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5 Tips For Water Heater Maintenance

One of the most inconvenient things that can happen to you is your water heater breaking down suddenly. Think about it, imagine how inconvenient it would be to step into the shower in the morning before you go to work, only to be greeted with a blast of icy cold water to the face when you were expecting to get a nice, relaxing blast of hot water. It would be awful to say the least. Now, think about going the rest of the day without hot water. You will have to wash your hands with cold water, you may not be able to wash clothes or do dishes.

Unfortunately, water heaters are not indestructible, they can actually be quite fragile and will break easily if not given proper maintenance. Now, we have actually written quite a few articles on water heaters and the various problems they can have (for example, you may be interested in this article titled “What’s Killing Your Water Heater and What You Can Do To Stop It”), but this particular article is going to be focused on tips you can use to help keep your water heater running. A note of caution, always be very wary when working around a water heater, if you accidently break it, you could end up dealing with a massive leak or flood. If in doubt, always call a plumber. Also, remember that if you need emergency hot water repairs, give us a call.

Regular inspections are your friend

Most people out there probably do not get their water heater inspected regularly by a plumber, but, believe it or not, getting your water heater regularly checked by a plumber can be a great way of keeping the water heater in working order. See, no matter how hard you inspect it, there is always the risk that some issue with your water heater may go undetected simply because you lack the requisite knowledge to know that there is an issue. But, if you get a plumber to inspect the water heater once or twice a year, then they will be able to catch any issues that you may have overlooked.

Simply put, plumbers just have far more experience and knowledge when it comes to water heaters and so will be better placed to catch any issues. It may be a bit expensive to get regular inspections, but if the plumber catches something you would not have, then they may save you from having to replace your water heater or replace items damaged in a flood, which would be a lot more expensive. Plus, you only need to get the water heater inspected once or twice a year, so it will not be too expensive.

Make sure the area around the water heater is clear

Always make sure that the space around the water heater is clear of any debris or storage items. A lot of people have their water heater in their basements, so the water heaters get surrounded by boxes and other stuff that people tend to put into storage. This is a bad idea for a couple of reasons. First off, in the event of an emergency, you will need to be able to get to your water heater quickly. If the water heater is blocked by all sorts of boxes and things, then it will be difficult to get to it in a hurry. If a water heater emergency is occurring, then every second counts, so make sure you can get to your water heater and turn it off quickly.

The second issue with crowding your water heater is that some water heaters, specifically gas-powered ones, need a certain amount of space around the water heater in order to prevent any sort of accident from occurring. These days, gas water heaters must be installed outside, but it is still worth noting. Finally, in the event of a water heater accident, your water heater is going to start leaking, which means that everything in the immediate vicinity of the water heater is going to be drenched with water.

Check the anode rod

The anode rod on a water heater prevents the metal tank from corroding; which makes it one of the most important parts of the water heater. The anode rod is typically located at the top of the water heater. You will want to check the anode rod to make sure that it is not too corroded; if it does get corroded then you should get it replaced as soon as possible. Anode rods will have a lifespan of 5 years or so, which means that you do not need to be checking them every month or anything like that. Still, you should be checking them every once in a while, just to make sure it is still in working order. If your anode rod stops working, then it will not be long before your water heater starts to rust, which will kill your water heater.

Clean the arrestor regularly

Your water heater’s arrestor is a crucial part of the water heater. Unfortunately, it acts as a magnet for dust, dirt, and other types of debris. These clog up your arrestor, which reduce the efficiency of the water heater. The water heater will start to take longer just to heat water, even small amounts of water. Thankfully, the arrestor is relatively easy to clean. You can use a toothbrush to scrape off small amounts of dust and debris before it becomes a major issue. If you do this regularly, then you will prevent your arrestor from becoming totally clogged.

Regular drainage keeps the water heater in good shape

Your water heater builds up sediment at the bottom as it gets used. As this sediment builds up, it starts to cause issues for your water heater. Eventually, if the sediment goes unchecked, it will end up killing your water heater. Thankfully, draining your water heater is quite easy. Draining your water heater regularly (at least once a year depending on how often it is used) is a great way of prolonging the life of your water heater.