Regular water heater maintenance can keep your water heater running smoothly for 20 years or more. It doesn’t take a major investment of time, either. Your main job is to monitor for problems and know when to call in a plumbing professional for repairs or inspections.
Periodically check your water heater for signs of leakage or corrosion, such as wet areas, water stains or rust. Visually inspect all the lines connected to the heater, both above and at the bottom. If you need to touch the heater, turn off the power or gas before you do. Leaks and rust can do serious damage, so if you see any, have a professional come out as soon as possible.
At least once a year, test your water heater’s temperature and pressure relief valve. First, make sure you’re able to shut off the water supply in case the valve doesn’t close properly. Test the valve by lifting the handle and then releasing it so the valve snaps back into place. You’ll hear bubbling as water flows into the drain tube. If you don’t hear water being released, you can’t open the valve, or the valve doesn’t close correctly, call a plumber.
Flushing the tank is another essential part of water heater maintenance. Flushing once every six to 12 months prevents sediment buildup that can cause discolored water and leaks. This process involves turning off the heater, draining the tank completely, and running fresh water through the tank. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, contact an expert.
While you can take care of some water heater maintenance issues yourself, an annual inspection by a professional is a must. An expert can alert you to potential problems so you can plan for upcoming repairs and replacements instead of scrambling to take care of a sudden breakdown.
Is your water heater overdue for a check-up? If you’re in the Greater Cleveland area, contact the pros at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing to schedule an inspection that could save you headaches and add years to the life of your water heater.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Western Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water heater maintenance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.