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Do Water Heaters Need Regular Maintenance?

  • Alma 
plumber calibrating the water heater

Water heaters need regular maintenance. As a general rule of thumb, you should have your water heater serviced every year to keep them working properly and extend their lifespan. Here are some of the things you can do to maintain your water heater:

  • Inspect the exterior of the water heater for signs of damage.
  • Check the water heater’s connections for leaks.
  • Inspect the anode rod, which helps protect the water heater from corrosion.
  • Flush the sediment from the water heater tank.
  • Test the water heater’s temperature and pressure settings.

How to inspect the exterior of the water heater for signs of damage.

  1. Look for signs of water leaking from the tank, pipes, or connections.
  2. Inspect for any signs of rust or corrosion on the tank or pipes.
  3. Look for any dents or bulges on the tank. These could be signs of a leak or a problem with the tank.
  4. Look for any loose or damaged connections on the pipes or fittings.

Check the water heater’s connections for leaks.

  1. Turn off the cold water supply to the water heater.
  2. Locate the connections on the water heater. The connections are usually located at the bottom of the tank and at the point where the pipes enter the tank.
  3. Look for any signs of leaks around the connections.
  4. Use a flashlight to look for leaks in hard-to-see areas.
  5. If you notice any signs of leaks, tighten the connections or have them repaired by a qualified plumber.

Inspect the anode rod, which helps protect the water heater from corrosion.

  • Turn off the cold water supply to the water heater.
  • Locate the anode rod. The anode rod is a metal rod that is usually located near the bottom of the water heater tank.
  • Use a flashlight to look at the anode rod.
  • If the anode rod is corroded or damaged, it will need to be replaced.
  • The anode rod should be replaced every 3-5 years.

Replace the anode rod:

  1. Turn off the cold water supply to the water heater.
  2. Drain the water heater tank.
  3. Remove the anode rod.
  4. Install the new anode rod.
  5. Refill the tank with fresh water.
  6. Turn on the cold water supply to the water heater.

Flush the sediment from the water heater tank.

  1. Turn off the cold water supply to the water heater.
  2. Open the hot water faucet closest to the water heater. This will help to relieve the pressure in the tank and prevent water from backing up into the tank when you start draining it.
  3. Locate the drain valve on the bottom of the water heater. It is usually a small, threaded valve with a handle.
  4. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve.
  5. Place the other end of the garden hose in a bucket or drain.
  6. Open the drain valve.
  7. Allow the water to drain out of the tank.
  8. Once the water has stopped draining, close the drain valve.
  9. Turn on the cold water supply to the water heater.
  10. Let the water run for a few minutes to flush out any remaining sediment.

Install a sediment filter:

  1. Turn off the cold water supply to the water heater.
  2. Disconnect the cold water line from the water heater.
  3. Install the sediment filter in line with the cold water line.
  4. Reattach the cold water line to the water heater.
  5. Turn on the cold water supply to the water heater.

    Test the water heater’s temperature and pressure settings.

    1. Turn off the cold water supply to the water heater.
    2. Locate the temperature and pressure relief valve. The temperature and pressure relief valve is a safety valve that releases water if the tank gets too hot or too high pressure. It is usually located at the top of the tank.
    3. There should be a small, round cap on the valve. Remove the cap.
    4. You should see a small, metal pin inside the valve.
    5. The pin should be set to the desired temperature and pressure settings. The temperature setting is usually between 140 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The pressure setting is usually between 50 and 60 psi.
    6. If the pin is not set to the desired settings, adjust it using a small screwdriver.
    7. Replace the cap on the valve.
    8. Turn on the cold water supply to the water heater.

    Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when testing the water heater’s temperature and pressure settings:

    • Wear safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself from burns and other injuries.
    • Be careful not to overtighten the cap on the valve. This could damage the valve.

    If you notice any problems with your water heater, such as leaks, low water pressure, or strange noises, it is essential to have it repaired as soon as possible. A malfunctioning water heater can be a safety hazard and can also lead to costly repairs.

    Here are some additional tips for keeping your water heater in good working order:

    • Install a water filter. A water filter can help to remove minerals that can build up inside the water heater and cause problems.
    • Keep the water heater clean. Wipe down the exterior of the water heater with a damp cloth regularly to remove dirt and dust.
    • Have the water heater serviced by a professional plumber every year. This will help to catch any problems early on and prevent them from becoming major repairs.

    By following these tips, you can help to keep your water heater in good working order and extend its lifespan.

     

    Alma Bradshaw

    About The Author

    Hello, My name is Alma Bradshaw. I’m a licensed plumber with over 20 years of experience in the industry. It’s important to stay informed and up-to-date on the latest plumbing techniques, innovations, codes, and regulations. Learn more about plumbing here and feel free to comment below with any questions.

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    Sunset Plumbing logo for the footer

    776 N 470 E

    Genola City, Utah 84655

    Utah License # 6161467-5501

    Sunset Plumbing logo for the footer

    776 N 470 E

    Genola City, Utah 84655

    Utah License # 6161467-5501