Everyone is going to need a water heater repair at some point, but the easiest way to put that eventuality off for as long as possible is to keep up with regular maintenance on it. The water heater is one appliance that you certainly don’t want to malfunction because it tends to do so at the most inconvenient times. You could be standing in the shower and suddenly experience an ice cold or scalding hot spray! Here are six things you should be doing regularly to put off water heater repair for as long as possible:
- 1. Every year, check the pressure relief valve. Every water heater is different, so you may have to check the manual to find out how to do it or call in a plumber who does water heater repair often.
- 2. Two times a year, drain some water out of the unit. Use a bucket to catch all the water that comes out. It will be full of sediment, and if you don’t drain the water regularly, then that sediment will stay inside the unit and cause serious problems if it is allowed to build up over a long period of time.
- 3. Check the insulation around the unit every few months. It is always a good idea to wrap your water heater with insulation, especially if it is an older unit. This will help keep the water warm so that the system does not have to run as much, thus lowering your electricity bill a bit. Every time you check the insulation, make sure that it has not slipped and started to block the air inlet or the exhaust vent, which could cause a fire.
- 4. About every six months or so, check the temperature gauge. Consult with a professional to learn the best setting for your unit, but in general anything above 120 or 140 degrees Fahrenheit is too high. You could be wasting electricity and increasing the likelihood that if a malfunction happens, scalding water instead of ice cold water will be the result.
- 5. Look closely at the exhaust stack about once a year. Just do a visual scan to make sure that all of the connections are secure and that there do not seem to be any leaks. Look for signs of corrosion and rust.
- 6. Flush the water heater about once a year or more often if you have water with a high level of minerals in it. It is advisable that you have a professional help you with this because it can be quite a complicated process, depending on which brand you have. This step should happen in addition to draining the unit every six months because flushing it will clean it out more thoroughly thus extending the life of the unit and also making it work more efficiently.
If your water heater is more than 10 years old, it is definitely advisable to have a new one installed. The technology that was in use 10 years ago is nowhere near as efficient as what’s used in today’s units, so you will likely find your electric bill greatly reduced after replacing it.
One of the more eco-friendly options available now is the tank-less water heater, which doesn’t heat water constantly. It heats up the water as you use it, so no energy is being wasted on simply keeping the water hot when no one is using it.
When you do get into a water heater problem that requires a plumber, call Scott English Plumbing to handle all of your water heater repair problems in Orange County.