Water Heater Maintenance

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The only time we think about our water heater is when we have to buy a new one and how to fix when the old one breaks. There are maintenance procedures you should do at your home but most companies that sell them aren’t telling us too much about it. We need to hire someone to fix it but there are methods that will prolong its life.

Maintenance depends on the type you have, it could be a tankless hot water heater or any other but still twice a year you should check for any issues. The problems you might have could be very serious even if there are multiple safety features on new heaters. There were cases where it exploded and make a lot of damage so it needs to be controlled from time to time.

Drain and Clean the Tank

Once a year you should drain the tank to remove any unwanted waste. After some time sediment will collect at the bottom which will make your water heater less efficient. A few basic steps need to be followed when doing this. The first thing is to turn off electricity or gas that is connected to the heater. You can use a garden hose and place to where the drain valve is. Also, turn off the incoming water so you can release the pressure from the tank.

The last step is to open the drain valve. Another important thing to mention is that you will turn on electricity or gas when the tank is refilled, don’t do it before that happens. In some cases, you would need a pump to drain out the water which can be bought in any home supply shops.

Replacing the Heating Element

This is usually done by a professional and it rarely happens that someone tries to fix it on their own because it can be dangerous messing with wires. If you are seeing the difference in efficiency then probably a heating element needs to be replaced. It’s a rod that connects with electrical wires. It isn’t that hard to change but still, safety is the number one thing.

When you turn everything off and release the pressure to break the vacuum and drain the tank, you can open the cover to get to the heating element. It’s crucial to disconnect all the wires connected to it and unscrew it so you can pull it out. You need to buy the same you took out so everything will work. Read more on this link.

Pressure Release Valve

While you are checking everything you should go for the pressure relief valve which is one of the most important parts that can save you if something goes wrong. It connects to a pipe that will direct the water away so it won’t spray around when it’s released. Professionals recommend checking the valve twice a year. Clogging can happen and the pressure can rise which can end badly.

Even if the tank is full you can test the valve by lifting the handle. A small amount of water will be released but be cautious because hot water will run. Have something like a pot to catch the water. You can do this for a couple of seconds, there’s no need to do it for longer. It’s corroded if the valve doesn’t release. You will need to stuff off the water if you are going to replace the valve.

Additional Tips

Any kind of leaks should be fixed immediately because you are risking further damage and it will impact your bill. Most damage occurs after the winter period or a storm. Different kind of heater needs a different kind of maintenance so for the electric type you would need great insulation. It will save the temperature for a longer period so you won’t need too much energy which results in a smaller bill.

When it comes to gas heaters, the most important part to check is the pilot light and venting system. This should be checked every 3 months. Any corrosion should be fixed immediately because you don’t want any leakage. The pilot light is crucial for the efficiency of the heater. Everything is okay if it is blue or green but when it’s yellow then something is wrong.