Your home\’s water heater provides what most consider a vital service. No one wants to live with no hot water. But unfortunately, those same homeowners are also the ones who look shocked when a plumber asks them about their water heater maintenance schedule. Sadly, we all seem to forget about our home\’s water heater as long as it quietly does its job. But as soon as there is a problem, we are annoyed that it has failed. To avoid the shock of a cold shower, plan to invest some time in a few valuable maintenance tasks to extend the life of your water heater.
Avoid A Flood
All water heaters have a temperature-pressure relief valve. It is the fail-safe to ensure that the thermostat does not malfunction, causing the water to exceed the holding tank\’s pressure rating. When the pressure goes beyond the pressure relief valve\’s preset level, it begins to vent water to drop the internal pressure. To ensure that the valve is functioning correctly, lift the lever on the valve to allow a small amount of water to escape. As soon as you release the lever, the valve should reseat. If the valve does not open or will not reseat, call a plumber to have this safety feature repaired or replaced. Discovering a malfunction with this test is the best way to avoid a costly flood or damaged water heater.
All water contains minerals that will eventually accumulate in the lower portion of your water heater\’s holding tank. And if you do not drain and flush the tank each year, the mineral build-up will eventually corrode and destroy it. But there are other short-term issues also caused by the mineral build-up.
If you have noticed that your hot water is not as hot as it once was, it could be time to drain and clean the tank. The mineral sediment in the bottom of the tank functions as a layer of insulation between the heating element and the water. So your water heater will not heat water as quickly or efficiently. Simply draining and flushing the tank is a great way to save a little on your utility bill and take the unnecessary added workload off your water heater.
The Flushing Process
Flushing your water heater is a simple task that you can take care of in about an hour. Turn off the water supply to the water heater and the power as well. Attach a hose to the drain valve at the tank\’s base and run the hose to a drain or the street. Open a few hot water faucets in your home to help the tank drain more rapidly. Next, open the valve on the drain to let the hot water and sediment flow out of the tank. Gently turn the water supply to the tank back on to rinse any remaining sediment from the tank. When the water coming from the hose is clear, you will know that the tank is clean. Close the drain valve on the tank and turn the power back on. Close the hot water faucets in the house when the water is flowing evenly.
With a bit of care and maintenance, your water heater will provide reliable service for about a decade in most cases. This ensures that you are getting the most from the money you invested in this essential appliance. If you do not have the time or desire to complete the annual service, call (912) 236-3333. A Thompson and Thompson licensed plumber will complete the process for you to ensure your water heater\’s longevity.