When is the last time you gave your water heater some thought? When you ran out of hot water? Or, perhaps you are in the market for a new high-efficiency water heater or tankless water heating system. The truth is, many homeowners don’t give their water heaters much thought until something goes wrong.
Well, if you take good care of your water heater, you’ll likely not have to deal with problems as much than if your water heater is ignored. Following are five great water heater maintenance tips you or your professional plumber should be doing.
GIVE YOUR WATER HEATER ROOM TO BREATHE
Do you know where your water heater is located? How much room is cleared around the water heater? These are important questions – especially for gas water heaters. Make sure there is at least a few feet of clearance around your water heater for safety’s sake. You also need quick and easy access to your water heater to test parts and allow free airflow.
DOES YOUR WATER HEATER MAKE POPPING NOISES?
Does your water heater make popping noises? This is often due to sediment buildup on the bottom and sides of the water heater. As the bottom is heated, bubbles cause the sediment to make popping noises. While this doesn’t pose any risk of a tank rupture, it reduces heating efficiency and lends to dirtier hot water.
Water heaters should be professionally flushed out once a year. Once your water heater is empty, your plumber inserts a thin brush to dislodge sediment buildup. Other parts are tested and you’re good to go. You can do mini-flushes every-other month to help keep the water heater running better and for cleaner water.
TEST THE T&PR VALVE
The temperature and pressure relief valve (T&PR) is located on the upper portion of the water heater. If you see that this part is leaking, turn off the water heater and call your plumber right away. The T&PR valve is an emergency feature that releases hot water and steam before a rupture or explosion can occur.
To test the valve, quickly flip it up. Be careful because this will release a quick burst of hot water and steam. Better yet, let your plumbing professional test and inspect your water heater.
SET THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE
Many water heaters are set around 145 degrees before they leave the factory. This is quite hot and can cause scalding – especially in the young and old members in your home. For all safety and energy saving purposes, turn down the water heater thermostat to 120 degrees. You’ll still have plenty of hot water with reduced chance of scalding.
SCHEDULE PROFESSIONAL WATER HEATER SERVICE
Most importantly, your water heater is an essential appliance in your home. Take care of it by scheduling professional maintenance once a year. You can’t go wrong!
If it’s time to schedule water heater maintenance for your Twin Cities home, give us a call today at MN Plumbing & Home Services (612) 255-6530 for the best plumbing services for a reasonable price!