Your water heater is critical to your home’s comfort and practicality in everything from dishes to laundry to self cleaning and back again. While they seem like complicated pieces of equipment in your attic or perhaps in a closet, and they are to an extent, you can do your part to help with water heater maintenance on your own. Here are the best things to try and how to do them.
Water heater maintenance tips
Remove sediment buildup
One of the best things that you can do to help preserve the life of your water heater is to remove the buildup of sediment. This will mean it won’t have to work as hard to heat up the water and it will save you cash! The steps are as follows. (Instructions may vary for a tankless water heater but note that sediment can still build-up as well).
- Turn off the electricity or extinguish the pilot light.
- Next, connect a garden hose to the drain valve and allow it to drain out somewhere like a nearby tub, as it is just hot water and it won’t do any damage.
- Turn off the cold-water pipe to the tank and then flush the tank either to 1/4 or all the way if possible, to make sure that you can get all of the sediment out.
- Once that is done and the tank is all the way empty, remove the hose and close the valve.
- Turn on the cold-water pipe again restart the pilot and/or connect the electricity.
- Then turn on the hot water faucet closest to you to refill and reheat the tank.
Another detail to help your water heater tank and home stay safe is to make sure that your tank’s pressure release valve is working properly. This will protect the tank from overheating and/or overfilling.
To do this, put a bucket underneath the pressure relief valve and gently tip the valve up. You will hear a hissing sound and some water will run out of the tank. If this doesn’t happen, you will want to call a professional to see what’s going on with the valve.
Try lowering the temperature just a bit
Another trick to help you get the most life out of your water heater is to reduce its temperature just a bit. Your instruction manual will tell you how to do that (sometimes it’s digital and other times it is manual). If you decrease it by even 10 degrees, you’ll notice a lower heating cost for the tank and you won’t get that scorching hot water coming out, either, which is always a plus.
What else can you do?
If any of these issues keep happening or you can’t solve the issue you are having, don’t hesitate to call Creekside Plumbing & Construction and receive our respect and professionalism-based red-carpet service. We will be able to quickly assess what the issue is and potentially save you from having to replace your water heater from not properly maintaining your water heater and further damage.
Taking a DIY approach to maintaining and protecting your water tank is a great idea, but make sure that you call in a professional for anything more complicated or if something doesn’t seem right.