Don't Skip These 3 Essential Water Heater Maintenance Tips!
Water heaters are one of those appliances that sit quietly in the closet or basement, performing its duties quietly day in and day out. Really, they’re pretty easy to simply forget about--until they stop working. When water heaters go out, the results can range from annoying to catastrophic. Water heater failure could feel like cold showers in the morning to water damage to the floors and walls, to a bomb-style explosion of steam and hot water. If you don’t believe it, just watch this video of MythBusters explaining what happens in extreme cases when a water heater becomes overpressurized.
But, like any other major system in your home, these failures can be spotted and likely prevented with regular maintenance. Maintenance helps protect your investment by helping it run longer and more efficiently. And the best news? Most of this maintenance you can easily do yourself.
HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR WATER HEATER
The following is a list of things you can do yourself to maintain your water heater with very few tools and materials, but can save you time, money, and trouble in the future. The best news? You can do them yourself!
Both gas and electric water heaters have a safety device called a temperature and pressure relief valve, or T&P valve for short. If, for some reason, the tank overheats or overpressurizes, the T&P valve opens and releases water and vapor to relieve the pressure. These valves should be checked at least once per year because if the valve doesn't operate correctly, the tank could actually rupture or explode.
WATER HEATER FLUSH
As water runs through your water heater, it leaves behind minerals that can build up in the tank, reducing your water heater energy efficiency and lifespan. It creates a layer of sediment that makes heating the water in your tank difficult. This sediment can also clog your water lines if it isn’t cleared. You can avoid these problems and increase the life of your water heater by periodically flushing the tank. It’s a great idea to go ahead and flush the tank each time you check the pressure relief valve.
Your water heater has been built with an internal device that helps protect your tank from corrosion. This device is called the anode rod, or sacrificial anode rod. This rod is made of aluminum or some other soft metal that attracts minerals, inviting them to break down the rod instead of breaking down the lining or structural material of your tank. Because of its importance, the anode rod should be checked annually to make sure it’s still functioning properly. If it becomes too corroded, it needs to be replaced immediately.
What if keeping track of your water heater’s annual maintenance seems overwhelming? That’s okay! Some of our customers will actually choose to enroll in our Comfort Assurance Plan (CAP) so they don’t have to remember these annual maintenance inspections at all. As part of your CAP membership, we will call and remind you and then come and do the tune-up and system check. As part of your plan, you can even add other systems to your CAP plan and have a licensed HVAC technician check and inspect your system or a licensed and certified electrician come and do an annual electrical inspection. Call if you have any questions about our CAP maintenance program.
Author: Amber Smith-Johnson
Copyright © 2018 by Any Hour Services
Aug 7th 2019