Plumber Pipe and Adjustable Wrenches on Water Heater Gas Line

Water Heater Maintenance Guide

Your water heater performs essential tasks in your home. Want a nice, soothing hot shower? Need to remove stains on your clothes with a hot wash? Your water heater will do all of this for you. Don’t experience a disruption in the system and have your water heater serviced. We’ve outlined some of the most fundamental services you can apply to your water heater.

Test the Pressure Release Valve

Your water tank needs the pressure valve for safety reasons. The pressure that builds up inside a tank can cause an explosion. With the TPV you prevent this from happening and direct water away from the furnace and electrical panel.

You can locate the valve on the side of the tank. There should be a switch and a long copper/plastic discharge pipe connecting to it. Lift the lever. Water should flow out. Click it back in place. The water should stop. If the water stops, you’re in good shape. You need a replacement if water continues to leak.

Inspect the Anode Rod

The anode rod is a heavy lifter. Both water and gas water heaters have one. Their purpose is removing corrosive minerals that would deteriorate your tank. The anode rod is designed to attract the harmful compounds to erod the rod instead of your tank. Keep it in good shape, and your water heater will last longer.

You need to shut off all power to the heater. Add a hose to the drain cock and release a few gallons of water. You’ll need a 1 1/16-inch socket to unscrew the hex head located under the top plate. A rod that is less than half an inch thick or entirely coated in calcium needs replacing.

Flush Your Tank and Remove Sediment

Grab a bucket. This step releases a lot of water. Draining your tank removes sediment build up. You need to flush it annually to maintain optimal performance.

Once again, turn off power to the tank. You’ll release the most sediment if you briefly open the cold water supply. You’ll need a hose for this step and your bucket. Fix your tube to the cold water tap and open the release valve. Water should flow into the bucket. Let it flow briefly before turning it off. Keep draining the tank in these spurts until the water runs clear. Close the drain cock back up, and you’re safe to turn back on the power.

Adjust the Temperature

Adjusting the thermostat is an energy saver. Turning the temperature down lowers the amount of energy needed to run the machine. Every ten degrees you reduce the heat you can expect to save around 5% of energy. That’s pretty significant. It’s advised to set the thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. It will tackle both safety and energy consumption.

Locating your thermostat might require your owner’s manual, but they are usually found on the side of the tank. Grab your flathead screwdriver and lift the cover. Use the tool to make adjustments. You can set the temperature and then leave it a few hours. Test that the new setting works for you and your household.

Buy Insulation for the Pipes

Almost every hardware store will sell foam pipe insulation. Insulating the pipe will protect them from accruing condensation in the summer. Water can damage the pipes. Prevent unnecessary damages by covering them. You can find self-sticking insulation that matches the diameter. But, you want the insulation itself to be around 3/8-inch in thickness. Cover both the hot and cold pipes. Use tape to seal it closed. If the pipe is less than six inches from the flue, you can use unfaced fiberglass pipe wrap.

Insulate the Water Tank

You’ll need patience for this one and a little precision. Purchase an insulating blanket. The “blanket” uses a combination of materials to protect the tank. It’s been said that wrapping it up will improve efficiency, save on monthly energy bills, and overall improve the temperature.

Premade water heater insulators exist. You can search for them by make and model of your device. It’s also possible to construct one yourself. Purchase the insulating material from a hardware store and wrap it around the tank. Here is where the precision comes in, you need to cut out areas to fit the pipes and valves. Secure in place with foil tape.

Nashville’s Professional Water Heater Maintenance

Maintaining and repairing your water heating system is crucial for performance and longevity. Trying to fix these issues on your own can be a little complicated. But, trusting a water heater service professional like Busy Bee makes all the difference. Ideally, you’ll have it maintained once a year. It helps optimize efficiency and catch problems before they turn into costly repairs.

Need a new water heater installed? We can help with that too. Contact Busy Bee for a complete list of our services in Middle Tennessee.