In: Home & Family26 Aug 2013
Believe it or not, you can save $5-10 a month by performing regular water heater maintenance. Doing this helps you detect signs of damage in the early stage, which can spare you from costly repairs in the future. Recognizing issues before it escalates makes it easier for you to fix the problem. You can always call in a specialist if you are not familiar with your unit. Regular water heater maintenance can prolong the lifespan of your unit without having a high electric bill.
Always make sure to turn off the heating source of your water heater before inspecting it. Doing this prevent accidents from happening. After all, water and electricity are never meant to be mixed. Inform people in your household about the maintenance checkup to keep them away from your circuit breaker or gas supply valve. Safety should always be your priority, especially when working with your water heater.
To reduce wasted energy and save money, install an insulating blanket around your water heater tank. There are some models that are unsuitable with insulation blankets; check the user’s manual for more information. Experts recommend buying insulation with an R-value of 16 or more. The higher the R-value, the thicker the blanket is for your hot water heater. Remember that installing insulation is not recommended for units where the lost heat can be utilized. Modern water heaters are usually insulated with an R-value of 16 or better. That is why there is no need for an insulation blanket. Check the manufacturers label on how much insulation the water heater contains.
Protect your tank from overheating by checking its temperature from time to time. Your heating system may produce water that’s too hot or cold if the thermostat settings were adjusted without you knowing it. Do not set the temperature above 120 degrees as this can scald your skin in a matter of 5 seconds. It helps to lower the temperature inside your tank to prevent it from overheating or exploding. There is no need to repeat the process once you have a stable temperature.
If you recently bought a water heater, always ask help from a specialist to ensure proper installation. Accidents can happen once the water heater is not vented correctly. Shut off the electric water heater using the shut-off valve located at the top of the unit in times of emergency. The shut-off valve for gas water heaters can be found 12 inches near the left side of the unit. Protect your family from the dangers of improper water heater installation by hiring a specialist to replace your unit.
It is normal to get rusty water if the anode rod has completely deteriorated. This sacrificial rod is responsible for absorbing all the sediments inside so your tank wouldn’t. You may need to drain your tank to check the anode rod. Once you see metal wires around it, consider replacing it as soon as possible. Not doing so would cause the internal components to rust, decreasing your water heater’s efficiency at the same time. Remember that ingesting contaminated water can bring serious health complications to you and your family.
One of the most important steps in maintaining your water heater is to flush and drain it on a semi-annual basis. Doing this gets rid of the sediments that have accumulated inside the tank over a period of time. Otherwise, rust and corrosion can eat the internal components, causing holes to appear at the bottom of your tank. Excessive scale and lime build up can damage the glass lining of your unit in no time. Keep your water heater in good shape by draining and flushing it regularly.
Performing water heater maintenance should be easy by following the simple steps listed above. However, it is best to call in a specialist if you are not sure how to maintain your unit properly. Leaving everything to a professional gives you that sigh of relief that your unit is in good hands.