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Even though your water seems clean and clear, deposits gradually develop and collect in the bottom of your water heater tank. This problem is worse in areas that have hard water. Especially with a gas water heater, this buildup of deposits insulates the burner heat exchanger surface from the water. This creates an inefficient situation and your utility bills are needlessly high.
It is very simple to remedy this problem. Every month or two, open the valve at the bottom of the water heater tank and drain out a gallon or two of water. This flushes out the deposits. Although the water at the bottom at the tank is usually not extremely hot, be careful when draining it. Do not drain more than two gallons, especially with an electric water heater. You do not want to drain the water level below the upper heating element.