Maintaining Your Water Heater

Water heaters are a crucial part of the home plumbing system that many folks might not think about.  Water heaters, as you may have guessed, are the appliance responsible for heating up your water for your baths, showers, fixtures, and other appliances. That’s right, the water heater is tied into so many other critical systems in your home that you rely on it every day. And everyday use is bound to build up some heavy wear and tear. That’s why giving your water heater the proper maintenance it needs is crucial! This time on the Economy Plumbing Service blog, tuning up your water heater!

Water Heater Maintenance and You

Real quick, let’s go over the four main types of water heaters. They can roughly be broken down into four categories: tank, tankless, hybrid, and point-of-use water heaters. The most common are tank and tankless, while hybrid heaters are build for energy efficiency. Point-of-use heaters are a perfect solution for fixtures or appliances that are a distance away from the main heater itself, supplying hot water, faster. Regardless of which of the four kinds of water heaters you have, good maintenance is essential

Why Regular Water Heater Maintenance is Important 

Regular maintenance is important for just about everything, from cars to computers so it should come as no surprise that even plumbing systems need regular looking after. Maintenance will increase the lifespan of your water heater, ensuring its long use and efficient performance for as long as possible. Not only that, but regular maintenance will also save you money on your utility bills! Nice!

Here’s what to look out for!

Increased Sediment Reduces Efficiency

Sediment is any natural material that ends up sitting at the bottom of a liquid. That’s the dictionary definition at least, for us that means any of the dirt or material that ends up building at the bottom of your tank. Sediment can be anything from dust, dirt, calcium, and other metals found in the water. This the worst enemy of your hot water heater tank. Sediment can cause all of the following: 

  • Corrosion
  • Decreased efficiency
  • Decreased water volume
  • Shorter life

Sediment shortens the lifespan of your water heater, making it work harder for less and burning itself out. Sediment builds up naturally, that part is totally normal but over time it will get to a point where it will severely damage your system. 

In a gas water heater, sediment can create hot spots that will cause damage. In an electric water heater, these minerals can cause the heating element to fail. Flushing and maintaining your water heater regularly will help.

Regularly flushing your hot water heater will get rid of any sediments that built up over time. The flush will empty out the tank of the current sediment build up, putting it in the perfect place to keep working as it should for another year or so. Flushing your water heater will save you money and help your system heat the water faster! It also allows your hot water heater to maintain full volume. 

Tips for Flushing Out Your Water Heater

You can flush out your water heater without the help of a professional, if you know where all the water valves are and have access to a drain. Once you know how it’s surprisingly simple and this is a job you should look at doing every six months to a year, depending on the quality of your local water lines.

Corrosion Causes Catastrophic Failure

Check for signs of corrosion at least once a year Corrosion is the gradual destruction of metal due to a chemical reaction to the environment. We’ve talked about it before, it’s the low level electrical current running through the soil and dirt that changes the chemical composition  of the lines, depending on their make. More simply, it’s rust. 

If you find rust on the outside of your tank or on your waterline, it’s definitely a cause for concern. Contact a professional immediately, we can decide if repairs can fix the problem or if you need a replacement. 

Ignoring the damage won’t make it go away! In fact, it could lead to the line or heater failing, leaking, pipes bursting, or flooding your home causing catastrophic damage. One way to know if there’s any rust in your plumbing is to look at your water. Rust can have a number of effects on the quality of your water,  including a metallic flavor and discoloration. Watch out! This can stain your sink, appliances, and skin. 

Check the Temperature Relief Valve 

The temperature relief valve protects your water heater from problems if the temperature or pressure inside your tank gets too high. It is basically the unit’s failsafe switch. If you notice that it seems damaged, or are worried that it’s not working properly, a professional can check it out to ensure it’s letting out pressure and keeping everything in check. Test the valve at least once a year to make sure it’s working as it should.

And of course…

Schedule Regular Inspections and Tune Ups

The best thing you can do to keep your water heater in order is to have regular inspections and repair work handled by professionals on a yearly basis. A qualified plumber like Economy Plumbing Service will check all wiring, plumbing connections, fixtures, and appliances for signs of corrosion to ensure everything is working like it should. If somethings wrong, we’re already on the scene to get it repaired or replaced in no time.

Worried your electric water heater isn’t working like it should? Unsure if you have a clog that needs help? Give Economy Plumbing Service a call and we can get you sorted in no time!

If water goes through it or to it, we do it!

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