turn the hot side on and leave it on until you’re totally done with the draining portion of the show. This helps speed up the draining and prevents vacuums from forming in the pipes.
  5. Attach a water hose. It’ll screw onto the brass drain valve near the bottom of the unit.
  6. Pick a spot to dump the water. There’s a lot of water about to come out of that hose, so choose your disposal option carefully. Outdoors is a good place to run the hose (just not too close to the house), but if you can’t reach that far, a sump pit, floor drain or big bucket will do.
  7. Open the valve! This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Open the value (you may need a screwdriver). If you’re flushing the hot water heater, then let it run a few gallons at a time into a bucket so you can tell when the sediment has finished coming out of the unit.
     

If you’re draining your hot water heater because you’re leaving the house empty for a while, you’re essentially done with the water heater now (winterizing a home is a whole different blog). If you’re flushing sediment, keep going until you see the water run clear, then do all those steps in reverse for a hot water heater with shiny clean insides and hot water.

 

Contact The Mary Gilbert Group for all your Real Estate needs. 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

 

By: Homekeepr, Rob Morelli

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Contact Information

Photo of Mary Gilbert Real Estate
Mary Gilbert
Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley
2365 NW Kline Street, Suite 201
Roseburg OR 97471
541-371-5500
Fax: 541-371-5501

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