In most cases, water heater maintenance should be performed by an expert; however, there are a few simple tasks homeowners can do over the course of the year.
Combined, ensuring the appropriate maintenance for your water heater means you’ll benefit in terms of a more efficient system, energy savings, reliable access to hot water, fewer repairs and a longer service life for the unit. In short, investing in water heater maintenance every year translates to lower lifetime costs and a high return on investment.
During a typical service visit, your technician should include these water heater maintenance tasks as part of the service:
- Draining the water heater tank to flush sediment out of the unit.
- Inspecting the system and all of its components for the damaging effects of sediment buildup.
- Cleaning the entire unit, removing dirt and debris from the heating element, bottom of the tank and more.
- Inspecting the safety of the pressure relief valve.
- Checking the safety and reliability of the pilot light, if your system employs one.
- Checking the fuel connections, ensuring there’s a reliable supply and the safe delivery of natural gas, oil or propane into the system.
- Inspecting the water heater for evidence of rusting or corrosion.
- Replacing parts as needed. For instance, the anode rod acts as the “sacrificial lamb” for corrosion and generally needs to be replaced every few years.
As a homeowner, there are a number of tasks you can perform every so often to keep the system in good working condition. Here’s what you can do:
- Every six months, flush the system to remove harmful sediment. A sediment-free water heater will perform at peak efficiency.
- Every month, do a mini-flush of the water heater, removing only a small amount, up to 2 gallons, of water from the water heater.
- Be vigilant about keeping the area around the water heater clear of storage items and flammable substances.
If it’s time for you to schedule water heater maintenance, contact the area’s leading HVAC and plumbing experts at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve served homeowners in the greater Cincinnati area since 1910. Give us call today or visit our website for more information.
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"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
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