technician repairing an hot-water heater

Regular Maintenance Can Help Prevent Disastrous Water Heater Issues

Your water heater is a vital part of your home that provides hot water for various daily tasks. Neglecting its maintenance can lead to issues like no hot water, leaks, or other serious problems. However, by investing a little time and effort into regular maintenance, you can avoid these costly disasters. Follow these tips to extend your water heater’s life and keep it in prime condition.

Flush the Tank Regularly

The most important step you can take is to drain the tank and replace the contents with new water. Experts recommend draining a traditional tank heater at least once a year to remove sediment and debris accumulating at the tank’s bottom. Some manufacturers recommend flushing the tank more frequently. Periodic flushing helps maintain optimal water pressure and energy efficiency and prevents leaks and breakdowns. If you have a tankless model, flush it at least every six months. Tankless water heaters also require descaling.

Test the Temperature Release Valve

Discharge the valve three to five times and check for nearby leaks. Deposit buildup can sometimes cause this valve to get stuck, and corrosion can also prevent it from working correctly. A stuck or broken value can cause the water pressure inside the tank to exceed safe limits, so testing it regularly is another crucial step.

Check the Anode Rod

The anode rod inside your tank water heater has a limited life of about five years. Its job is to attract minerals and sediments to prevent them from corroding the tank’s interior. Once the anode rod becomes corroded, it requires replacement. Bad anode rods make your water foul-smelling, frequently mimicking the smell of rotten eggs. When you notice this, the time for rod replacement has arrived.

Check the Water Temperature Setting

Many homeowners set their water heaters to very high temperatures, sometimes as much as 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Most manufacturers recommend setting it to 120 degrees. However, you can extend the life of your unit by further reducing the setting. For every 10 degrees you lower the setting, you’ll save about 5% in energy costs.

Maintain Clearance Around the Tank

You should keep objects at least two feet away from your traditional tank water heater. This practice may not seem important, but it will allow you to easily access and inspect the tank and its connections. Regular visual inspections can allow you to find small leaks and check for exterior corrosion, which can indicate possibly more significant problems.

Schedule a Water Heater Checkup

If you believe your water heater in Waukesha, WI isn’t working properly, just call up our experienced plumbers at Jeff’s Custom Care for an inspection. Our staff will gladly recommend the proper repair or unit replacement depending on your needs.