What if you had no choice but to take cold showers? How often should a hot water system be serviced? When was the last time yours was checked out? Ask yourself — does my hot water heater need maintenance? Life as a homeowner can be an exhausting job. If the septic system doesn’t need to be dug up, the HVAC system is out.
You can’t protect yourself from everything, but the way to best protect yourself from most homeowner woes is to practice preventative maintenance. Take a look at these great Hot Water System Maintenance Tips.
You should regularly examine your water heater to look for potential problems. If you can catch problems early, the repair will be easier and less costly.
Once a month or so, look your hot water heater over well, looking for wear, cracks, and leakage. It will only take you a couple of minutes but can save you aggravation and money.
Your water heater comes set from 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature several degrees higher than necessary. Water only needs to be a couple of degrees above 120 to kill dangerous pathogens. Setting your water temperature at 123-125 degrees will avoid burns, prolong the life of your water heater, and save energy and money.
A two-foot clearance should be maintained around your water heater. Save the fact that something could fall and damage it, you, as well as the plumber, will need easy access to it. Two feet is standard, but your water heater may have a different recommended clearance. See your manufacturer’s instructions.
You should insulate your water heater’s accessible cold and hot pipes with 3/8-inch foam. This keeps the hot water hot on its way to you. It also keeps down condensation on cold pipes in warm temperatures. Also, if you have an older, uninsulated tank, insulate it, being mindful of pilots and fuel sources. This helps avoid heat loss, which cuts your energy bill, and it also extends the life of your appliance.
Does my hot water heater need maintenance? Try this:
Check your instruction manual on how to turn off the cold water supply, and do it. Turn off the power to the hot water heater. Place a bucket directly under the temporary pressure relief valve (TPRV), normally located on the side of the tank. Pull up on the valve, allowing a little water to drain, and release it. Then, search for any flowing or dripping water around the valve. If you find any, you need a new valve.
Next, inspect the anode rod. The anode rod draws in corrosive materials and keeps them from entering the water supply. Because the corrosive material will build up on the rod over time, it will eventually stop working. Every five years or so, you should replace this piece. If you change the anode rod while it aged but still viable, you can extend your water heater’s life significantly. This is another chore that may be best left to a professional.
Turn off electricity to the water heater. Turn off the water supply, and allow the water to cool. Then, attach a hose to the tank, and drain the water from the tank. Now, you can refill the tank and then, turn it back on.
Does my hot water heater need maintenance? Well, it will eventually, so make sure to know what type of water heater you own. Knowing the capacity and age can help a technician bring the needed parts with them the first time. Know your warranty terms, as well, usually listed on the tank on a sticker. If your water heater is nearing the end of its warranty age, you may need to watch it more closely for signs of breakdown.
You should have a professional come out each year and go over your hot water system. When you have a licensed technician do an inspection, you can avoid problems with your burner assembly, exhaust flue, and anode rod, and avoid corrosion and leaks.
For quality hot water system service and more, Contact Mitchell Plumbing & Gas Today, your gas and hot water team.