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Top Water Heater Maintenance Tips From The Pros That You Should Know

In order to have an efficient and dependable water heater that will serve you for a long period of time, you should maintain it regularly. As these appliances don’t have overly complicated structures, they are simple to service. With a couple of simple tools, every homeowner can check if their water heater is in working order, and fix smaller issues if needed. This article has some tips from the pros on how to do it.

Draining and Flushing

Regular draining of the tank flushes out any dirt that may have gotten in there. Turn off the water with a shut-off valve and the electricity on the circuit breaker. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve on the bottom of the tank and release the water from it. Opening the pressure relief valve will let air in and help empty the tank more quickly. An even safest way to do this is to open a faucet in the home. Let cold water in the tank flush the sediments, close the pressure relief and drain valves, open the main one and wait until it’s filled before turning on the electricity.

Testing the Thermostat

Using a multimeter, you can test if the thermostats of your water heater are working properly. Checking the current that’s coming to the elements will help uncover any loose wiring you need to tighten. Most boilers come with their thermostat set on a preinstalled factory setting, which has the purpose of preventing accidental scalding. You can change these settings, but be aware that raising the temperatures will increase your high energy bills. 

Checking the TPR valve

After turning off the electricity and the cold water supply, lift the lever on the temperature-pressure release valve. Leave it on for a few seconds to see if there is any leakage under it. The valve should shut off automatically – if it doesn’t, or it begins to leak, it should be replaced. According to licensed plumbing professionals, a leaking water heater requires immediate action. If you are interested to learn more about this, you can read their site and see why resolving this problem is so important. A malfunctioning valve could lead to either a pressure buildup inside the tank or the flooding of your entire home. Both of these situations are easily prevented by testing the TPR valve once or twice a year.

Cleaning the Heating Elements

The pressure of draining and flushing should remove the majority of the sediments from the heating elements. However, if the inside of your tank wasn’t cleaned for some time, you may encounter some stubborn limescale buildup on the heater. If this happens, you will need to remove the heating elements from the tank and soak them in a water and vinegar solution. Doing this restores their heating capacity, so they will heat your water much faster and without any sound.

Anode Rod Maintenance

The anode rod protects the water heaters inside from corrosion by sacrificing itself. This way, the metal tank won’t be affected by the corrosive water action. As the rod slowly deteriorates, the boiler’s lifetime gets shorter, so it’s recommended to check on it regularly. Cut off the tank’s electricity supply and shut the water off on the main valve. As the anion rod is located on the top of the heater and is submerged, to remove it, you will need to drain a good amount of hot water. Inspect the rod, and if more than 6 inches of its core wire is exposed on either side, it will need to be replaced.

Adding Insulation

Adding insulation reduces heat loss through the tank, and you can save up to 10 percent on your energy bills. All you need for this is an insulating blanket cut into pieces to fit around pipes, the temperature controller, the TPR valve, and the inside of the tank. Place the insulation around these elements, and when you are satisfied with the fit, seal the edges with foil tape. If you are doing this procedure with an electric heater, you can cover it with a larger insulation piece. Gas and oil boilers should never be completely covered as they usually have a flute on their top.

Regularly servicing your water heater is not only inexpensive but will also increase the operating efficiency of this appliance. Plus, insulation will help you save a significant amount of money on your energy bills. So feel free to follow these hot water heater maintenance tips to make your hot showers expensive. And if you run into a problem you feel unqualified to fix, don’t hesitate to call a licensed plumber to help you out.


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