In the event of a large-scale emergency where your water supply is interrupted, a water heater can serve as a valuable source of emergency drinking water. Follow these steps to ensure you can obtain clean water from your water heater.
- During a water supply interruption, a water heater can provide emergency drinking water.
- Turn off the water supply and power to the water heater before extracting water.
- Allow the water to cool, attach a hose or container, and open the valve at the bottom of the tank to collect water.
- Treat the water with bleach before consuming.
- Be prepared before an emergency by printing the step-by-step guide and having necessary supplies on hand.
Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Emergency Drinking Water
Follow these steps to safely extract emergency drinking water from your water heater:
- Ensure the water in the tank stays clean by turning off the water supply to the entire house or building, or specifically to the water tank itself.
- Cut off power to the tank by flipping the breaker for electric water heaters or shutting off the gas for gas water heaters.
- Allow the water to cool for several hours.
- Attach a hose or place a container below the tap/faucet at the bottom of the tank.
- Break the vacuum by disconnecting the hot water line at the top of the tank or turning on a hot water faucet in the house to allow air into the tank.
- Open the valve/tap at the bottom of the tank and collect the water in a clean storage container. The first few gallons may contain rust and sediment, so let it settle before using.
- Treat the water by adding bleach and letting it stand for 30 minutes before consuming.
- Fill the tank completely before restoring power to the water heater.
Preparing Before an Emergency
It’s important to be prepared before a disaster strikes. By taking some proactive measures, you can ensure that you have access to clean water in emergencies. Here are some steps to consider:
- Print and keep the step-by-step guide near your water heater for easy reference.
- Identify and mark the water supply valve to your water heater, so you know which valve to close in an emergency.
- Flush some water from the bottom of the tank on a quarterly basis to remove sediment buildup. This helps maintain the water heater’s efficiency and ensures cleaner water when an emergency arises.
- Make sure you have necessary items like a flashlight, hose, screwdriver or coin, and a clean container for collecting water. These tools will come in handy during emergencies and facilitate accessing the water heater for your emergency water supply.
Being prepared can make a significant difference in managing an emergency situation. Follow these steps to ensure that you are ready to tap into your water heater as a reliable source of emergency drinking water.
It’s important to take proactive measures before an emergency occurs. By equipping yourself with the necessary knowledge and tools, you can access clean water during critical times. Don’t wait until it’s too late – prepare now and ensure the safety and well-being of your loved ones.
Additional Methods for Obtaining Drinking Water in Emergencies
While a water heater can be a reliable source of emergency drinking water, there might be situations where you can’t access your water heater or need alternative options. In such cases, consider these additional methods for obtaining drinking water:
Liquid from Canned Fruits and Vegetables
In an emergency, liquid from canned fruits and vegetables can serve as a potential source of drinking water. These liquids are usually safe to consume as they are commercially packaged and sealed. Remember to check the expiration dates and inspect the cans for any signs of damage or leakage.
Water from the Toilet Tank
If you’re unable to access your water heater or other water sources, water from the toilet tank (not the bowl) can be used as an alternative. This method should only be considered if the water in the tank hasn’t been chemically treated. The toilet tank water is separate from the bowl and can typically be used for purposes like flushing and cleaning.
Water from Melted Ice Cubes
If you have ice cubes in your freezer, melting them can provide a source of drinking water during an emergency. Collect and store the melted ice water in clean containers before use. Remember to ensure that the ice cubes were made from potable water before melting them.
Water from Natural Sources
In addition to water heaters, you can also consider natural sources for emergency drinking water. These sources may include rainwater collection systems, rivers, streams, springs, ponds, dams, or lakes. However, it’s important to purify or filter water from these sources before consumption to remove any potential contaminants.
Explore the alternative methods mentioned above when you can’t access your water heater. By being prepared with multiple options for obtaining drinking water, you can ensure adequate supply during emergencies.
|Liquid from Canned Fruits and Vegetables
|– Commercially packaged and sealed
– Can serve as an immediate source of drinking water
|– Check for expiration dates and signs of damage
– Ensure cans are intact and uncontaminated
|Water from the Toilet Tank
|– Readily available in most households
– Separate from the toilet bowl
|– Use only if water in the tank hasn’t been chemically treated
– Avoid using water from the toilet bowl
|Water from Melted Ice Cubes
|– Already in a liquid state
– Can be sourced from freezer availability
|– Ensure ice cubes were made from potable water
– Store melted ice water in clean containers
|Water from Natural Sources
|– Abundant availability
– Can be accessed in various settings
|– Purify or filter water from natural sources before consumption
– Be cautious of potential contaminants
Purifying and Filtering Water from a Water Heater
While water from a water heater is generally considered safe to drink in emergencies, it’s advisable to purify or filter it before consumption. This extra step can help ensure that any potential contaminants or impurities are removed, providing you with clean and safe drinking water.
There are several methods you can use to purify water from a water heater:
- Boiling: Boiling water is one of the simplest and most effective ways to kill bacteria and pathogens. Bring the water to a rolling boil for at least one minute to ensure it is safe to drink.
- Chemical Purification: You can also use small amounts of iodine or bleach to purify the water. Follow the instructions on the packaging for the appropriate dosage and contact time. Remember to use food-grade bleach or iodine specifically designed for water purification.
In addition to purification methods, you can also use filtering agents to remove impurities from the water. Filtering agents can be layered to provide different degrees of filtration. Here are some commonly used filtering agents:
|Effective in removing chlorine, odors, and some chemicals.
|Can remove bacteria, protozoa, and sediments.
|Highly effective in removing contaminants, including heavy metals and salts.
|UV Light Filters
|Can deactivate bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
By layering these filtering agents, you can create a comprehensive filtration system that ensures the water is free from impurities and safe to drink.
Remember that purifying and filtering the water from a water heater is an additional precautionary step to ensure its safety. It’s important to stay prepared and have multiple emergency water sources available in case of extended disruptions to the water supply.
In times of emergencies, having access to a reliable source of clean water is crucial for the health and well-being of you and your family. Luckily, your water heater can serve as a valuable emergency water source, providing you with the means to obtain drinking water when your regular supply is compromised.
By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can safely extract water from your water heater and ensure its cleanliness before consumption. It is important to remember to treat the water, using methods such as adding bleach, before drinking directly from the water heater.
However, it’s always wise to consider alternative sources of drinking water in case accessing your water heater is not possible or it runs out. Options such as liquid from canned fruits and vegetables, water from the toilet tank (if it hasn’t been chemically treated), melted ice cubes, and natural water sources like rainwater collection systems, rivers, springs, ponds, dams, or lakes can also be explored.
Being prepared before an emergency strikes is key. Make sure you have the necessary tools and supplies readily available, such as a flashlight, hose, screwdriver or coin, and clean containers for collecting water. Keep the step-by-step guide near your water heater for easy reference, and flush some water from the bottom of the tank regularly to remove sediment buildup.
Remember, access to clean water is vital during emergencies, and by being informed and prepared, you can ensure the safety and well-being of yourself and your loved ones.
Can I get emergency drinking water from my water heater?
Yes, in the event of a large-scale emergency where your water supply is interrupted, a water heater can serve as a valuable source of emergency drinking water.
How do I extract water from a water heater for emergency use?
Follow these steps to safely extract emergency drinking water from your water heater:
How can I prepare before an emergency to access clean water?
To prepare before an emergency and access clean water, consider these steps:
What are alternative methods for obtaining drinking water in emergencies?
If you can’t access your water heater, or need alternative sources of drinking water during an emergency, consider these options:
Do I need to purify and filter water from a water heater before drinking?
While water from a water heater is generally considered safe to drink in emergencies, it’s advisable to purify or filter it before consumption.
How can I purify and filter water from a water heater?
You can purify water from a water heater by boiling it or using small amounts of iodine or bleach. Filtering agents can also be layered to remove impurities.