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Homeowner’s guide to water heater maintenance

Posted on: January 20, 2016

When it comes to water heater repairs, it is often best to hire an expert, this is due to the fact that your water heater is made up of many electrical parts and it can be dangerous and costly when you start pulling out these parts yourself to work on them. The good news is that when you maintain your system, you may not need to call for repairs quite as much.

The following water heater maintenance tips offer some great ways that you can care for your water heater, helping system to perform better and reducing your energy costs.

Water heater maintenance tips

  • Keep it clear– Check often to make sure there are no obstructions around your water heater. Your system should have at least 2 feet of clearance, some systems may need more, so be sure to check your manual.
  • Adjust the thermostat– If you have never taken not of what temperature the thermostat is on your hot water system, now is the perfect time. To save on energy costs and reduce risks of scalding adjust the temperature to 120 degrees.
  • Add insulation– By insulating your water heater, you can reduce some of the energy loss that occurs when your system is working to keep the water inside hot. You can purchase water heater insulation at your local home improvement store.
  • Conduct a visual inspection– At least once a year, you will want to do a visual check over your water heater. You will be looking for leaks, corrosion and cracks on your systems pipes and valves. If you see anything that doesn’t look right, contact a professional.
  • Check the pilot light– If you have a gas heater it is a good idea to check the pilot light. Your pilot light should be blue and it should appear to be burning steadily.
  • Flush your system– Once a year it is a good idea to drain or flush your system. You will need a garden hose or a large bucket. Use the drain valve to drain the hot water, be sure not to drain this water into any place where the hot water can cause damage. Be sure to open your pressure relief valve while draining your tank. Watch the water coming out; you will likely see sediment draining from your tank. When the water is clear you can close the drain valve and the pressure relief valve and let the tank refill.

If you feel uncomfortable working on your water heater, contact an expert. The team at James A. Wheat & Sons can help you with all of your water heater maintenance and repair needs, contact us today at 240-399-5051.