As a homeowner, it's easy to take your water heater for granted. It's always there, providing hot water whenever you need it. But have you ever stopped to consider how old your water heater is? Is it up to date? Are you taking care of it properly? Regular maintenance of your water heater is crucial to ensure it's working efficiently and effectively. Here are some tips to help you keep your water heater up to date and functioning properly.
1. Check the Pressure Relief Valve
The pressure relief valve is an important safety feature on your water heater. It's designed to release pressure if it builds up too high inside the tank. Over time, the valve may become corroded or stuck, which can cause it to malfunction. To ensure your valve is working properly, test it once a year by lifting the lever and allowing some water to flow out. If the valve doesn't release any water or continues to leak after you release the lever, it's time to replace it.
2. Flush the Tank
Over time, sediment can build up inside your water heater tank, which can reduce its efficiency and cause it to wear out faster. Flushing the tank once a year can help remove any sediment and keep your water heater running smoothly. To flush the tank, turn off the power or gas supply to the heater, shut off the cold water supply, and open the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Allow the water to drain until it runs clear, then close the valve and refill the tank.
3. Insulate the Pipes
Insulating the pipes that connect to your water heater can help reduce heat loss and save you money on your energy bills. It's especially important to insulate hot water pipes that run through unheated spaces like basements or crawl spaces. You can purchase foam pipe insulation at your local hardware store and install it yourself.
4. Check the Anode Rod
The anode rod is a sacrificial metal rod that's designed to corrode over time instead of the tank. If the anode rod is corroded, it's time to replace it. Checking the anode rod once a year can help prolong the life of your water heater. To check the anode rod, turn off the power or gas supply to the heater, shut off the cold water supply, and remove the anode rod from the top of the tank. If the rod is less than 1/2 inch thick or is coated in calcium or other minerals, it's time to replace it.
5. Schedule Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance by a licensed plumber can help ensure your water heater is working properly and efficiently. A plumber can inspect the tank, test the pressure relief valve, flush the tank, and check the anode rod. They can also make any necessary repairs or replacements to keep your water heater functioning at its best.
Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure your water heater is up to date and functioning properly. By following these tips, you can help prolong the life of your water heater and save money on your energy bills. If you're unsure about how to perform any of these tasks or if your water heater is due for maintenance, contact Mainline Plumbing Inc. to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed plumbers. We're here to help!
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