Water Heater Maintenance Tips
Defeat water heater woes by learning how to diagnose problems and benefit from crucial upgrades
Your water heater is an indispensable tool. Any time you turn on the faucet or push a button, you expect to receive water at the ideal temperature for washing hands, cleaning dishes, or laundering clothes. But, like any household appliance, your water heater requires some preventive care, regular upkeep, and annual maintenance to keep things problem-free.
Here are some simple measures to prevent big problems and reap big benefits
- Do an annual drain and flush. You want to empty the tank so sediment doesn't accumulate in the bottom. And if you don't, the scale (or lime) in the water can build up and solidify, which can lead the heater to lose efficiency or even cause its glass lining inside to crack.
- Set the right temperature. You may be tempted to boost temperature on your water heater in hopes of getting the water to heat up faster. Not a good idea! Plumbers never set a water heater above 120 degrees F for safety reasons. At 120 degrees F, it takes only 15 seconds to scald, and at 135 degrees F, water will scald in 5 seconds!/li>
- Keep things safe. A water heater should always be professionally installed. If the heater is not adequately vented, if safety valves aren't working right, or if the installation is not up to code, results can be deadly.
- Have your water heater's anode rod regularly checked by a plumber. An anode rod is screwed into the top of your water heater. All the bad contaminants in your water are attracted to that anode rod, and it will disintegrate after a number of years. Once it does disintegrate, the rod needs to be replaced - otherwise, the internal lining of your tank can rust.
- Know how to spot problems. If your water heater makes a popping sound, that means the scale is building up and solidifying, causing the water heater to lose efficiency. Leakage from the bottom of the tank is another warning your heater needs to be replaced. Your average water heaters lasts an average of six to 12 years,but with regular maintenance, you can extend its life by up to two years.
For more information on maintaining your water heater and other plumbing appliances in your home, view our plumbing protection plans or call 1-888-733-1683.
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