Why You Need Proper Water Heater Maintenance
Maximize The Performance of Your Water Heater
A basic annual service of your water heater will keep it working efficiently, will maximize its performance and keep it lasting longer, saving you money in the long run. Whether you water heater is gas, electric, solar powered or a heat pump, a little maintenance will prevent your water heater breaking down. If you intend to do any such work yourself always ensure that you check the manufacturer’s manual before you start.
Check For Drips and Leaks
The first thing you should check for are any drips and leaks. Check the valves and pipes carefully to make sure there aren’t any signs of water and look underneath the heater for any pools of water. As your heater is probably in a dark closet or in the basement use a flashlight to make sure you don’t miss anything. A leaky water heater can cause a lot of damage, most of which will be easy to miss, such are carpets rotting and mildew and rot harming your floors. Check carefully as a small leak can cause a lot of problems.
Drain the Tank Every year
A professional plumber will recommend that the water should be totally drained from the tank every year. The faucet to drain the water will be found at the bottom of the tank. This is done to remove any sediment from the bottom of the tank as this can build up over time and will stop the tank from heating water efficiently. Sediment is a particular problem if you live in a hard water area where there are lots of minerals in the water.
Before draining the water heater, make sure you turn the water supply off at the cold-water inlet or shut off the house mains water supply. With a gas heater turn off the fuel supply and with an electric one turn off the electricity supply before working. You can then attach a piece of garden hose to the valve and put it into a drain or bucket to allow the water to drain away. If the water runs clean, you can turn off the valve, but if when the heater is empty the water is still cloudy, turn on the water and flush it out. Don’t forget to put the water back on again when you’ve finished.
Check The Pressure Release Value
There is usually a pressure release valve on the overflow pipe that needs to be checked every year. You will find this on the top the heater. There will be a test handle on the valve and you should pull this gently. The valve is working properly when water comes out of the overflow pipe. If your water heater doesn’t have this sort of valve then it would be a good idea to get a plumber to fit one. These valves are a safety device that will release water if the tank builds up too much pressure.
A little effort once a year will keep your water heater working well and save you having to buy a new heater or call in a plumber for what were avoidable repairs.