As a new homeowner, one of the most important things you need to take care of is your water heater. Water heaters provide hot water for your daily needs, such as showering, washing dishes, and doing laundry. Without proper maintenance, your water heater can fail, leaving you with cold showers and a hefty repair bill.
Read on as we provide you with these five essential water heater maintenance tips to ensure that your water heater functions properly for years to come.
Tip #1: Check the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
The temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve is an essential safety feature of your water heater. It prevents the tank from overheating and exploding. You should check the TPR valve every six months to ensure that it is working correctly. To do this, turn off the power supply to the water heater and close the cold water supply valve. Place a bucket under the TPR valve and lift the valve’s tab to release some water. If the valve is working correctly, it will release water, and you will hear a gurgling sound. If the valve is not functioning correctly, you should call a professional plumber to replace it.
Tip #2: Drain the Tank
Over time, sediment and minerals can accumulate at the bottom of the tank, reducing the efficiency of your water heater. To prevent this, you should drain the tank at least once a year. To do this, turn off the power supply to the water heater and close the cold water supply valve. Connect a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and open the valve to drain the water. Once the water has drained out, open the cold water supply valve to flush out any remaining sediment. Close the drain valve, turn on the power supply, and wait for the tank to refill.
Tip #3: Check the Anode Rod
The anode rod is a critical component of your water heater. It prevents corrosion by attracting minerals and sediment to itself, protecting the tank from rust and other damage. You should check the anode rod every three years to ensure that it is working correctly. To do this, turn off the power supply to the water heater and close the cold water supply valve. Locate the anode rod on top of the tank and remove it. If the anode rod is less than ½ inch thick or is coated with mineral deposits, you should replace it.
Tip #4: Insulate the Tank
Insulating your water heater can help reduce heat loss and save you money on your energy bills. You can buy a water heater insulation kit from your local hardware store. To insulate your water heater, turn off the power supply to the water heater and close the cold water supply valve. Wrap the insulation blanket around the tank, making sure to leave the TPR valve, the drain valve, and the thermostat accessible. Secure the insulation with tape, and cut out any holes for the pipes and valves.
Tip #5: Check for Leaks
Leaks can be a sign of a more significant problem with your water heater. You should check for leaks regularly to catch any issues early. Check the area around the water heater, including the pipes and valves, for any signs of water or moisture. If you notice a leak, turn off the power supply to the water heater and close the cold water supply valve. Call a professional plumber to repair the leak.
Proper water heater maintenance is essential for ensuring that your water heater functions correctly and lasts for years to come. By checking the TPR valve, draining the tank, checking the anode rod, insulating the tank, and checking for leaks, you can keep your water heater in top condition. Remember to follow these maintenance tips regularly to avoid costly repairs or replacements.