Water heaters are a vital piece of plumbing in your household as they control the temperature of the water running through your faucets and showers. By simply routinely inspecting and maintaining, you can prolong the lifetime of your water heater.
To help you maximize the 10-15-year performance of your water heater, we’ve compiled a to-do list:
- Visually Inspect. It is important to check for leaks around your unit indicating there may be a faulty pipe connection. Keep an eye out for puddling water coming from below your water heater. Additionally, it is recommended to keep the surrounding two-foot area around your water heater clear, should any issues with your water heater arise.
- Examine the Sacrificial Anode Rod. It is recommended to check on your anode rode every three years, and they will generally need to be replaced every six years. To check on your anode rod, attach a hose to the water outlet on the side of the tank and drain a few gallons of water into a bucket. Then, remove the hex head and pull the rod out of the top of the tank. You will need to replace the rod if more than 6 inches of core steel wire is exposed, if the rod is calcified or if it is less than half an inch thick.
- Drain the Water Heater. You should drain your water heater once a year. This will clear the dirt and sediment out of the bottom of the tank. To do this, you will need to drain the remaining water into the bucket. You will then need to stir up the sediment on the bottom of the tank by turning on the cold-water flow for a few moments. Repeat this process until the water drains clear. You can then remove the hose, close the water outlet and turn the hot and cold-water flow back on to refill your water heater tank.
- Check the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve. The Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve, or TPR Valve, is vital for safety and proper operation of your water heater. It is recommended you check your TPR Valve every 6 months and every time you maintenance your water heater. Lift the TPR Valve up and down a few times. You should hear gurgling as the water is released into the drain tube. If no water comes out or if there is only a trickle, contact a plumber to replace the valve. If water continues to flow after the valve test, continue to move the Valve up and down to free any dirt or sediment that may be blocking the Valve from aligning properly. Lastly, you will want to make sure the temperature is set no higher than 120 degrees to avoid scalding and overheating.