Water heater maintenance is an essential aspect of home ownership that can help to ensure the safety and efficiency of your appliance. Often times, people consider efficiency when it’s time to purchase a new water heater. Resources like the Energy Star Super Efficient Water Heater recommendations are useful, but less often considered is maintaining a water heater. Regardless of whatever water heater you choose at time of purchase, for the life of that choice, there are several types of water heater maintenance that should be performed regularly to keep your water heater in good working order, and running most efficiently.
Types of Water Heater Maintenance:
One important type of water heater maintenance is flushing the tank. Over time, sediment can accumulate in the bottom of the tank, which can reduce the heating efficiency of the appliance and even cause it to fail prematurely. To prevent this, it’s recommended to flush the tank annually to remove any sediment that has accumulated. Flushing the tank is a relatively simple process.
Another way to increase the life of your water heater is by checking the anode rod. The anode rod is a sacrificial rod that is designed to corrode in place of the water heater tank. It’s important to check the condition of the anode rod at least annually and replace it if necessary to protect the tank from corrosion.
The anode rod is usually made of magnesium or aluminum and is designed to corrode over time, protecting the tank from corrosion. If the rod is less than half its original size, it should be replaced. It’s a good idea to keep a spare anode rod on hand, or a reliable plumber on call, just in case you need to replace it, as it’s an important component of your water heater.
Checking and replacing the thermostat is also an important tip for getting the best performance from your water heater. The thermostat is responsible for controlling the temperature of the water in the tank, and if it’s not working properly, it can cause the water to be too hot or not hot enough. It is important to check the thermostat annually and replace it if necessary to ensure that the water temperature is consistent.
To check the thermostat, you will need to locate it on the side of the water heater and test it using a thermometer. If the water temperature is not within the recommended range, the thermostat may need to be replaced. It’s a good idea to consult the owner’s manual or a professional plumber to determine the correct water temperature range for your specific water heater model.
Checking the pressure-relief valve is another important maintenance tip for extending the life of a water heater. The pressure-relief valve is a safety feature that helps to prevent the water heater tank from overheating or developing too much pressure. It’s important to test the pressure-relief valve annually to ensure that it’s functioning properly.
Finally, inspecting the heating elements is an important and crucial part of water heater maintenance, especially for electric water heaters. The heating elements should be inspected annually for signs of wear or damage, and replaced if necessary. To inspect the heating elements, you will need to locate them at the bottom of the water heater and test them using a multimeter. If the elements are not functioning properly, they should be replaced.
Overall, regular water heater maintenance is important to ensure the safety and efficiency of the appliance. It can help to extend the life of the water heater and prevent costly repairs or replacements. By performing these simple maintenance tasks on a regular basis, you can ensure that your water heater is always ready to provide hot water for your home.
Need help with water heater maintenance? We handle installation, maintenance, and repair of water heaters, and we’re available anytime you need. We’re top rated local plumbers, and taking good care of water heaters is what we do. Give us a call at 626.448.6455