A Quick and Informative Guide to Water Heater Maintenance

Thanks to Edwin Ruud, who invented the first automatic water heater in 1889, we no longer have to boil water in a pot on the stove for tasks such as cleaning our clothes and showering.

Conveniences such as these make modern life easier, but they come with the necessity of periodic maintenance to keep the hot water flowing with the ease of turning a spigot.

All appliances in your home need some sort of periodic care and water heater maintenance should be done regularly too.

This article will explain needed water heater maintenance and how often to do it.

Water Heater Maintenance for Safety Sake

Make sure to inspect the pressure relief valve often. This valve works similarly to an electrical breaker by protecting you from disaster if something goes wrong within the system.

Runaway pressure inside the water tank can cause it to explode. The pressure relief valve will open when a predetermined PSI is reached within the tank, reducing the pressure to safe levels.

To test this valve, put a bucket under the pipe leading off from the valve and then open the valve using the attached tab. If water gushes out, you’re good to go.

How to Lengthen the Life of Your Heater

Water heater replacement is expensive, and to prevent water heater repair problems, maintenance tasks need to be done periodically.

Doing the following maintenance tasks will also extend the life of your tank.

Replace the Anode Rod

Whether electric or gas, your hot water heater will have an anode rod. The anode rod works by attracting corrosive minerals, that attach to it and erode the rod, instead of your water heater.

Replace the anode rod every five years. The tank must be flushed before replacing the rod. It is best to do these two tasks simultaneously to save time. Most homeowners will hire a qualified plumber to perform this maintenance. 

Preventing Leaks and Rust

Flushing your tank yearly discharges the buildup of minerals that can lead to rusting of your steel tank. 

Flush the tank by turning off all water sources and power to the unit first. Then attach a water hose to the drainage spigot and flush with cold household water.

This should be done once per year. 

Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters need similar maintenance to prevent water heater problems, but there are three differences:

  1. Flushing is done with a descaling or vinegar solution
  2. The air intake filter must be cleaned once a year or more often as needed
  3. Tankless heaters do not have or need an anode rod

Upkeep Is Necessary for Safety and Longevity

Water heater replacement can get expensive, so it’s best to keep your current hot water heater in top operating condition for as long as possible.

Water heater maintenance is pretty straightforward and there’s not a lot of it required. Doing the three main maintenance procedures outlined here helps extend the life of this important appliance and keeps it in a safe operating condition.

For all your plumbing and heating needs in the Randolph New Jersey area, call no one other than All A’s Plumbing and Heating, we’ve been in business for 20 years and we are available 24/7