In: Home & Family26 Aug 2013
Operating a water heater can be expensive, considering the cost of gas or electricity that is needed to keep it running. In order to keep your unit functioning properly, you must be able to perform regular water heater maintenance. Once your tank is filled with sediments, expect your water heater to run inefficiently. In worst cases, this can reduce the lifespan of your heating system. Keep your unit in good condition by inspecting it from time to time.
Prior to carrying out any repairs, make sure to shut down the connections of your water heater. Check if your unit is run by gas or electricity. Simply turn off the gas-supply valve if the unit is gas-fired or the circuit breaker if you have an electric water heater. Do not let water enter the tank during the repair process by turning off the cold water supply valve.
Draining the tank empty can help you inspect your water heater thoroughly. You can start by connecting a standard hose at the drain valve and run the other end to a big tub, floor drain or gutter. Open the drain valve and wait until the tank is empty. Remove the hose and place a bucket to catch the sediments inside. Flush the dirt by opening the cold water valve until the water runs clear. Removing the filth is important to prevent your tank from rusting and deteriorating. Draining and flushing your tank regularly should keep your tank in its tip-top shape.
Checking the anode rod annually is important to prevent sediments from building up. This sacrificial rod is like a magnet that attracts charged water molecules that can cause your tank to rust and corrode. It is normal for an anode rod to deteriorate due to wear and tear. Ask help from a specialist whenever it’s time for an anode rod replacement.
Check the flu pipe in the roof vent if it’s properly aligned with the heater exhaust port. Make sure all points are connected and secured in place. Having a corroded dip tube can cause cold water to hit your hot water pipes in an instant. That is why you have to check if your dip tube has deteriorated since it is responsible for leading cold water down to the burner to be heated properly. Cold water can enter the pipes easily if your dip tube has completely rusted.
Having a faulty T&P valve can cause your tank to leak, overheat or blow up easily. That is why this relief valve should be checked regularly to make sure it is working at all times. Test it by opening and releasing the valve to allow water to flow out. If you notice water dripping from this valve, replace is as soon as possible.
Having excessive pressure can damage your pipes, including the entire unit. Experts say water pressure should not exceed than 80psi. You can check it by putting a gauge at the exterior hose bib while making sure all the fixtures in your house are turned off. If the pressure exceeds over 80psi, call a specialist to install a pressure regulating valve or simply adjust it instead.
If you want to extend the lifespan of your water, take effort in performing regular maintenance. Do not wait until your unit runs inefficiently or your water gets contaminated. If you find yourself lost in maintaining your heating system, ask help from a professional right away.