Water Heater Maintenance Tips

We rely upon a water heater day after day. Because they are usually installed in the garage or basement, we do not think too much about it until we do not have any hot water or we discover water leaking on the floor. Many water heaters will last for a long time because they have been given proper maintenance to extend their life. By extending the life of your water heater, you save money because you do not have to buy a new one.

You will want to do a simple three-step program annually to keep your tank at top condition. This program will only take about 5 minutes to do and is simple to accomplish. You will be doing three things:

Let's start with Step No. 1: Changing the temperature

The second step we are going to check is the temperature and pressure relief valve. This valve is critical to the proper operation of your water heater and is a safety feature.

The third and last step of maintaining your heater is to flush the sediment from the tank. This will help prevent corrosion and rust from building up inside the tank. It is best to do a full flush but that means you would have to shut down your storage tank and drain all of the water inside. You can perform a smaller flush that will work. You can do this mini flush while the hot water heater is still running. Here is what to do:

Caution: Be prepared for the water draining from the water heater to be hot. Be sure children are not around you when you do this and be careful that you are not burned.

Even with care, a water heater can have problems. Signs that your water heater is having a problem are the following:

If you are experienced with replacing water heaters, you can replace your heater or try to repair the area that may be broken. Your other option is to call a plumber. These are possible problems that your water heater may be having:

Keeping your hot water heater in good condition is important. You will enjoy the benefits of having hot water when you want it.

You may want to add a "blanket" around your heater. This is a special blanket that will help to insulate your hot water heater and bring it to an insulated value of R-16. Check the fittings on your heater to be sure they are dry and in good condition before installing the blanket. Be sure the valves and thermostats are left exposed so you can perform routine maintenance. By insulating your water heater, you can reduce the standby heat losses up to 45%. This will save you up to 9% in your hot water heating costs.

With a little care your hot water heater will continue to provide you with hot water when you want it. Would now be a good time to go and check yours?

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