3 Essential Water Heater Maintenance Tips For Homeowners
Your water heater is the only appliance in your home that is dedicated to providing you with warm water for bathing, cleaning, and cooking. And because most homes in have only one water heater, when it fails, you have no hot water. However, with proper care and maintenance, you can be sure that your water heater will continue to function for the industry-standard life expectancy of about ten years. You would never expect your car to continue to run without oil changes, and the occasional tune-up and your water heater should get the same care and TLC. And the best news is that unlike taking your car in for service, a A Better Plumber & Air Conditioning licensed plumber will come to your home on your schedule to complete these essential service items. Just call (301) 278-8786 and let us know when is convenient for you, and we will arrive promptly for your service appointment.
Everything Needs A Good Cleaning On Occasion
When water is heated, the minerals and other particles settle out of the hot water. And while this is good for you to have more purified hot water, those particles will begin to accumulate at the bottom of your water heater. And as the sediment increases, the efficiency of your water heater decreases. All major water heater manufacturers recommend that units be drained and flushed once a year to remove the sediment and prolong the life of the water heater.
The process for draining a water heater and flushing it is relatively simple. First, turn off the water supply and the power to the water heater. Next, connect a hose to the drain valve of the water heater. Be sure that the opposite end of the hose is in a location that will not be damaged by hot water, such as a drain or into the street. Then open the drain valve on the water heater and allow all of the hot water to drain out. While the drain valve is still open, turn the water supply to the unit back on and allow that water to flush out any remaining sediment. When the water coming from the hose is clear, you can close the drain valve and remove the hose. Finally, turn the power back on so that the water heater can begin heating the fresh tank of water.
Test The Pressure Relief Valve
The pressure relief valve is a safety feature on all water heater holding tanks. It is located on the side of the tank and has a plastic or copper pipe attached to it. If pressure would build up in the tank and exceed a safe level, the valve would open to allow the pressure to decrease. To test this valve, place an empty bucket under the relief valve tube and lift the lever on the valve. Some vapor should be released as well as possibly a few drops of water. Release the lever and the valve should automatically snap closed. If the valve does not work correctly, call (301) 278-8786 to schedule an appointment with a A Better Plumber & Air Conditioning licensed plumber to have the valve repaired or replaced.
Inspect The Anode Rod
The anode rod attracts all of the corrosive material that could damage the inside of your water heater. Think of it as a magnet that attracts all of the particles that would cause your holding tank and other components to break down or become corroded and useless. Most anodes rods are located near the top of the tank and can easily be removed with a pair of pliers or channel locks. Check your water heater manual or the manufacturer’s website for specific instructions on removing the anode from your unit. If the anode is very corroded, it should be replaced. Reinstalling the corroded anode will drastically shorten the life of your water heater.
Once a year maintenance on your water heater should only take a few hours and could double the life expectancy of the unit and significantly improve its efficiency and the quality of your hot water. If you are not comfortable with this maintenance, call (301) 278-8786 and let a pro from A Better Plumber & Air Conditioning take care of this annual service. We offer appointments in the evening and on the weekend so that we do not interfere with your busy schedule. Our affordable rates and dependable plumbers make this an easy and affordable way to get the most service from your water heater.