Your water heater is one of the most reliable appliances in the house. It serves the important function of providing heated water to your taps. Without your water heater, you would have to manually heat water every time you take a shower, washed your hands and more. While water heaters can last for several years, you can take some steps to extend its life even further. Here are some things you can do to maintain your water heater and save money in the process.
Inspect for leaks
Periodically check for water leakage as well as natural gas leaks. Take a close look for signs of corrosion at all the plumbing joints. Also, inspect flex hose and couplings for any smell of natural gas. It is also essential to ensure that there are no combustible materials in the area near the pilot flame.
Lower the temperature of your heater
Most water heaters installed in households have a pre-set temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. When you lower the temperature of your water heater, you are not only saving on energy costs, but you are also reducing the risk of scalding. If you have a gas water heater, you can change its temperature by turning the dial on its gas valve. If you have an electric water heater, there are a couple of steps you will need to follow.
First, turn off the power and find the small metal panel that covers the thermostat. Then remove the thermostat access panel and change the temperature to your desired setting. If your heater has an upper and lower thermostat, make sure that the lower thermostat is adjusted to the same temperature as the upper.
Check the water pressure
Checking the water pressure is a crucial step that you can’t afford to miss. Otherwise, it could result in some serious consequences. To test the water pressure, observe if the pressure relief valve opens and closes freely. Put a bucket below the discharge tube. Lift the valve so that water can flow through it to the discharge tube. Also, turn the hot water on at another faucet in the house and observe if there are any unusual noises. If you don’t see the water flowing freely when you opened the valve or when you hear noises at another faucet, it’s time to replace the pressure relief valve. If you’re not sure whether you need a replacement or repair, contact a licensed plumber for assistance.
Flush your tank
Once every six months, make it a point to drain a couple of gallons from the tank by opening the spigot on your water heater. Use a hose attached to the tank itself to flush the water heater. Doing this will drain all the water out and make sure that mineral and sediment buildup is also flushed away. This is a simple step, but crucial in making sure that sediments don’t form a solid mass. When deposits start to build up, your water heater’s energy efficiency will be reduced. It will also clog your water lines and that’s the last thing you want to happen. If you’re unsure of how to do the right procedure, contact a professional plumber.
Inspect the anode rod
Checking the anode rod is an essential step to take if you have an older model water heater. The anode rod is an important component that determines the life of your heater. To extend the life of your water heater, make sure that the anode rod doesn’t have holes and mineral build up. To check its condition, the rod will need to be removed from the tank for inspection. If it looks good, reinstall it in the tank. If it needs a replacement, you can either do it yourself or call a reliable water heater or plumbing company.
Taking care of and maintaining your water heater isn’t a hard thing to do with the help of these steps. But if you need further assistance, you can always reach out to a qualified Sparks licensed plumber.