If you want to avoid waking up to a cold shower, it’s important to maintain your water heater. Even energy efficient water heaters will become less efficient if not taken care of. Because water heaters combine water and electricity, it’s always best to have a licensed plumber perform a maintenance check to make sure it’s working as it should be.
Here are some things Putman Plumbing does to make sure your water heater keeps working its best:
Drain Sediment that Collects in the Tank. Cold water that flows into the tank has minerals that settle on the bottom of the tank. Over time, that sediment can cause the water heater to stop working efficiently. Most manufacturers recommended draining the sediment periodically, and the best way to make sure it’s done right is to hire a plumber. Draining the sediment requires turning off the water and the power to the tank, connecting a hose to the drain valve, and draining some water until it runs clear. Then, we close the drain valve and turn the water to the tank back on and then turn the power back on when the tank is full. Again, it’s best to have a licensed plumber do this because if the power is turned on before the tank is full, the heating elements inside the tank could be damaged.
Test the Temperature on the Pressure Relief Valve. This valve near the top of the tank is designed to relieve unsafe pressure that builds up inside the tank. It needs to be tested once a year. To test it, we place a small bucket at the end of the extension tube and lift the valve’s handle parallel to the floor. We watch for a release of steam pressure and water and if this doesn’t happen, the valve may be defective. Again, dealing with steam can be dangerous, so this is best left for a plumber to do.
Inspect and Replace the Anode Rod. This rod, made of magnesium, zinc, or a combination of metals, is suspended inside the tank. It attracts corrosive elements so they don’t attack the lining of the storage tank. Since the rod can become too corroded over time to do its job, it needs to be inspected every few years by a plumber.
How You Can Help Extend the Life of Your Water Heater
Lower the Thermostat
Your water heater only needs to be at 12o for residential use. Lowering the temperature makes your water heater not have to work so hard and reduces the risk of burns.
Keep the Area Clean
Make sure nothing is stored close to your water heater. Gas water heaters need oxygen to work their best.
Call Putman Plumbing for Any Help With Your Water Heater
When you need plumbing help in Frederick County, give us a call. We’re always happy to help.