One of the greatest innovations of modern plumbing is readily accessible hot water. You honestly don’t realize how much of a luxury hot water is until you’re unable to have it. At some point, you may experience not getting enough hot water.
Nothing is worse than having a nice hot shower that’s short-lived. You only get a couple of minutes of warmth before suddenly being met with cold water shocking your senses. If you enjoy hot baths to unwind after a long day, it’s incredibly disappointing to notice the hot water runs out, and you’re left with a pool of lukewarm water. Not exactly the best water temperature to soak in!
If you have been dealing with issues such as these, you best think about what you can do for water heater maintenance.
Learn how you can properly maintain your water heater, so you can ensure it stays in working order!
Importance of Water Heater Maintenance
Some don’t bother with water heater maintenance until something goes wrong with it. Like anything, a water heater isn’t immune to breaking down at some point unless it’s properly maintained. Yet, some might assume that’s expected out of anything you use. However, proper maintenance can do you a lot of good, and you only need to do so every six months.
When you’re on top of your water heater maintenance, you ensure safety. Typically, water heaters are equipped with safety devices to protect from excess pressures and temperatures by discharging water. If it’s not in working order, it can create potential plumbing issues.
Furthermore, without maintenance, you can expect your plumbing to work less. With its usage over time, you can expect there to be calcium to accumulate, which can do a number on your water heater. The reason why it can is that the minerals settle at the bottom of your water heater, making it more difficult to produce hot water and reducing the amount of water available to heat.
Not only does a lack of maintenance ruin the efficiency of a water heater, but it also significantly decreases its lifespan. When you prioritize regular maintenance, it helps you spot any potential problems to fix instead of finding out when they become a major issue.
Maintenance of Different Water Heaters
In every home, there is a water heater. However, not every home has the same type of water heater. For the most part, you can expect water heater types that are gas/oil, electric, or tankless. You must understand what kind of water heater you have so that you can give proper maintenance for it.
Electric or Gas Water Heaters
Here is your maintenance checklist:
- Test the pressure valve: You need to open and let out water if too much pressure builds up inside the tank. If you don’t, it can explode if there’s too much pressure. Lift its tab to see if any water comes out. Water coming out is a good sign. But if there is none, you need to replace your valve. Alternatively, if too much water comes out after releasing the tab, it means it’s too old or damaged to work well.
- Check Anode Rod: As mentioned, water heaters make water potable by getting rid of minerals and impurities. The anode draws in corrosive materials so that the anode corrodes instead of the water heater. It may need replacing if there is calcium buildup on it, more than 6 inches of its wire have been exposed, or there is only less than half an inch of the rod left.
- Drain Tank & Flush Sediment: You might think the anode rod handles most impurities, but it doesn’t. Every time your water heater fills up, your water supply includes particles of sediment that are responsible for making hot water not last long. Its removal requires turning off the power or the gas and closing the tank’s cold-water supply, and then turning on a hot water tap somewhere in the house. With a garden hose to the drain valve, sediment is flushed out through it until it’s no longer cloudy.
- Adjusting Water Temperature: Knowing this can save you so much money on energy bills. Typically, the best temperature it should be at is 120 degrees. But, going down 10 degrees can save you energy during times when you might not need hot water as much as in summer.
- Pipe/Heater Insulation: Pipe insulation is quite handy for both warmer and colder months. It helps to reduce any potential pipes from bursting from extreme weather conditions. Insulation is slipped on with tape to help keep it nice and secure. Meanwhile, the insulation of your water heater with insulating material that wraps around the tank leaves holes for pipes, panels, and possibly the pressure valve. If an electric water heater, it might need to cover the top with a large piece of insulation and tape it to the side of the tank. The tops of oil and gas water heaters are never covered. While you’re at it, ensure the area around your water heater is uncluttered.
Tankless Water Heaters
There is quite a difference between gas, oil, and electric water heaters compared to tankless heaters. A tankless heater can provide hot water immediately. Unlike the others, it does not store hot water in a tank. In which case, you need to go about maintenance a little differently.
Flushing out a tankless water heater involves turning off the power or the gas as well as the cold water supply to the heater. After, it means turning off the hot water valve that takes hot water. Next, a hose is attached to a recirculation pump and then to the tankless water heater’s cold water isolation valve.
Using a second hose, it’s attached to the hot water isolation valve. The pump and the hose attached to the hot water isolation valve are placed into a bucket that holds about five gallons. Five gallons of white vinegar are added before opening both isolation valves and turning on the pump.
From the solution created, it circulates through the tankless water heater for about 10-20 minutes. Once disposed of the solution, it’s to be done again for five minutes. After, all valves return to their normal settings.
This maintenance helps to get rid of any buildup that causes your water heater to become inefficient.
Learning proper maintenance for your water heater is important in various ways. Not only to ensure it lasts for a long time, but also it’s working properly. Hopefully, this has brought some insight regarding water heater maintenance, so you’re not left with cold water all the time!