With the following water heater maintenance suggestions, you can extend the lifespan of your water heater while possibly shaving off a few dollars in your energy bills.
Set the Proper Temperature
The average temperature setting for a standard water heater is around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping your water heater at this temperature, or at the manufacturer’s recommended temperature, can help prevent any accidents involving scalding water and help you can reduce your heating bills, too. Every 10 degrees the water heater is lowered is about 5% savings in energy costs. A great tip you can keep in mind is to measure the temperature of the water itself, as the temperature control system may be giving you an inaccurate reading.
Insulate Your Water Heater
You most likely will not have any insulation problems if your water heater is new, but if you have an older model with an R-value lower than 24, then you can insulate it to make your water heater a lot more energy efficient. You can reduce heat loss from anywhere around 25 % to 45% by doing this. Adding insulation, can in turn, save you up to 16% when it comes to your heating expenses. You can buy specially made insulation blankets and cut them so that they correctly fit your unit. If you are having problems insulating your water heater, contact a pro at Alvarez Plumbing & Air Conditioning.
Test the T&P Valve Bi-Annually
All water heaters have a temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve. These are safety devices that can detect if your unit is producing more pressure than it should. If this device is not working correctly, it may not to be able to release the excess pressure causing your tank to become damaged or even explode. To check your valve, pump the test valve until it lifts the brass stem that it is connected to. If the valve is working, a gush of hot water should come out of the drainpipe.
If little or no water comes out, then you will need to replace the valve.
Check Your Anode Rod
Anode rods are installed in many water heaters to protect them from rust. That is because anode rods attract corrosive elements frequently found in water. Over time, the rod itself can corrode to the point of being useless. Anode rods typically last up to five years, so checking them annually will ensure that they are in working order. Replace the rod if it is less than half an inch thick or if over six inches from the core steel wire is exposed.
If you follow these guidelines, you can make your water heater last longer. Setting up a maintenance check-up plan yourself, or through a professional, will help you catch common water heater plumbing problems before they get even worse. Take good care of your heater, and it will take good care of you, providing all the hot water that you need during your day-to-day life.