Water Heater Maintenance: Essential Tips

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Hot water represents one of life’s necessities. Aside from its requirement for adequate cleaning and washing, it’s the use of hot water to bathe that most of us simply cannot live without. 

Regardless of how you rank the usefulness of its many employments, the sudden failure of a water heater presents a serious inconvenience.

Not only this, but a water heater represents a fairly substantial investment into your home and comfort. All of these reasons underscore the importance of water heater maintenance.

Elements of Water Heater Maintenance

To keep your water heater functional for as long as possible, you should learn to perform some basic maintenance. The accomplishment of these tasks will help you realize the full lifespan and total value of your device.

5 Water Heater Maintenance: Essential Tips

Proper maintenance of your water heater is crucial not just for ensuring a consistent supply of hot water but also for extending the life of the unit and maximizing its efficiency.

Regular checks and maintenance can prevent breakdowns, save money on repairs, and enhance the overall safety of your home.

Here’s a detailed look at essential water heater maintenance tasks:

1. Check Your Anode Rod

The anode rod is critical for preventing the corrosion of your water heater’s tank. This rod sacrifices itself to corrosion so the tank doesn’t. Typically made of magnesium or aluminum around a steel core, the anode rod should be checked annually for excessive wear.

If more than six inches of the steel core is visible, or if the rod is heavily coated with calcium, it’s time for a replacement to continue protecting the tank.

2. Flush Your Tank

Flushing the tank is vital for removing mineral deposits that accumulate at the bottom of your water heater. These sediments can hinder the efficiency of your heater and damage the tank.

Annually flushing the tank helps to prolong the life of your heating elements and the tank itself. Simply drain the water from your heater, flush it with cold water to remove the sediment, and refill.

3. Drain the Tank

If you plan to leave your house for a prolonged period or won’t be using your water heater for an extended time, draining the tank is advisable to prevent the risk of leaks or flooding.

Draining the tank also avoids the stagnation of water, which can lead to the buildup of harmful bacteria.

4. Check the Pipes

Regularly inspect the pipes connected to your water heater for signs of leakage or wear. Although this doesn’t necessarily extend the life of your water heater, checking the pipes can prevent water damage and save on potentially costly repairs.

Ensure that there are no drips or wet spots around the connections.

5. Check Your T & P Valve

he Temperature and Pressure (T&P) relief valve is a safety device that helps to mitigate the risk of explosions due to overpressure or overheating.

Check this valve annually by lifting the lever part way and then letting it snap back. Water should flow freely into the drain if it’s working correctly, and stop when you release the lever. If the valve does not operate, it should be replaced.

If you are unsure of how to perform some of these practices, make sure to call for professional help. As a side note, you can also avoid common problems with sediment buildup through water softener installation.

Call Us Today for Service

At Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air, we provide a full range of maintenance and repair options for water heaters. 

We also offer installation services, since even water heaters that receive dutiful repairs and maintenance will eventually need replacement. 

For any needs with water heater maintenance in Santa Cruz, Marin, Santa Clara, and Sonoma, or any plumbing issues, make sure to give us a call today at 831-244-6718.

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