Your water heater is an essential component of your plumbing system. Without it, you wouldn’t have access to hot water throughout your home. Unfortunately, your water heater could be a source of headaches for you if you don’t maintain it. The system could fail and cost you hundreds of dollars. However, you can avoid expensive water heater repairs by maintaining your heater using these five maintenance tips.
1 – Insulate Your Water Heater
During extreme winter weather, the pipes on your water heater can freeze, much like other pipes in your home. If your pipes freeze, then you won’t have access to hot water. To prevent your pipes from freezing, insulate them. However, don’t simply insulate your pipes. You should insulate your entire heater to help keep the water warm throughout the day.
2 – Monitor Your Anode Rod
Your anode rod prevents your water heater from corroding. Through a process called electrolysis, the anode rod attracts calcium and mineral buildup, which prevents your water heater from rusting inside. To ensure your water heater lasts for years, you must change your anode rod periodically. The process is as simple as unscrewing the road and replacing it with a new one. However, before you insert the replacement rod, wrap it in Teflon tape to extend the life of your new rod.
3 – Adjust Your Temperature Settings
You should adjust your temperature settings on your water heater throughout the year. During the summer months, when you don’t need extremely hot water, reduce the temperature on your water heater. With a lower temperature, your water heater won’t have to work as hard throughout the day. Additionally, at a lower temperature, you’ll save money because your water heater won’t come on as often.
4 – Check Your TPR Valve
Another important component of your water heater is your temperature pressure release valve (TPR). Your TPR valve is a safety feature included with your water heater. If your water heater gets too hot, your TPR valve will release water, which will reduce the pressure inside your water heater tank.
To ensure that your TPR valve is working as it should, test it. Start by placing a bucket underneath the bottom of the rod. With the bucket in place, release the value and close it again. If water continues to drain after you’ve closed it, then you need a new valve.
5 – Clean Your Tank
Finally, it’s imperative that you clean your tank periodically. Although your anode works, it doesn’t hurt to help it out every once in awhile. You can clean your tank by opening and closing the cold water supply continuously. Of course, once you notice clean water coming out of your tank, then close your cold water supply, refill your tank, and turn your power back on.
Maintaining your water heater is one way to extend the life of your water heater. Additionally, maintaining your water heater could prevent repairs and save you hundreds of dollars. If you suspect your water heater needs repairs, contact your local plumber before the problem gets out hand.