Extend the Life Of Your Home's Water Heater With Routine Maintenance
Conventional tank-style water heaters are designed to last for many years. However, sediment and rust will accumulate over time and reduce the efficiency and lifespan of the water heater.
To keep your conventional water heater working reliably and lasting longer, follow these regular maintenance steps:
- Drain the water heater tank annually to remove sediment and rust buildup. This is particularly important if you have hard water. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Ensure the opposite end of the hose is placed outside, in a sink or near a floor drain. Be careful, as the water can be extremely hot and cause burns. If you are not sure of how to flush your water heater, call M/R Plumbing Mart. We'll advise you on the best way to drain your particular hot water heater.
- Inspect the outside of the tank for leaks and rust.
- For gas water heaters, check the exhaust flue to make ensure that air is escaping outside by striking a match near to the bell housing. The smoke should exit out the flue.
- Check the relief valve by placing a bucket underneath the extension pipe and turning the valve to the open position. Water should flow freely when the valve is opened.
- Make sure the thermostat is set to between 120 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit. We recommend not setting the water temperature above 120 degrees Fahrenheit if you have have young children.
- Always keep a pan under the water heater tank to make it easier to spot leaks.
- If you have a gas water heater, check the pilot light flame to ensure it is burning blue and steady.
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance
Tankless water heaters offer an energy saving alternative to conventional tank-style water heaters with the water only getting heated when it's needed. Because there is no storage tank to heat, you'll never run out of hot water as long as the unit is been properly sized for your hot water needs.
Like traditional water heaters, tankless water heaters need to be maintained properly to operate at peak efficiency and to realize their cost savings over conventional water heaters. So, spending some time on maintenance yourself — or calling M/R Plumbing for regular maintenance — will ensure that you are taking advantage of all the benefits of your tankless water heater.
1. Check and Clean the Screen Filter
Periodically inspect and clean the filter located on the water inlet side of your tankless water heater. It's best to have a licensed plumber do this job. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, please learn the correct procedure before attempting this task. Never use chemical solutions to clean your water heater, since it will enter your drinking water. Vinegar is a safe, effective cleaner.
2. Flush the System
To prevent the a harmful buildup of lime and scale, flush your tankless water heater periodically. M/R Plumbing Mart can help you flush your water heater. As noted above, please be sure to flush it with vinegar and not chemicals that could contaminate your water supply.