Performing preventative maintenance at home can help increase water heater efficiency
Do you go throughout your day wondering how your water heater is holding up? Probably not. You just perform your every day tasks like dish washing, laundry, and showering. You use that water and expect it to be hot. And when it’s not, suddenly your water heater comes to the front of your mind.
Having no hot water is just one sign that something is wrong with your water heater. Believe it or not, there are ways to avoid all the common problems water heaters will have over the course of their life. If you can prevent your system from breaking down, you can save yourself some money in repair work.
So what can you do to ensure your water heater stays working efficiently?
Here are some simple maintenance tips for you to follow in order to avoid costly and time consuming problems from occurring:
- Check the temperature and pressure valve: This valve functions to relieve excess pressure inside your water heater. A failing temperature and pressure valve is often what causes water heaters to burst. It’s typically located near the top of the water heater where you see a lever. To test it, lift the lever enough to allow the valve to open. Release, and the valve should close. If you try to lift it and the valve is frozen or is just not functioning properly, you know that’s something that needs to be repaired or replaced. A pressure valve repair will cost significantly less than a water heater replacement, so it’s worth it to check on it.
- Lower the temperature: An ideal temperature range for your water heater should be between 115 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you periodically lower the temperature, you can help prevent your water heater from overheating. In addition, lowering the temperature will conserve energy and save you money.
- Flush it: You may have heard that flushing your tank isn’t necessary, but we want to convince you that it is. Flushing your water heater will help to remove rust and sediment deposits that may have collected over time. This improves overall system efficiency and ensures that you will have cleaner, healthier water.
- Inspect the flue assembly twice a year: Check to make sure that the assembly is properly aligned and that all of the joints are sealed. To do this, place your hand near the draft diverter at the top of the water heater. If you feel air flowing out, there may be an obstruction.
- Clean the burner ports on a gas water heater: Every year, it’s recommended that if you have a gas water heater you shut off the gas, remove the access panel, and clean the burner ports using stiff wire or a needle.
If you have any problems with your water heater, or have questions regarding the best ways to perform preventative maintenance, call Essig Plumbing & Heating. We’re here to help!