As the weather begins to warm up, it's time to start thinking about spring cleaning – and that includes your water heater. Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring that your water heater continues to operate efficiently and effectively, and can help prevent costly repairs or replacements down the line. In this ultimate guide to water heater maintenance, we'll share some tips and tricks for keeping your water heater in tip-top shape, so you can enjoy hot water whenever you need it.
1. Inspect & Test the Pressure Relief Valve
The pressure relief valve is a critical safety feature of your water heater, as it helps to release excess pressure from the tank. To test the valve, simply lift the lever and let it snap back into place a few times, and by then you should hear a gurgling sound as water is released through the discharge pipe. If the valve is not functioning properly, it's important to have it replaced by a professional plumber to avoid potential hazards. It's a good idea to test this at least once a year.
2. Flush the Tank to Remove Sediment
Over time, sediment can build up in your water heater tank, reducing its efficiency and potentially causing damage. Flushing the tank is a simple way to remove this sediment and keep your water heater running smoothly. To flush the tank, turn off the power supply and water supply, attach a hose to the drain valve, and open the valve to let the water flow out. After the tank has drained, close the valve and restore power and water supply. While doing this once a year should be sufficient, consider doing this more frequently if you have hard water.
3. Insulate the Tank & Pipes
Insulating your water heater tank and pipes can help to reduce heat loss and improve energy efficiency. This can be done using pre-cut jackets or blankets designed for water heater insulation, or by wrapping the tank and pipes with insulation material. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and avoid covering any vents, controls, or valves. Insulating your water heater tank can save you on your water heating costs.
4. Adjust the Thermostat
Lowering the temperature on your water heater thermostat can help to save energy and reduce the risk of scalding. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your water heater thermostat to 120°F (49°C) for optimal energy savings and safety. Be sure to consult your water heater's manual for specific instructions on adjusting the thermostat.
5. Schedule a Professional Tune-Up
While there are many maintenance tasks you can perform yourself, it's important to have your water heater professionally serviced on a regular basis. A professional plumber can perform a thorough inspection and tune-up of your water heater, ensuring that all components are in good working order and addressing any potential issues before they become major problems.
Spring into action and give your water heater the tune-up it needs with the help of Pioneer Plumbing and Septic. Our expert Houston plumbers can help ensure that your water heater is running efficiently and effectively, so you can enjoy hot water all year round. Contact us today at (281) 815-2772 to schedule your water heater maintenance appointment.