Water heaters are one of the most important appliances in a household. They provide you with warm water to bath, wash clothes, and clean your dishes comfortably.
Anybody who has ever taken a bath with cold water in cold weather can testify how important the water heater is!
Therefore, it is important to take care of your water heater, so it can last for years to come.
The following steps are recommended by the professionals in order to keep the water heater running properly:
· Regularly inspect the pressure valve
Every water heater is equipped with a pressure valve which releases any excess pressure. A non-working pressure valve can cause serious damage and can even explode if ignored for long period of time.
Without an operational pressure valve, your water heater can build excess heat and pressure within it, so it is highly recommended to check the valve on a regular basis.
In order to check the valve, place a bucket beneath the valve pressure pipe and manually open the lever. This will allow the hot water to flow out of the tube. If the water doesn’t flow, then the valve is not functioning properly and should be replaced as soon as possible.
· Set the temperature dial at 120° F
The United States Department of Energy recommends setting the temperature at 120° F. this will lower your energy bills and can save up to 400 dollars annually. A lower temperature will also reduce the risk of scalding water temperatures.
· Flush the tank on the annual basis
Over the course of the year, your water heater is likely to form build up. In order to clear the tank from dust and debris, it is important to flush out the tank of the water heater annually.
To do so, simply cut off the water supply to the tank, connect a garden hose to the drain valve, and allow the water to flow out until the tank is completely empty.
· Check the appliance for leaks and drips
It is important to routinely check your tank for any possible leakage. The most common cause of leaks and drips from your water heater is poorly installed pipes. This is why it is extremely important to choose the right type of pipes for installation, as not all can handle high pressure and temperatures.
· Other simple tips
- Always keep the area surrounding your water heater clean and clear of debris
- Inspect the sacrificial anode rod thoroughly every two to three years
- To increase the efficiency of an older unit, consider coating it with a fiberglass jacket
- Before leaving the house for an extended period of time, place your water heater on the “vacation setting” to conserve energy
· An annual inspection by a professional plumber is a must
While using your water heater with care can increase its lifespan, an inspection by a skilled plumber has its own benefits. In fact, a routine inspection by a professional plumber should be included as part of your annual “water heater care plan.”
A competent technician can inspect and analyze the device much better than you and can diagnose a forming problem before you are faced with a catastrophe.