Water Heater Maintenance Tips

Posted: 2017-11-17

Are you one of the many people who only think of their water heater when their warm shower turns cold? A water heater is one of those things people typically install, then just completely forget about it, until it stops working properly. The good news is, a little maintenance on your water heater can go a long way in reducing the number of visits from technicians, particularly from your heating company for repair jobs.

Also, regular maintenance on your water heater can extend its life and avoid early replacement, saving you hundreds if not thousands of hard-earned dollars.

Many tasks required to take care of your water heater don't need to be done by a professional. Most homeowners can perform the maintenance on their own.

Keep in mind though that water heaters are run through electricity. These two aren't really a good mix. Be sure to disconnect the power supply from the water heater before making any attempts to maintain it.

Below are a few recommendations on how to keep your water heater in great shape while making sure that your family is safe from any water heater disasters.

Keep Flammable Materials Away

Clear your water heater from cleaning chemicals, paint, gasoline, insecticides and other combustible materials. Always maintain 2 feet of clearance around the appliance unless the manual specifically states otherwise.

Adjust the Temperature

Set your water heater's temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower can lead to the development of harmful bacteria in your water system, any higher and the risk of blistering becomes a reality. Operating on the lower end of the temperature scale will help extend your water heater's life and could also lower your energy bill.

Check for Leaks

Be sure to inspect your hot water tank for leaks, once every few months to avoid costly repairs and high utility bills. If you detect obvious leaks, rust stains or water pooling at the base of the tank, you need to call a professional.

Drain the Tank

If not regularly maintained, your water tank may contain sediment particles, resulting in an inefficient, inconsistent and possibly foul-smelling hot water system. Draining the tank at least once a year keeps sediment from building up and extends the life of your unit. This also makes the unit operate more quietly.

For hard water conditions, you may need to drain the water heater tank more than once a year. To drain your tank, simply connect a garden hose to the drain valve and flush a few gallons of water until the water runs clear. To speed up the draining process, you can opt to use a transfer pump and a hot water hose to boost the pressure when draining the water heater tank.

Check the Anode Rod

The anode rod inside the heater helps protect the tank from leaks and should be inspected from time to time and replaced if necessary. However, bear in mind that the anode rod can only be replaced when the bare support wire remains.

Check the Pipes

Inspect your pipes and see if there are leaks. Leakages can damage more than just water so repair pipe leaks and replace them if needed. This may not be a DIY project so it's best to call your local HVAC company in Shoreview to get the job done.

Test the Temperature-Pressure (TP) Valve

This can be done once a year by quickly discharging it for two or three times. After the testing, observe the valve and watch out for small leaks.

If You Have Electric Water Heaters

Wrapping your water heater with insulation helps reduce your utility bills because it maintains the water temperature longer. It also helps prolong the life of the heating element as it does not need to have recurring cycles.

If You Have Gas Water Heaters

Check the venting system at least every 90 days. Watch out for obstructions and damages to the vent piping and replace them if necessary.

Check the pilot light. It should be blue (natural gas) or blue/green (propane) with just a bit of yellow at the tip. If it shows mostly as a yellow flame, it is usually a weak flame and means that your pilot light needs to be repaired or adjusted.

Trust Only the Pros

Water is one of the most important things we need in life; and taking care of your water heater plays a big part in making sure that your family gets nothing but clean, safe water.

At Four Seasons Air Specialists, we ensure you get fantastic customer service and will provide you with the best heating and cooling products. We have been experts in indoor comfort and the preferred heating company in Shoreview MN and neighboring cities since 1974.

Call us for a free estimate and more pro tips on maintaining your water heater.