Do Water Heaters Need Regular Maintenance?

Water heaters get a serious workout around the home. Adhering to a regular maintenance schedule can help prolong your water heater's life and prevent untimely breakdowns. Most homeowners don’t realize how dependent we all are on our water heaters. They give us the ability to keep our homes clean and comfortable. Everyday tasks like washing clothes and taking a shower would be difficult if not impossible without a water heater. Hot water makes effective germ elimination and sanitation possible, which has become an important part of all our lives during the pandemic. Scheduling regular maintenance for your water heater can help extend your system's life and help it operate more efficiently. Increasing the energy-efficiency of your water can lead to significant savings on your utility costs. Taking the time to inspect your water heater can let you know if you need help conducting your system maintenance or if it’s something you can handle through regular DIY projects. Preventative maintenance can help spot system issues early enough to make repairs less invasive.

4 Tips for Effective Water Heater Maintenance

There are steps you can take to care for your water heater and help minimize untimely breakdowns and disruptions in your household. You can choose to work with a plumbing professional or try DIY system maintenance, but however you choose to handle your maintenance schedule, it’s important to be careful and take precautions not to burn yourself or damage your system.

  1. Flush the System: It’s important to flush your system once per year. All the water needs to be removed from your system so you can inspect and clean any sediment build-up and scale from your tank. While sediment build-up may not be damaging to your water heater, it can negatively impact your system's efficiency. To flush your water heater, you should start by turning off the water and power supply to your system. After all the power and water have been cut to the tank, allow the water in the tank to cool before you can drain it. Once the system is cleaned, you can refill the tank with water and restore power to your water heater. Make sure that you wait until the water heater is filled before restoring power. Starting the system before the water is filled can strain the system and end up harming your system more than the cleaning helped.
  1. Insulate Your Tank & Pipes: By insulating your water heater, you can reduce your energy expenses and prolong your system's life. An insulated water heater holds on to heat better. If your water heater is maintaining temperature control, it doesn’t have to work as hard to retain the temperature of the water it’s storing. While you are insulating the tank, you should also insulate the pipes. Insulating your pipes can be specifically helpful during the winter months where cold air can lead to heat loss. These simple acts can save money and limit the strain on your water heater, which means your system will last longer.
  1. Check Your Temperature: Water heaters are typically preset at a higher temperature than most people would find comfortable or safe. You should check the temperature setting on your water heater and make certain you like the current setting. Higher settings can be dangerous and lead to burns. Many water heaters come preset at 140° when lower temperatures are safer, more energy-efficient, and just as effective. Start by changing your system's setting to 120°, and you may see that you can set it even lower.
  1. Replace Worn Parts: It’s normal for your water heater to need part replacement due to normal wear and tear. Your water heater is a heavy-use appliance, so replacing worn parts before they have the chance to break is better for your system in the long run. For example, the anode rod is a critical part of your water heater that should be checked and changed every five years or so. An anode rod attracts corrosive materials, so they don’t harm your tank. When the rod is worn, it stops working, and your tank could be at risk. Another part you should replace during your DIY maintenance is the air intake filter.

However, if you find that issues have occurred with your water heater, you should act immediately to restore it to its functioning condition. Call our experienced plumbers today at (909) 552-7550 to schedule an appointment. At All City Plumbing, our team works quickly and efficiently to get the job done on time and on budget.

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