In: Home & Family3 Jul 2013
Having highly corrosive water can cause sediments and hard water minerals to build up in no time. That is why it is important to maintain and inspect your tank regularly to keep your tank operating smoothly. Draining and flushing your tank twice a year can extend the life of your water heater without even noticing it. Releasing water out of your tank is an easy task that you can handle. However, you can always contact a specialist if you think you need an extra hand in maintaining your water heater.
Always make sure you have a safe environment to work with when it’s time to maintain your water heater. Turn off your circuit breaker and gas supply valve before proceeding. This will prevent fatal accidents from happening. It is best to bring someone with you when you start working with your water heater. Draining your unit can scald you accidentally. Avoid this by turning off your water heater the night before you empty your tank. If you find this inconvenient, you can shut it down at least thirty minutes before draining water. Always take safety into account before carrying out repairs.
It is important to check your temperature and pressure relief valve every year and look for signs of damage. Test your T&P valve by lifting the lever and allowing it to snap it back on its own. Water should start draining once the lever is up and should stop upon release. If you have a faulty valve, replace it as soon as possible. Just in case you forgot to drain your unit, there should be a pipe connected to your T&P valve, all the way down along the side of your tank. This pipe prevents hot water from spraying when your valve unexpectedly acts up.
To remove sediments sitting at the bottom of your tank, partially release water from your tank by opening your drain valve. Place a bucket under the valve and remove 1 to 2 gallons water, allowing sediments to exit your tank. Remember that hard water minerals can contaminate your water and cause your drain valve to re-seat improperly if you don’t drain your tank regularly. At this point, you may have to replace the drain valve immediately.
For gas water heater, pipe connections should be checked annually to make sure rust and corrosion have not obstructed it. You can find these in your exhaust stack and start checking your connections properly. Always have your unit vent gasses outside to avoid unfortunate accidents and mishaps.
Keep your water warm by insulating your heater properly. It is best to check your insulation every three months to see if it’s blocking the combustion air inlet or your exhaust vent. Buying insulation with an R-value of 24 is recommended to keep your water warm all the time. It is normal for your water heater to produce water that isn’t hot enough as it used to. You can fix this by changing the settings of your unit according to its operating instructions. Protect your family from scalding themselves by adjusting the temperature to 120 degrees. This can be very helpful, especially if your dishwasher doesn’t have its own heating element.
Believe it or not, sediments inside your tank can cause your water to discolor and smell bad. This is a common problem for water heaters that are not maintained regularly. Having bacteria and chemicals in your water can result to serious health problems, especially when ingested. Protect the health of your family and do not hesitate to drain your water periodically. Besides, taking a shower and smelling bad afterwards is never a good way to start your day.
These basic tips can come in handy whenever it’s time for you to maintain your heating system. If you are on a tight budget and not ready to buy a replacement unit, recognize signs of damage while they can still be repaired. When in doubt, consult a specialist for help.