Your water heater is one of the most significant machines
that needs careful attention. Especially during the cold months, having a
working water heater can be especially useful in providing warm baths for your
family, or warm water with which to do your washing. Servicing your water heater
regularly is an
important task for you to take if you want to keep it running perfectly fine.
Not maintaining your water heater properly may cause sediments to accumulate at
the bottom of your water heater tank, which can cause poor performance.
To ensure your family’s comfort, here is a maintenance
checklist that you should follow in order to keep your water heater in tip-top
1. Lower the Temperature
Your water heater comes with its factory pre-set thermostat.
By lowering the temperature and adjusting its settings, you are helping to
conserve energy consumption and prolong its lifespan. There are also good reasons
why you should regularly check your thermostat and set it yourself:
water is above 120 degrees, it increases the buildup of sediments inside your
water heater tank. If the temperature becomes higher, this may result in
scalding, which can cause injury and accidents.
water temperature exceeds 120 degrees, it causes immoderate stand by heat loss
and an increase in energy consumption. It is because a stand by the unit will
habitually re-light the burner to resume its temperature based on the thermostat
Lowering the temperature is also a helpful tip, especially
during summertime, when you don’t need much warm water.
2. Switch It Off When Not in Use
Don’t forget to turn your water heater off whenever you are
not using it. People oftentimes overlook this matter and leave their water
heater switched on even when it is not being used. This is not a good routine
to practice. Keeping your water heater on for an extended period can ruin and
reduce the machine’s lifespan. If you only need a small amount of hot water,
you can use a hot water dispenser instead.
3. Check for Leaks
Check and look for signs of possible leakage on your water
heater by inspecting the bottom, sides, top and anywhere possible.
- Check the Top
The top of your water heater is
where the water enters and leaves the tank. Checking the tubes coming from the
tank can tell you if there are any symptoms of leakage due to water pressure.
The pipes entering are the most vulnerable and prone to leakage; thus, it is
necessary to always check it regularly.
- Check the Bottom
The bottom where the drain valve is
located is also another source of leakage. Check the bottom of your water
heater to make sure if water is escaping from it. Sediment buildup is also one
of the reasons why the bottom of the tank is also a vulnerable spot for a leak.
4. Check Your Pressure Relief Valve
Making sure to inspect and check your pressure relief valve
will help you prevent future troubles. Lift the lever and let the water
discharge to make sure that the flow of water is normal. Here are some
indications to help you recognize if your pressure relief valve is going bad:
water pressure at all
much water pressure
5. Inspect Your Anode Rod
The anode rod is one of the most critical components of your
water heater as it protects the water heater from rusting. Whenever the water
heater tank is filled with water, the anode rod does electrolysis to protect
the exposed steel of the water heater. An anode rod is made up of magnesium and
aluminum materials, which makes it corrode in time.
To inspect whether your anode rod is rusting or not, here is
off the power of your water heater
the shut-off valve
the pressure relief valve to release the water from the tank
If you see flakes of rust in the water, it means you need to
replace your water heater.
6. Clear Your Water Heater Air
The air filter traps dust and other forms of dirt that might
contaminate your water heater system. All these specks of dust building up on
your airflow makes your water heater less efficient. Here are simple ways to
clean your water heater’s air filter:
the gas or pilot light off.
the catch mechanism and remove the filter.
off the dust by using an air compressor, or you may spray water on it until all
of the dust is removed.
you sprayed water on the filter, dry it up with a cloth.
the filter back in its place.
7. Clean Your Water Heater Tank
This step is necessary to prevent sediment build-up in your
water heater tank. Regularly flushing your water heater tank will also help you
extend its lifespan and increase its operating efficiency. In cleaning your
tank, you need to open the pressure relief valve and drain all the water in it.
After releasing all the water, turn the cold water supply on and keep the water
running until clear water flows.
8. Perform an Annual Check-up
Checking your water heater once a year will help you
determine its current condition. After a year, most of the minerals and
chemical residues can be found at the bottom of your tank. If this happens, it
is advisable to drain your water and refill it. Getting rid of residues in your
tank will help you prolong the lifespan
of your water heater.
The Bottom Line
Maintaining your water heater regularly not only keeps your
machine in good condition, but it will also save you time and money since you
would not have to pay extra for repairs or a replacement. Make it a point to
check your water heater so as not to experience any inconvenience, especially
during the colder months of the year.
Edward Flanagan is the founder of Edward’s Enterprises, a
handyman service & licensed general contractorthat has been improving homes
and providing facilities maintenance in Southern California since 1996. Their
plumbing services include water heater repairs and installations and garbage
disposal replacements and repairs. Edward currently divides his time between
Camarillo and Venice Beach, CA, and loves the 405.