Compared to other home appliances, the water heater has quite a demanding role. It has to provide hot water on-demand for such activities as bathing, washing dishes and cooking. A water heater also has to withstand constant temperature changes and internal pressure. As such, regular maintenance is vital to ensure the heater remains in peak condition. Here are three water heater maintenance tips:
1. Flush the tank
Flushing your water heater rids it of sediments such as hard-water minerals such as calcium, sand, and rust. Sediment build-up not only affects your water heater’s efficiency but also leads to clogged lines. Consumer Reports recommend that you flush your tank at least once yearly. When flushing your tank, follow the below steps:
-Shut off the water supply to your water heater as well as the power
-Connect a hose to the water heater’s drain valve. Make sure the other end of your hose is in a place that will not be affected by hot water
-Open the drain valve and allow all the water in your water heater to drain out
-With the drain valve still on, turn the water supply back on and allow the water to drain until the water is clear
2. Check the pressure relief valve
You may have noticed a switch located on one side of your water heater with a plastic or copper discharge pipe. This is the pressure relief valve. Its purpose is to prevent pressure build-up in your water heater. If the pressure builds up within the water heater, the pressure relief valve automatically opens. When checking the pressure relief valve, place an empty bucket underneath the discharge pipe and lift the lever. You should notice some water vapor and gurgling sounds as the water gets into the drain valve. If the valve doesn’t automatically snap back, consider having it replaced.
3. Inspect the anode rod
The anode rod attracts corrosive materials which would otherwise attack the water heater’s exposed stainless steel and other components. It would be wise to replace the anode rod every four or five years. Shut off the power to your water heater and drain a couple of gallons of water. Check the user manual to locate the anode rod and use a wrench to unscrew it. If it is severely corroded, you will need to replace it. Use pipe thread sealant rather than tape on the threads to make the anode rod more effective when reinstalling it.
By observing these maintenance tips, you will mitigate failures before they become costly repairs and prolong the life of your water heater. If you have no idea where to start, let the experts at A to Z Statewide Plumbing do it for you. Call us at 954-981-2133. We also provide water heater installation services.