Home Water Heater Maintenance [Definitive Guide]
- The benefits of regular water heater maintenance
- How often maintenance should be performed
- How to drain your water heater
- The checklist to a properly-maintained water heater
If you live in the Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky area and would much rather leave your home’s water heater maintenance to the experts, book an appointment with Apollo Home here.
The Benefits of Regular Home Water Heater MaintenanceA dirty or poorly maintained water heater not only can drive up your energy costs but also may have a shorter usable life span. The good news is there are several things to keep your current water heater running efficiently. All which help drive down energy costs and increase the unit’s longevity. Here are four major benefits of annual water heater maintenance:
Increased Efficiency and Saves You MoneyIf you’ve ever heard banging or knocking noises coming from your water heater, this is a sign you need to have your water heater flushed. Sediment buildup is common in water heaters. It also decreases your system’s efficiency. Loose minerals in the water cause sediment which then settle on the bottom. This causes uneven heating and makes it more difficult to produce hot water. A flush will likely help you save money on your next utility bill and get hot water faster.
Decrease the Likelihood Of Costly BreakdownsNew water heaters can run you as much as $2000. Yearly water heater maintenance catches water heater leaks, corrosion, or anything prohibiting your system’s peak potential.
Consistent Quality of Home Water SystemComing home to a flooded basement, a lack of water pressure, or stepping into a freezing shower are all experiences that would send a shiver down anyone’s spine. Yet these are all experiences easily avoided by regular water heater maintenance. Perform it and minimize the likelihood of problems. You’ll also ensure your water heater runs efficiently.
Extends the Lifespan of Your Water HeaterA tank water heater performs for 8-10 years, while a tankless water heater could last as much as 20 years. Choosing not to maintain your heater certainly lowers your system’s lifespan. Regular water heater maintenance helps you to identify the beginning of rust build-up, which is one of the main reasons why water heaters eventually require replacement.
How Often Should My Water Heater Be Serviced?Just like any major piece of equipment or appliance in your home, service your Cincinnati water heater with a professional technician at least once every year. We generally recommend draining to remove the sediment from your water heater at least once a year, which can be combined with an annual maintenance visit. This helps to ensure the greatest supply of hot water to your home and also prevents the sediment from corroding the water heater’s components.
Time to schedule your water heater inspection? Book an appointment today!
How to Drain Your Water HeaterA water heater needs to be properly drained as part of its regular maintenance. If you do not properly maintain your water heater, it may cease to function altogether or result in cold bursts of water when least expected. Draining also helps ensure the long life of your water heater by flushing out minerals and other debris that may cause it to malfunction. Here is a step by step guide to draining your home’s water heater:
Step 1: Shut Off Water Supply to Your HeaterLocate the water pipe and water shutoff valve going into the top of the heater. Turn this valve to turn off the water to the tank.
Step 2: Turn Off Power to The HeaterIf your heater is electric, go to your circuit breaker box and turn the breaker off. If your water heater is gas-powered, shut off the gas by turning the valve on the gas supply line that runs to your system’s tank.
Step 3: Attach Hose to Drain ValveAfter allowing your heater to cool down, attach one end of a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater. Then place the end in a bucket or find a nearby floor drain.
Step 4: Turn On Hot Water Tap InsideTo alleviate pressure, open a hot water tap as close to your heater as possible. This will likely be a sink faucet on the same level or in close proximity to the heater.
Step 5: Open Drain ValveAfter opening this valve, water will start running out of the tank. Draining the entire heater can take up to 20-30 minutes depending on how full or dirty your heater is.
Step 6: Turn Water Back On to Flush the TankWith your drain valve still open, turn the water back on to eliminate any remaining sediment on the bottom of your tank. Look for the water to start running clear, then you can turn the water valve off.
Step 7: Refill Your TankUnscrew the hose from your drain valve. Turn the water back on and start refilling the tank. Once the heater tank is full, turn the power back on to the heater.
Bonus: When Should You NOT Flush a Water HeaterIf you’ve had your water heater for years and have never flushed it, it might be a mistake to start now. Why? Because after several years of build up from the hard water in Cincinnati, the build up may actually be plugging tiny holes in your heater tank. Flushing may actually set you up for a water leak and costly water damage. If you’re concerned due to other symptoms of pending water heater failure, schedule an inspection with an Apollo Home plumber. He or she carefully assesses the situation so you are confident in your water heater’s status. In addition, you can take the opportunity to get a free estimate on a new tank or modern tankless water heater.
Water Heater Maintenance ChecklistDuring an annual service appointment of your water heater, your plumber completes several tasks to maintain efficient system operation and keep your unit clean. Here’s a list of items Apollo Home licensed plumbers inspect and complete during a thorough maintenance visit:
- Check the anode rod
- Inspect and test the drain valve
- Check the vents and flue baffle
- Confirm the igniter works
- Check the gas burner
- Verify the heating elements perform
- Clean the arrestor plate
- Check the gas valve
- Test the TPR valve
- Check the thermocouple