Water Heater Maintenance Tips to Extend the Life of Your System
Every homeowner should do their best to properly maintain their hot water heater system. Whether you have a gas hot water tank or an electric hot water heater, even a tankless system, there are some things that can be done on your own without calling upon a professional hot water installer.
These simple maintenance tips will help to ensure the life of your hot water systems so you don't have to worry about being without hot water for any considerable amount of time.
By following these simple hot water heater maintenance tips, your water heater tank and system could last for years.
1. Test the TPR Valve
First thing's first: check your TPR valve.
This safety feature has been installed on every hot water tank since 1985 and will help avoid an explosion of your hot water tank if built-up pressure occurs.
To access and test your TPR valve, locate the small dial that looks like a tire stem or bicycle valve on the hot water tank. Turn the dial to shut off hot water to your home or business, then turn it in the opposite direction until you hear hissing noises from the hot water tank.
The valve should be set at 120psi [pounds per square inch]. If pressure is too high, simply open the hot water tanks faucet slightly to reduce the pressure from the pressure relief valve before testing again.
2. Check the Anode Rod
The anode rod inside your hot water tank attracts rust and sediment that would otherwise build up inside of your hot water tank and corrode it away. A hot water heater maintenance tip is every 6 months you should check this anode rod to ensure it's not completely deteriorated yet (please note: some newer hot water heaters do not have an anode rod).
To replace this hot water heater maintenance tip, simply unscrew the hot water tank drain valve and the hot water tank will drain out. Remove the hot water heater vent screen with a putty knife or flat-head screwdriver to reach the rod. Unscrew it from its mount, then purchase a new hot water heater maintenance tip anode rod (same size as your hot water tanks original rod) and screw it back on.
3. Drain the Tank
Draining your hot water tank is probably one of those 'gotta-do' tasks you've been putting off for way too long... Well actually, you should never let your hot water tank run completely dry (unless you want to damage the hot water tank).
If your hot water heater runs out of hot water, simply drain the hot water tank. Turn off your hot water heater's TPR valve (as mentioned before) and open the hot water tanks faucet.
4. Adjust the Temperature
The hotter your hot water supply is, the more energy it will consume. You can adjust this setting by turning your hot water heaters thermostat up or down accordingly. This simple hot water heater maintenance tip can save you money on monthly utility bills if done correctly! This is great for business owners with employees that leave their hot water run too long at home or folks that like really hot showers!
Use a flathead screwdriver to adjust the temperature. This works for either a gas water heater or electric water heater.
5. Insulate the Heater
Insulating an older water heater keeps hot water hot for much longer. Insulating hot water heaters is one of the best hot water heater maintenance tips you can follow because it also helps keep your hot water tank water hot while waiting for use (instead of cooling off).
You can insulate hot water heaters by purchasing an insulation shield or simply wrapping the hot water tank in bubble wrap.
6. Insulate the Pipes
Insulating hot water heaters pipes keeps them from losing heat down to the hot water heater, which saves more energy and prolongs the life of your hot water heater! Simply purchase foam pipe insulation from a hardware store and wrap each pipe with it before connecting it to the hot water tank.
7. Flush Yearly
Flushing out sediment can help you be hot water heater maintenance tip savvy. Sediment build-up and calcium deposits in hot water tanks is caused by everyday minerals found in tap and well water (hardness) that enters the hot water tank through your hot and cold water supply valve.
A simple annual hot water tank flush will remove this sediment from your hot water heater before it has time to corrode its inner walls.
8. Replace the Air Intake Filter
The air intake filter of a hot water heater cuts down on energy costs since it allows less air into the unit, therefore making it run more efficiently. This simple hot water heater maintenance tip saves money on hot water heaters hot and cold water pipes by preventing it from taking in hot air that reduces the hot water tanks hot water capacity.
9. Get a Professional Inspection
For the safety of gas heaters or an electric heater, you should always get a professional hot water heater inspection at least once per year or after any maintenance hot water heater tips that needs to be done. A professional hot water tank inspector will take note and recommend any further action if need be to ensure your water heater's efficiency.
Schedule Water Heater Maintenance From ARS/Rescue Rooter
If you feel like your water heating costs are getting too high, or if your existing water heater doesn't run efficiently anymore, you need a trusted plumbing company to perform water heater maintenance service.
At ARS/Rescue Rooter, our trained plumbers perform basic water heater maintenance on a regular basis, and can help extend the life of your water heater. And if your existing system needs replaced, we have a wide selection of tankless water heater options.