The water heater is one appliance that often doesn’t get the attention it deserves until problems develop. If you’re like most homeowners, you may not realize that maintaining your water heater is critical to keep it running reliably. Ensure your water heater has a long life with these tips.
- Check the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. Be sure to check the specific instructions found in your owner’s manual before performing any maintenance on the appliance.
- Test the temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve regularly. The T&P valve is a vital safety feature designed to open and release hot water if the temperature or pressure inside the tank reaches unsafe levels. To keep it functional, test it every six months.
- Flush the tank twice a year. Minerals in water form turn into sediment deposits during the normal heating process. Over time, they’ll build up on the gas burner or electric elements and decrease efficiency. They can also clog the drain and water lines and shorten the water heater’s life span. To avert these issues, flush out the tank twice a year.
- Make safety a priority. If you prefer to tackle water heater maintenance yourself instead of hiring an experienced professional, take proper safety precautions like wearing goggles, gloves and protective clothing to prevent scalds and burns.
- Note the installation date. The expected life span of a water heater is approximately 10 to 13 years. Keeping the appliance’s age in mind can help you plan ahead for the best replacement option so you’re not left in a lurch by an unexpected failure.
Along with routine maintenance, you can take additional steps to keep your hot water costs in check.
- Lower the thermostat setting to 120 degrees and insulate accessible hot water pipes.
- If the tank feels warm to the touch, add an insulated jacket.
- Get plumbing leaks fixed promptly and have low-flow shower heads and faucets installed.
- When purchasing a new dishwasher or clothes washer, opt for the most efficient model possible.
For more advice about maintaining your water heater, contact the Portland home comfort experts at Roth Home & Cooling.