Your water heater is one of those appliances that you don’t think much about, at least until it no longer works properly. Most of the time, the unit sits quietly in the background, heating your water and not causing any problems, until that one day when the element fails or the bottom rusts away. Water heaters that aren’t properly maintained will experience problems much sooner than those that undergo regular water heater maintenance.
Here’s a three-step process you can do every year to extend the life of your water heater:
- Turn down the water temperature. The temperature control knob will be located on the gas valve on a gas water heater and behind the electric panel on an electric unit. The ideal temperature setting is between 115 and 120 degrees. By turning down the temperature, it prevents the water heater from overheating the water and using too much energy.
- Test the T/P valve. This valve prevents the water heater from exploding due to excessive pressure buildup in the tank from overheated water. It’s a simple process to check this valve. Raise the exposed lever so that it’s at an approximate 90-degree angle to the floor and then let it go and allow it to rapidly snap back. If the valve is working properly, you should hear the sound of water gurgling into the drain tube. If you hear nothing, it’s time to replace the valve.
- Perform a mini flush. Water has solid particulates in it, which settle in the bottom of the tank. Performing a mini flush removes this built up sediment from the bottom of the tank and prevents rust and corrosion. To perform a mini flush, place a container at the bottom of the tank under the drain valve. Open the valve and allow a few gallons of water to escape the tank. Close the valve.
For more information regarding how you can perform water heater maintenance for optimal performance, or for any other home comfort needs, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.