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Keeping Your Water Heater in Tiptop Shape

Did you know that your water heater can run perfectly for a decade or more if you give it the proper maintenance? You can save money and avoid expensive repairs if you follow this basic maintenance plan to extend the life of your water heater.

Keeping your water heater at optimum performance is not a hard task. You basically want to drain it once or twice a year to keep the sediment from building up in the bottom of the tank.

There are three MAJOR benefits to getting annual water heater maintenance.

Get Rid of Sediment Build Up

Sediment buildup is a common issue for water heaters (especially in places like Las Vegas where the water is very hard) and it is often the culprit behind efficiency issues. If you hear rumbling or popping sounds coming from your water heater – this is likely a sign that it needs to be flushed. The sediment is caused from loose minerals in the water, which settles on the bottom making it more difficult to produce hot water. Flush your water heater at least once a year or every six months. Once you’ve done this, you will likely save money on your next utility bill and get hot water quicker.

See Your Plumber More Frequently

Surveys show that homeowners call plumbers to their home only once every three years on average. Yearly plumbing maintenance checks can help ensure that leaks, corrosion, or other issues are caught early on, before they cause major damage to your home, appliances, or pipes.

Drain Your Water Heater

To keep your water heater in check, you should periodically drain it. To do so, you will need the following tools:

• Channel lock pliers

• A garden hose

• A rag nearby

  1. Turn off the shut off valve on the cold water side of the heater. You may want to shut off the valve to the whole house in some cases.
  2. Turn off the gas valve or electric breaker to the heater.
  3. Open the hot side of a faucet, connect a hose to the bottom drain of the water heater. Tun it into a floor drain nearby. Turn on the drain valve where you hooked up the hose. The heater should start to drain and empty in 15 to 30 minutes.
  4. When the water heater is done draining, turn the cold water on for 10 seconds, then shut it off. This will drain any sediment that has settled during the draining. Turn off the drain valve on the bottom of the water heater. Disconnect the hose from the drain valve. Be careful not to remove the hose from the drain too fast, or you’ll have leftover water on your floor.
  5. Close all water taps and turn on the cold water valve to the house. Let the water heater fill up for at least 5 minutes. Turn on the gas valve to the water heater. Read the lighting instructions and light the water tank. If you have an electric heater, turn on the breaker and the water will start to heat. Once the water heater has stopped filling with water, you will have some air in the lines. Turn on all the faucets in the home and let the air bleed out.
  6. You should be able to see the temperature setting valve near the lower portion of the unit. You can also find this toward the back of the unit, depending on the model. When you begin to inspect the unit, take a look at the water temperature on the dial. If it is over 120 degrees, it’s too high. By turning it back to 120 degrees, you will save electricity in your house and protect your water heater from getting worn out prematurely. When water heaters overheat, it shortens their life span.
  7. To test the temperature and pressure relief valve, pull the leaver in an upward direction halfway and release it. If the valve is in optimal condition, it will snap back into its original condition. Water will come out and easily flow into the drain tube. You should hear the sound of water when this happens. If you do not hear anything at all, this indicates that the valve needs to be replaced.

Regular water heater maintenance can help extend the life of your appliances, but if you’re experiencing issues, or need a replacement, contact the Las Vegas plumbers at Pure Plumbing via the form below or call (702) 710-7388.