Water heaters are built to last for 6 to 13 years, depending on how well they’re maintained over time. Although water heaters are constructed with durable parts, they still require routine maintenance to remain in good shape.
If you want to avoid common issues that can occur with water heaters, there are a few important maintenance tasks to perform as the item is in use.
Anode Rod Should be Inspected
One of the most important components of the water heater is the anode rod that can cause the tank to fail if it is in poor condition. Take a look at the part to determine if it has any rust that has developed. Allow a few gallons of water to be released by connecting a hose directly to the drain cock. You should install a new anode rod if you notice a lot of calcium buildup.
Flush Out the Sediment
Too much sediment that builds up in your water tank can cause your water to become discolored and can also lead to damage to the tank. Release all of the water into a bucket after you open the supply valve. Clean out the bottom of the tank by stirring up the sediment to ensure it’s flushed out. The water need to be completely clear, so continue the process till then.
Insulate Your Pipes
Add insulation to the pipes that are connected to the water tank by using thick foam that has the same diameter as the pipes to ensure it’s secure and fits correctly. This will prevent condensation from forming during the warmer months of the year. The insulation should be squeezed close to ensure it stays put.
You can also insulate the heater with an insulating blanket, which should be cut to have the proper fit. The temperature control and TPR valve should also be wrapped in the insulation. Never cover the top of the gas or oil heaters.
Set the Temperature
You can reduce your energy usage and also avoid placing strain on the parts of the water heater by lowering the temperature. Next, adjust the temperature dial after unscrewing the cover. You’ll need a flathead screw to set it to 120 degrees, which will allow you to get warm and hot water each day still. If you are awat from home for three days at least, you can turn the water heater off until you return.
Test the TPR Valve
The TPR valve should be tested every six to three years, depending on the age of the water heater. According to inspectopedia.com, this is a simple and easy task that requires turning off the power and cold-supply valve while placing a large bucket under the TPR valve. Release only a small amount of water and ensure that the water doesn’t continue to flow. If the water continues flowing, it indicates a new valve needs to be installed.
Listen for Unusual Sounds
Your water heater tank is designed to operate silently and needs attention if you notice different sounds from the unit. You may start to hear banging or rumbling noises, it indicates there’s too much sediment that is present in the tank.
This occurs if you use hard water on your property. The sediment can move back and forth in the tank, which causes the sounds to occur. Knocking or hammering sounds often mean the pipes aren’t securely attached to the tank.
If you hear popping sounds, it indicates too much limescale and sediment. A lot of steam bubbles can develop under the sediment and begin to burst and break as the temperature of the water increases.
You’ll start to hear ticking noises when there are changes in the water pressure, but this isn’t a cause of concern. The sounds are normal if the water pressure doesn’t become too dramatic or frequent over time.
When you understand how to maintain your water heater, it can be easier to know how to keep it in good shape and reduce the risk of issues that can develop over time. You’ll also continue to enjoy having access to hot water and can increase the lifespan of the parts of your water heater.