Hearty Heaters: 5 Water Heater Care Tips for New Homeowners
With the proper maintenance, a modern water heater should last for around 10 years. Unfortunately, many new homeowners never even think about taking care of these devices until they start dealing with issues such as loud noises, unusual smells, or sediment in their water supply. Here are five easy ways to keep your water heater running smoothly and efficiently over the next decade.
Drain Once a Year
Most homes have at least one primary water filter, but your filter might not be cleaning the water until after it has gone through your water heater. Draining the water heater at least once a year will get rid of any sediment that has accumulated at the bottom of the basin. Your water heater should be rinsed and drained until the water that is coming out of the drain valve has no sediment in it.
Keep the Area Clear
There are quite a few reasons why your water heater needs at least a three feet of clearance. Gas water heaters require as much oxygen as possible, and nearby clutter will have an impact on the quality of the flame. You also want to be sure that none of your property is damaged if a leak takes place.
Adjust and Test the Temperature
Keeping your water heater at the correct temperature will reduce your monthly energy bills and extend the service life of the device. Most families will benefit from keeping their hot water at around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the water will be just warm enough to adequately clean clothes and dishes. Those who turn their water heaters any higher increase their risk of scalds and burns.
Test the Pressure Valve
The pressure valve is one of the most important safety features on a water heater, and it could potentially prevent a catastrophic explosion if the basin becomes damaged. Once every few months, homeowners should discharge these valves two or three times to make sure that water can still come out. They should also check around the valves for any signs of slow leaks. Most leaking valves can easily be fixed with new rubber gaskets.
Schedule an Annual Inspection
An experienced plumber can keep your water heater running efficiently and help you avoid expensive repairs down the road. Depending on where you purchased the water heater, you might also need to schedule annual appointments with a plumber like Rapid Rooter Plumbing or someone similar to keep the warranty valid. Most water heater warranties won’t cover any damage that could have been avoided with the proper maintenance.
If you feel as if something is wrong with your water heater, then you need to act immediately. What started off as a minor maintenance issue can quickly turn into hundreds of dollars in damage if you aren’t careful.