Like any other new appliance in your home, you would like to prolong the life of your newly bought water heater. If you are successful in doing so, you save yourself from unnecessary expenses and headaches.
Surprisingly, there are a few maintenance tasks that you can perform regularly and save yourself from any worries. Here are some vital maintenance tips for your water heater.
Know your water heater
Water heater location
It is an excellent practice to have nearly a two-foot clearance around the heater and not place anything too close. It gives enough space for the servicing of the heater and reduces the risk of collision. Refer to the accompanying manual for the specific requirements of the clearance area. It is a common mistake to keep the water heater away in a location that is difficult to reach.
Inspecting the pressure relief valve
The building of too much pressure causes the water heater to explode. However, all the heaters these days come with a safety valve that releases excess pressure. You can test this value by shutting off the power and cold water supply valve. Then, put a bucket underneath the pressure release valve before lifting the valve tab. Once the water is completely drained, you can replace the valve if it is faulty.
Lowering the temperature
Lowering the water heater temperature minimizes the risk of scalding, and you also reduce your energy costs. This not only adds to the life of your water heater, but it also protects the elders and the children in the family from scalding.
Flushing your water heater
Make it an annual practice to flush out your water heater. It is the best way to reduce the sediments that get collected over time in your water heater tank. This sediment reduces the efficiency of the heater. Areas with hard water face this issue more often with the accumulation of calcium in the water heater.
Examining the sacrificial anode rod
This needs to be done once in three years or so. Such an examination can be carried out by loosening the hex head screw and removing it. You need a rod replacement in case more than six inches of the core steel wire is exposed. If you find the rod to be less than half an inch thick or a calcium coating, then it's best to go for replacement.
Lastly, it's efficient to insulate hot and cold water pipes. You can check your owner's manual for further instructions. And when leaving town, adjust the thermostat to the "vacation' setting as a precautionary measure.