There’s nothing more frustrating than discovering – usually in the midst of showering – that the water heater is no longer working. Sometimes it is discovered when you turn on the faucet and only get cold water and other times it can be discovered because of an unpleasant smell. Either way, dealing with a lack of hot water is not much fun!
But even more discouraging than the lack of hot water, is knowing that replacing the water heater is likely to be costly – whether it is the entire tank, or just having repair work done. Consequently, it is important to know some basic steps to take to keep water hear repairs at a minimum. Let’s get started:
Preventing Water Heater Repairs
- Be sure that your water heater’s temperature is not set any higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only will having it higher mean that your utility bill will be more expensive, but making it worker harder means that there is more wear and tear on the various parts.
- At least twice a year, check the pressure relief valve to make sure it is not corroded. Catching leaks or corrosion early means less chance of future problems.
- Schedule a maintenance visit with a plumber at least once a year to make sure all the parts and pieces are working properly.
- Check to see that there is plenty of ventilation – especially if you have a gas heater! If the vents are not properly working your home can be invaded by toxic fumes.
- Twice a year, take time to drain the water heater to remove any sediment. If sediment is allowed to build up it can result in an assortment of problems. You can drain the tank by first placing a 5-gallon bucket below the drain valve, then turning the valve counter-clockwise to release a few gallons of water into the bucket. Then close the valve and proceed as usual.
- Test the temperature and pressure valve by lifting up the lever part way and then letting it snap back into place. You should hear a gurgling sound that indicates that there was some water released into the drain pan. If you don’t hear anything, then it is time to replace the valve.
- If you have a gas water heater, make time at least once a quarter to ensure the pilot light is lit, and to remove any soot build up.
These tips are only of use if you apply them So, don ‘t wait until the current water heater needs to be repaired to implement them – start today to get the longest lifespan possible from your home water heater. Still have questions, talk to a local plumber today