Whether you call a plumber or do it yourself, water heater maintenance is an important step toward keeping your home supplied with hot showers and baths as well as sterilized dishes and clean clothes. The efficiency of your unit is directly related to the care it receives on a yearly basis. So, what is involved in this maintenance process? Plumbing Houston
The 3-Step Maintenance Plan
By performing this maintenance plan annually, you can greatly extend the life of your unit. Each year, you or your plumber will need to:
- Reduce the maximum temperature
- Test the temperature and pressure relief valve
- Perform a mini-flush to remove sediment build-up
Reduce the Maximum Temperature
This first step will ensure that you’re receiving sufficient heat without potentially overheating your unit. Overheating can cause damage, which will affect the efficiency of your water heater and increase your electric bills. And we all know that lower energy bills mean happier homeowners!
To perform this first step, simply find the temperature dial and adjust the setting between 115 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Setting the maximum heating temperature at this level will also prevent scalding. Reducing the temperature to around 120 degrees is especially important for young children. Conroe Plumber
Test the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
The temperature and pressure valve (also known as the T&P valve) is a crucially important element in your unit. As we all know, heat produces pressure since it causes molecules to expand. If that pressure builds up with no release, an explosion can occur.
To test your T&P valve, simply lift the lever part way up and allow it to snap back into place. If it’s working properly, you’ll hear a gurgling sound within the tank. This sound is produced because the valve allowed water to enter the drain pipe, thus relieving pressure – and you know your T&P valve is successfully performing its job. If you don’t hear that sound, it’s time to replace the valve and avoid a potentially serious accident.
Perform a Mini-Flush to Remove Sediment Build-Up
Removing sediment from the bottom of your tank is a necessary, but potentially complicated step. However, if you keep up with the sediment by doing these simple mini-flushes on an annual basis, you can stay ahead of the mess with relative ease. Sediment causes a multitude of problems from rust to inefficient heating.
To perform this last step, you’ll need to find the drain valve. Place a bucket underneath the drain, then open the valve, and let a few gallons of water flow out the drain. You don’t have to turn off the heater to perform this mini-flush.
So, there you have it! Most homeowners can perform these annual steps on their own, but if you don’t feel comfortable doing these on your own, give your local plumber a call. Your water heater will sure appreciate it – and you’ll appreciate the savings you’ll receive as your unit works efficiently and lasts a long time!