Even the best water heater needs repair eventually. You invest quite a chunk of change into a large appliance like a water heater, so you certainly hope it will last for a long time without repair. But hope just isn’t enough when it comes to maintaining the system.
The best way to prevent repairs or premature replacement for your water heater is to take care of it. Follow these tips for water heater maintenance and you may have a system that lasts longer and performs more efficiently. For quality water heater services in Bellevue and throughout Davidson County, call our team.
One of the easiest ways to improve the performance of your traditional or tankless water heater is to make sure heat cannot escape so easily. Many water heaters or water heater brands have separate covers available for purchase, although a foil-covered insulating blanket can be cut down to a custom size for your appliance.
Insulate the pipes with that same insulating blanket, or use foam pipe insulation of the right diameter for both your hot and cold water pipes. Insulating the hot water pipes helps to keep heat in, and insulating cold water pipes prevents condensation.
The anode rod is a hero to your water heater, with corrosive properties that allow this small rod in the middle of the tank to rust and corrode. This is a good thing because it prevents the steel tank lining from corroding too soon instead, something that would force you to replace the water heater entirely.
You should pull out the anode rod and check on it once a year or so. You should drain a few gallons of water first, shutting off the water heater and connecting a hose to the drain cock, and then you can usually unscrew the top of the rod to separate it from the tank with a socket wrench. If it appears to have worn down, it’s time to replace it (or call a plumber to do so for you).
From time to time, you may need to drain the tank to clear it of sediment, particularly if it makes a banging or popping noise as it runs. Every water supply is different, and some water heaters may need more frequent draining than others.
Connect a hose to the drain cock and let out a few gallons of water into a bucket at a time. After each time, open the cold water valve to shake up the sediment at the bottom of the tank and let more out. Repeat until the water comes out clean. Close the drain valve and refill the tank from the cold water valve before you turn the water heater back on.
Lowering the temperature to 120°F may help you to save money each month and slow wear and tear on your water heater. The standard water heater is installed with a temperature setting of 140°.
Finally, in order to make sure your water heater is properly maintained, you should call a plumber once a year for routine maintenance. A professional plumber can make sure the temperature and pressure valve is working properly, that all of the components run smoothly, and that your water heater is not at high risk for corrosion or failure.