Water heaters are a convenience that we rely upon every day and proper maintenance of your water heater can help make it last for a decade or more and save you money in the long run. Here are a few things that you can do to help extend the life and efficiency of your water heater.
Turn Down the Temperature
Dial down the temperature setting on your water heater so that it is between 115 to 120 degrees F. Lowering the temperature on the tank will help protect the tank from overheating and will also reduce the energy needed to heat the water thus reducing your operating costs. Where is the temperature dial on your unit? Normally it will be a knob on the gas valve of a gas water heater or a thermostat in behind a panel on an electric water heater.
Test the Temperature & Pressure Release Valve
The temperature and pressure release valve is important to the proper operation of your water heater and it is also a safety mechanism. It’s easy to test the temperature and pressure release valve, simply lift the lever on the unit partially and then let it go to allow it to snap back into place. While you have it lifted, you should hear a gurgling sound as the valve allows water to be released into the drain line. If you hear no sounds, then that means that the valve is bad and needs to be replaced immediately.
Flush the Unit to Remove Sediments
You should always flush your water heater unit annually to remove sediment buildup that can cause rust and corrosion that effects the efficiency of your unit. There are two methods that you can use to flush your unit; a full system flush or a quick mini-flush. Performing a full system flush will require you to shut down the water heater and will take a bit of work and time. However, performing a mini-flush takes a smaller amount of time and will allow you to do it with the unit running.
How do you flush your unit? Place a bucket under the drain valve near the bottom of the tank and turn the valve counter-clockwise to release a few gallons of water into the bucket. When you notice that the water is running clear or the bucket is full, close the valve and drain the bucket.
Remember that water heaters are like any other appliance and that they require proper care and maintenance to run efficiently and effectively. Following these easy tips will help save you money and increase the longevity of your water heater.