Water Heater Maintenance Tips

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October 25, 2016
Water Heater Maintenance Tips

These water heater maintenance tips are brought to you by our friends at Ken’s Plumbing. Your home’s water heater is a vital piece of your plumbing system. Whether your water heater is gas or electric, poor maintenance can lead to increased energy costs and dangerous conditions within your home. Replacing it can be expensive and—depending on where it’s located—incredibly challenging, requiring tearing into walls or cutting through flooring in worst cases. So while replacing a water heater is inevitable at some point, we’d like to explore some tips for getting the most out of the one you have!

Water Heater Maintenance Tips

  • Inspect the Pressure Valve: One of the most important water heater maintenance tips is to make sure your pressure valve is working correctly. While we recommend you hiring a professional, we understand there are some handymen out there, just remember you are dealing with scalding hot water— something you may not handle on a daily basis as your typical plumbing does. What you’ll want to do first is turn off the electricity to the water heater or turn off the gas to extinguish the pilot light. Shut off the cold water inlet to the water heater. Then place a bucket to catch water from the pressure relief valve. Pull the trip lever on the valve and retrieve a cup or two of water. Listen and look out for a rush of air some water and vapor exit through the pressure relief valve. If you don’t, then the pressure valve needs replacement. A malfunctioning valve is incredibly dangerous, potentially causing the water heater to explode.
  • Flush out Your Tank: Once or twice a year, it’s always a good idea to empty the water heater tank in order to remove any deposit that has accumulated inside. If the tank is disconnected from water and power, then you can hook a hose up to the drain valve and place the other end where it’s safe to discharge hot water. With the pressure valve already open, flip open the drain valve and let all the water flow out. Finally, you will hook up the water to the hot water heater again and turn on your hot water faucets. Be sure to wait until water starts coming out before you power up the heater again.
  • Note: While you may think this is another of our hot water maintenance tips that can easily be done, it’s always best to hire a professional to do the job for you. Saving money shouldn’t be your first concern when it comes to your home’s plumbing, and your plumber understands the precautions needed to be taken when flushing out your tank while using proper equipment that you can’t find in a Home Improvement store.
  • Check on Your Anode Rod: The anode rod is the gadget that prevents corrosion in your hot water tank and is an essential tool for prolonging the life of the water heater. Check on it while the tank is drained by unscrewing the hex head at the top of the tank and pulling out the rod. If the rod has become very thin or coated in sediment, it’s time for a replacement. While most anode rods last about five years, as part of our hot water heater maintenance tips we recommend that you check on them annually to ensure that they are in good repair.
  • Refill the Tank: Once you’ve removed the hose from the drain valve, you can turn the water back on and refill the tank. After you have filled the tank, you can turn the power back on to the water heater.

Put Your Household Plumbing in Expert Hands

Water heaters are the most often overlooked household item, but they’re one of the most important pieces of your home. If you are concerned that your water heater may not be functioning properly, call and inspector immediately to check it out. Don’t forget, with regular check-ups, proper maintenance, and these hot water heater maintenance tips your water heater will be there for you in the warmest of months and the coldest of months.


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