Maintain Your Water Heater to Extend Its Life

water heater repairReplacing a water heater is no fun; neither is taking a cold shower. Maintaining your water heater is essential to get the maximum use and a long lifespan as well as protect your safety.

Regular, routine inspections and maintenance should be performed for your hot water heater. It’s generally recommended to do this every month or so to reduce the danger from a faulty heater and to keep it operating efficiently.
Some of the more modernized computer-based water heaters (such as tankless ones) will have to be inspected by a professional, whereas a homeowner with some knowledge can inspect his/her own traditional storage tank system.

The “DIY” Inspection

If you are going to conduct a do-it-yourself (DIY) inspection educate yourself first and know the warning signs of trouble. For instance, is your water temperature increasing or decreasing without changing the setting on the tank? If so, this could be a heating element issue or an issue with the thermostat.

Look for drips or puddles around the unit itself. If there are cracks or rust on the exterior of the tank, there is a definite problem. Call a professional right away.

Gas hot water heaters are units that demand attention and service. If you are having a hard time keeping the water heater lit you could have an igniter issue. Has the unit been cleaned? Flames should be blue. If orange or yellow, you may have heating element issues.

Check your pressure relief valve. You don’t want a tank to explode. If pressure is not being properly relieved this is exactly what could happen. You can check the valve manually to ensure it is opening and closing. You can find it by referring to your owner’s manual. The drain outlet must be clear, and if all is normal, hot water will spray out.

Flushing the tank is a great routine maintenance procedure that takes a little time but saves a lot of money. Start the process by flipping your circuit breaker and turning off the cold water valve. There is a place you can attach a hose and drain the tank. Then open the pressure relief valve and the drain valve. This will allow the tank to empty faster. It will also remove any harmful sediment that may have accumulated in the tank.

Once the tank is emptied, carefully put everything back together. Turn on all of your hot water faucets. Open the cold water valve, and once the water starts flowing you can flip your breaker and turn off the faucets.

The Anode Rod

The anode rod is another thing that commonly may need maintenance. It extends into the actual tank and extracts corroded bits and pieces that would lead to rusting issues. Extracting these materials will cause this rod to rust. This should be checked and replaced at the first sign of any rust. If you are replacing it regularly, then it is doing its job.

Prevent Catastrophe; Call a Professional

Some of us can do routine maintenance ourselves, or choose to call a professional. If you have not been maintaining your hot water heater it is never too late to start. We’re here to make sure you are getting the most out of your appliances. If you have questions, reach out to the professionals at Abbey Plumbing and Mechanical today: (905) 822-0521.


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