When was the last time you thought about your water heater, let alone did any maintenance work on it? Prolonging the life of your water heater can be as simple as following a few painless maintenance tips.
The following three tips can be done over a weekend and can help you avoid costly repairs and extend the longevity of your water heater.
Banish Sediment by Draining the Tank
Most people don’t know this, or simply don’t have the time, but draining the water tank at least once a year is crucial in maintaining the tank’s efficiency. You may have noticed loud, startling banging noises coming from your water heater. This indicates a heavy build-up of sediment, particularly calcium carbonate.
The loud noises are caused by a small amount of water beneath a hardened layer of sediment at the bottom of the tank. As it heats up, the water causes the sediment to bubble; these loud popping noises are the sound of the bubbles popping and collapsing.
Draining the tank completely at least once a year is important because it:
Increases efficiency. The hardened layer of sediment forms a barrier between the heat source and the water that needs to be heated.
Is easier on the system. Sediment damages the overall heating system by potentially clogging valves and pipes and causes corrosion.
Find the Right Temperature
Remember how Goldilocks required that her porridge not be too hot, nor too cold, but just right? The same goes for your water heater. Setting the temperature to 120 degrees F is the “just right” temperature according to industry experts.
A few things to consider when setting temperature include:
Whether you have small children or elderly at home who are more sensitive to hot temperatures.
Whether you have a dishwasher. Some older models require water temperatures to meet a minimum for optimal performance.
Prevent Heat Loss
According to the US Department of Energy, insulating your water heater can reduce heat loss by 25 to 45 percent, and should pay for itself in one year.
There are standard insulating kits you can buy according to the size and type of water heater you have. For anyone with older water heaters, get insulation blankets of R-11 or higher.
Many newer models of water heaters already come with factory-installed insulation, so check your manufacturer’s label before venturing out to your local hardware store.
For reliable commercial and residential plumbing services at reasonable prices in the Bay area, call Genmor Plumbing, Inc. servicing the San Jose, CA area at (408) 684-7083.