Water Heater Maintenance Tips
Though a water heater’s typical expected life is 10-12 years, they can experience problems early on if not properly maintained. Water heater maintenance can extend the longevity of the device while helping prevent the likelihood of catastrophic failure that causes damage.
Tip #1: Frequently Flush The Unit
Even while a water heater is not in use, it stores water. If a water heater is not flushed annually mineral deposits may begin building up in the unit. This can cause a plethora of issues as the deposits can build and grow until the unit runs into problems. As the deposits buildup, they begin stifling the heating elements of the unit, causing it to be less effective in retaining heat.
To flush your water heater, you need to turn off its source of power first, whether it is gas-powered or electric. Connect a garden hose to the spigot of the unit and place the end outside or in a safe area to flush the water out. Before opening the spigot, start a faucet nearby to help create better flow in the system.
Tip #2: Lower Temperature
A simple water heater maintenance tip is to lower the temperature level of the unit. Lowering the temperature can help:
- Reduce the chance of being scolded
- Decrease utility bills
- Prolong the life of the unit
Higher temperatures can cause quicker wear and tear on the unit. The Department of Energy recommends setting the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help reduce energy usage. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also recommends having the temperature set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent accidental scalding.
Tip #3: Frequently Check The Pressure Relief Valve
Another quick and easy water heater maintenance tip is checking the pressure relief valve. If a water heater’s pressure builds, it can cause a catastrophic failure that may lead to the unit itself exploding.
You can accomplish this by turning off the power source of the unit and the cold water supply valve. Place a bucket under the pressure release valve and drain the pressure using the valve tab. Once the pressure buildup is gone, the water will stop draining.