Water heaters are a crucial part of modern living, providing hot water for our daily needs. They come in different types and sizes, from tankless to traditional storage tank models. However, like any other appliance, water heaters require regular maintenance and care to function efficiently and last longer.
Here, our seasoned HVAC service technicians share some care and maintenance tips to keep your water heater in good condition:
1. Check the T&P Valve
The temperature and pressure (T&P) valve is a safety valve that prevents the water heater from exploding due to excessive pressure or temperature. It is located on the top or side of the water heater and should be checked at least once a year. To check it, lift the lever on the valve for a few seconds to release some water. If it releases water, the valve is working correctly. If not, it may need to be replaced.
2. Drain and Flush the Tank
Sediment buildup in the tank can reduce the efficiency of your water heater and cause damage to the tank. We recommend that you drain and flush the tank at least once a year. To do this, turn off your power or gas supply to the water heater, then shut off the cold water supply, and attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Open the valve and allow the water to flow until it becomes clear. Close the valve, remove the hose, and turn on the cold water supply.
3. Insulate the Tank and Pipes
Insulating your water heater tank and pipes can reduce heat loss and save a lot on energy bills. You can buy an insulation blanket from a hardware store and wrap it around the tank. You can also insulate the pipes with foam sleeves or tape. However, be careful not to cover the T&P valve, thermostat, or burner compartment.
4. Check the Anode Rod
This is a sacrificial metal rod that prevents corrosion in the tank. Over time, the rod can corrode and need replacement. It is recommended to check the anode rod at least once a year and replace it if it is less than ½ inch thick or has significant corrosion. To check it, turn off the power or gas supply to the water heater, completely shut off the cold water supply, and locate the anode rod on top of the tank. Use a wrench to loosen and remove the rod easily. If it is in good condition, clean it with a wire brush and reinstall it. If it needs replacement, buy a new one and install it following the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Check the Thermostat
The thermostat controls the temperature of the water in the tank. If it is not working correctly, it can cause the water to be too hot or too cold. To check it, turn off the power or gas supply to the water heater, remove the access panel, and use a multimeter to test the thermostat’s continuity. If it is not working correctly, replace it with a new one.
6. Hire a Professional for Maintenance
While you can perform some maintenance tasks yourself, it is highly recommended to hire a professional plumber or technician to inspect and service your water heater at least once a year. They can identify and fix any problems before they become major issues and ensure that your water heater is working efficiently and safely.
A well-maintained water heater can last for many years and provide reliable hot water for your daily needs. By following these care and maintenance tips and getting the help of a trusted HVAC service technician when needed, you can extend the life of your water heater and save on energy bills. If you notice any problems or issues with your water heater, don’t hesitate to call a professional for help.
For over 30 years, Paul’s Heating & Air, Inc. has offered reliable heating and cooling services to clients in Georgia’s Gwinnett, Walton, and nearby counties. We are proud to be the leading Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer in the area. Contact our HVAC service technician for all your water heater needs!