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How a Homeowner Should Maintain Water Heater Systems

water-heater-maintenanceThe water heater is a very valuable appliance. It provides its user a warm and relaxing bath, helps clean dirty dishes and clothes, and so much more. Thus, it is very important that it is properly maintained. Although this appliance has numerous parts, you can keep this appliance in shape yourself (most of the time) as long as you follow the tips stated below. Doing so allows this to last for several years.

1. Check the T&P valve (also called the temperature and pressure valve)
The tank is capable of sealing in high pressure and temperature to ensure that the water stored in it stays warm. Sometimes, you need to relieve some pressure so the tank does not explode or leak. To do this, find the T&P valve, often located at the top or side of the tank. Once you have found this valve, lift its rocker arm carefully and, if it does not move, replace it right away. If, however, it does not snap down after you lift it, make sure to loosen it.

2. Make sure its temperature stays at a maximum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit
Setting a higher temperature can result to injuries and accidents. By keeping the temperature of the heater low, you save as much as 5% on energy costs.

3. Maintain two feet of clearance space around the heater tank.
Unless stated otherwise on the manual, you need to do this to avoid any fire-related mishaps.

4. Check the anode rod.
This part of your heater is a stick of aluminium or magnesium dipped in the tank. It serves to prevent the corrosion of the water storage tank by attracting the rust. After some time, this rod will become rusty and corroded, so if you find significant damage to it, replace it immediately. Specifically, replace it when six inches of the core wire is coated with calcium, bare, or if it has a thickness of less than ½ inch.

5. Insulating the pipes
By placing insulation (3/8-inch thick foam insulation) on its pipes, you improve the efficiency of the heater, especially during winter. However, you need not place insulation on newer heater models, since they already come with insulation.

6. Insulate the water tank
The tank should also be insulated to keep water inside the tank warm. Insulation options available are insulating jackets and bubble wraps covered with foil.

7. Flush the tank
Flushing the tank of its contents is the last tip you have to follow to prevent a visit by a plumber to get the heater fixed. Along with water, minerals, debris, and sediment also get in the tank during the refilling process, and eventually, they will accumulate and cause the heater to not perform well. Therefore, by flushing the tank thrice a year, you keep the heater functioning.