A water heater can run perfectly for over 10 years without a regular maintenance plan, so we can see how most people could forget to check on their water heater. For that reason, our water heater professionals at Public Service Plumbers know that with only a small amount of maintenance you could easily extend the lifespan of your tank. This simple two-step process can be completed in only minutes. We recommend that you complete this maintenance process at least once a year to make sure that you have long lasting efficiency and safely from your water heater.
Check The Pressure-Relief Valve of Your Tank
The first thing that our trusted water heater specialists recommend testing the pressure-relief valve located on the top or side of their water heater. The pressure-relief valve will open up automatically in order to prevent the tank from exploding if the pressure inside of the tank becomes too high. You will know that it might be time to replace your valve when it doesn’t release water if you lift the lever. You should be able to find a replacement valve at most common hardware stores. Fortunately, the replacement process for your pressure-relief valve is simple:
- Turn off the water
- Drain the tank
- Unscrew the discharge pipe
- Unscrew the old valve
- Wrap the threads of the new valve with sealant tape
- Screw the new valve in
Be sure that the shutoff valve for your cold water supply pipe is closed. Then turn on any hot water faucet in the house to release the pressure built up inside of your water heater’s tank. Afterward, leave the faucet on until you finish your replacement. If you have an electric heater our team recommends that you turn off the power at your main panel and for gas heaters, you should turn off the control dial.
Drain Your Tank
The next tip that you can do to extend the lifespan of your water heater is flush out the sediments that may have settled at the bottom of your tank. We know that it might not seem like a super important issue but sediment build up can really shorten the lifespan of your water heater and will reduce its efficiency. When your water heater is not running efficiently it will increase the energy bill at the end of the month. You won’t have to drain out your whole tank, you should be fine with flushing out 2 to 3 gallons of water should be enough to clear your tank of sediments. Our trusted specialists recommend that you flush until you can no longer see any particles in the bucket. We want you to know that you should be cautious when completing this process as the water coming out of the tank will be scalding hot.
Don’t worry about gurgling or groaning noises that may come from your water heater while it is draining. These noises are caused by air entering the tank as water starts to drain out. If your drain valve doesn’t close tightly when you’re done then be sure to drain the tank completely. Then unscrew the old valve and screw in new one. When you are ready to restart your water heater, open the shut-off valve and let the hot water run at any faucet to get rid of any air within the system. Then be sure to relight the pilot or turn your power back on.
Upon finishing these simple preventive care steps set your water heaters dial to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. In case your dial doesn’t have numbers check on water temperature with a cooking thermometer. Having a higher temperature than that will increase your unit’s sediment buildup and risk of scalding injuries. If you are sitting reading this at home feeling like you may need some help of a professional you can always reach out to our trusted team of specialists. We are always happy to answer any questions that you may have about your water heater or give us a call to set up some preventive care services for your water heater today.