We use our water heaters daily but people rarely think of it until the the hot water stops working. As your water heater goes unnoticed throughout the years it can be common to develop a leak, build up harmful residues, corrode, or even explode. This happens because it often lacks the necessary maintenance required to keep it running in good condition. Would you drive your car without ever getting it maintained or at least change the oil? A water heater is just as important to keep maintained. If the tank explodes or even simply leaks it can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. However, a well maintained unit can last up to 20 years. So follow these simple instructions to check your water heater from time to time and keep it happy and healthy for a prolonged life and a peace of mind.
First and foremost, Charlotte water heaters should be frequently checked for leaks. Simply scan the pipe connections, the valves, water lines, and even underneath the unit for any suspicious water spills. Check especially areas where the connections have been crimped together. If there is no excess water, your unit is looking good. If you do find a leak, either use a wrench to tighten the connection or call a plumber immediately – a leaky tank can do a lot of damage if not taken care of.
Occasionally check and clean the water by filling a small bucket of water from the faucet attached to the bottom of the tank. This is called a “mini-flush,” while a full flush is better this method is convenient and simple to apply. A CAUTION – be very careful when doing this – the water can be scalding hot and can burn your hands if the necessary care and precautions are not taken. Draining the water like this can remove any built up sediment which could be causing your unit to corrode, rust, or even reducing the efficiency of the unit
Once a year, you should check the temperature pressure relief valve to make sure it is still functioning properly. This valve is extremely important for safety and proper operation of your unit. Again, please be careful when doing this – you can be burned. To check this, you can either pull or push (depending on your model) on the handle of the valve. If hot water comes out of the over-flow pipe, things are looking good, and working as they should. If no water is released, your valve is bad and needs to be replaced.
Also as a note, you can dial down the temperature of the water heater between 115 and 120 degrees F which will keep your water more than hot but keep the tank from over heating and wasting energy.
Going through all this steps at least once a year may save you a lot of headache later on. A well maintained water heater is a happy water heater.