How to Properly Maintain Your Hot Water Heater
The advantages of maintaining your water heater are well known. When you clean the tank, you can improve its efficiency and lifespan, while ensuring that the tank has worked as well as keep the inner components from rusting. If you are unsure, contacting a master plumber for a maintenance inspection is always a good idea.
There are many simple and affordable ways to improve the performance and lifespan of a water heater. In this article, we’ll discuss a few tips to help you maintain your water heater.
Flush the Tank
The truth is that many homeowners don’t realize how important flushing a water heater is. An accumulation of dirt, debris, and mineral deposits at the bottom of your water heater could lead to more serious issues and draining the tank regularly can prevent a system failure.
Follow these steps to flush your water heater:
- Turn off the power or gas and attach the drain valve to a standard garden hose.
- Next, then position the other end of the hose in a drain.
- Open the valve and allow the tank to drain until the water is clear. When doing this, you must exercise caution, as the water may be very hot!
- If you’ve emptied the tank completely, you will need to refill it before turning it on.
Check the TPR Valve
The temperature-pressure-relief (TPR) valve prevents excess pressure buildup and overheating in your water heater. To check and replace the TPR valve, follow the steps below.
- Turn off the cold-water supply and power to the water heater.
- Position a bucket beneath the pipe leading to the TPR valve, which will either be on the top of the tank or its side.
- Raise the tab on the valve to release some of the water. If the water continues to flow, empty the tank halfway, unscrew the valve using a wrench, and replace it.
Replace the Anode Rod
The anode rod protects your water heater by attracting debris and sediment, preventing the water tank from rusting.
However, it is designed to deteriorate over time, preventing the tank from rusting. These anode rods usually only last around five years, but you should examine them once a year to see if they need to be replaced.
Here’s how you can check your water heater’s anode rods:
- Empty the water tank partially and look for the anode rod, which is generally located toward the top.
- Unscrew it with a boxed-end or socket wrench while someone holds the water tank in place.
- Replace it with a new one if it appears to be around 50 percent corroded.
Adjust the Temperature
A great way to reduce your utility costs and increase the lifespan of your water heater is to lower the temperature. Here’s how you can adjust the water temperature:
- Locate the temperature gauge on the side of the water tank and remove its cover.
- With a flathead screwdriver, turn the dial to adjust the temperature from 140 to 120 degrees.
- If you are going to be away for more than three days, you should turn your water heater off or adjust the temperature to the lowest setting.
Your water heater is an essential appliance that you’ll need to invest a little time in to ensure its proper function. Moreover, with a bit of care and routine maintenance, you can increase the longevity of your water heater and save on your utility bill!