As water is pumped into your water heater tank dirt, sediment and various minerals settle on the bottom. Depending on your water quality these extra "ingredients" can add up rather quickly robbing your water heater's efficiency and costing you in the long run. If left unchecked they can not only make your water heater work harder but also allow your tank to rust and slowly be eaten away until you need to replace the entire unit which is very costly yet easily preventable. And cheap to prevent! You just need a hose, bucket (optional) and gloves (optional too, but safer with.)
This Instructable will show you how to perform a simple yearly draining of your water heater to keep it running smoothly.
Step 1: Locate Water Heater
Be careful! You are going to be dealing with gas/electricity and very hot water and steam.