Whoever invented the water heater deserves all the thanks we can give. However, considering how many among us completely neglect our water heaters, we don’t seem to appreciate them the way they deserve to be. If we did, we would perform regular maintenance on them, not completely ignore them until a problem comes up.
A water heater, like any other machine, requires maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape. By giving our water heater basic care, we can keep it running efficiently and for a long time. Given how expensive replacing a water heater can be, it is in our best interest to perform maintenance tasks on them. Here are some basic care tips for your water heater.
Flush your water heater
The process of heating water has the unfortunate consequence of minerals and sediments settling at the bottom of the heater. This situation becomes worse if you live in an area with hard water. The sediment will build up fast, clog the drain valve of your water heater and damage it. You can, however, avoid early damage by fully flushing your water heater once a year. You can do it yourself, or you can hire a plumber to do it for you. By flushing your water heater once a year, you will essentially beading more years to its life.
Speaking of flushing your water heater, you can also opt to do it every two months, but only flush four litres of water at a time. To make sure there isn’t any sediment buildup, drain those four litres of water from the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank, not from the Pressure Relief Valve (PRV) at the top.
Keep water heater temperature in check
If you take a sample of your hot water from the most distant hot water tap, measure its heat and the temperature exceeds 65°C, then your water heater temperature is set too high. Aside from the real risk of scalding, water heaters that are too hot become more prone to corrosion faster. A temperature of 60–65°C is just about right to kill bacteria in the water, not burn your skin and keep corrosion at bay.
Give your heater a break
Your water heater is a machine, and it also needs a break from time to time. If you’re going on a vacation that will take more than 48 hours, turn your water heater off. Your water heater can also benefit from a reduced heating load, and this means conserving hot water. Installing low-flow faucets and shower heads throughout your home can also help. The less hot water you use, the lesser need for your water heater to work overtime to heat more water for you. Wrapping all hot water pipes with insulation sleeves can also do wonders for water heater efficiency.
Get professional water heater maintenance done
With limited plumbing skills, there’s only so much the average home owner can do to maintain their water heaters. Professional plumbers like the one we have at Beez Neez Plumbing are more than qualified to make sure your water heater remains in excellent shape for years to come.