Water Heater Maintenance for the Home
A water heater is something that most of us take for granted, until all of a sudden it stops working. Then we frantically dial a plumber or rush off to get a brand-new water heater. All this can be prevented with some regular water heater maintenance.
Water heater maintenance is easy and simple to overlook since the tank simply rests in its place and has no moving parts to stress over. Inside, however, two things are continuously assaulting your water heater: sediment as well as rust. Most steel water heater tanks are lined with glass to prevent corrosion, nevertheless, the glass lining is never ever perfect, and continuous temperature level changes trigger minute openings. When the water ultimately penetrates the lining, the tank starts to rust.
Additionally, the heated water creates calcium carbonate to develop. It’s a type of limestone you can most likely see inside ad old showerhead. As it forms, the calcium carbonate settles to the bottom of the tank in gas-powered water heater tanks, it eventually winds up being thick and sufficient enough to reduce heating efficiency. In electric tanks, it develops a hard crust that makes the element useless. To keep your water heater operating well and extend its life by years, you should perform routine water heater maintenance.
Your First Water Heater Maintenance Step: Drain and Clean the Tank
The first job in water heater maintenance is to drain the pipes in the tank yearly. This will certainly do away with much of the sediment accumulating at the bottom of the tank. To drain the tank, follow these steps:
- Turn off the gas or electrical power to the water heater.
- Connect a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater tank.
- Close the incoming cold water shutoff valve on top of the tank.
- Open the pressure relief valve on the tank to break the vacuum.
- Open the drain valve on the tank and release the water.
- When completed turn around the process, noting to not turn on the gas or electricity until the tank has filled up.
How to Change the Anode Rod
The next essential part of water heater maintenance is to change the anode rod in the tank. This rod is a length of magnesium or aluminum that is suspended in the tank and imitates a magnet to attract charged water particles that would. otherwise attack the steel tank.
Inspect it each year when you drain the tank and change it if the steel rods are revealing damage. Rods will normally last 5 to 10 years. without examining, but cleaning them lengthens the life. To replace the rod, which you can buy at a plumbing supply store, follow these steps:
- Shut off the power and water. Turn off the thermostat on gas models.
- Remove about 10% of the water in the tank by connecting a garden hose to the drain outlet.
- Find the anode rod and unscrew the nut on the top of the tank that suspends the rod.
- Clip-on brand-new rod, insert into the tank and retighten the nut.
- Open the cold water valve once again.
How to Replace an Electric Heating Aspect
If your electric water heater has actually not been maintained for several years and seems. ineffective, examine the heating aspect. This is a rod that screws into the side. of the water heater tank. Usually, there are two of them, one high and one low. It’s the low one that is usually coated with calcium carbonate.
- The rod is. connected to electrical wires but is still simple to change. Here’s how:
- Shut off electrical power to the water tank.
- Test that power is off with an inexpensive electrical tester.
- Shut off the cold water supply valve.
- Open the pressure relief valve on the tank to break the vacuum.
- Connect a hose to the drain valve at the bottom and drain pipes and tank.
- Open the cover situated near the bottom of the tank to expose the. heating element.
- Detach the electrical and ground wires on the heating. element.
- Remove the screws that hold the component in place and pull it out.
- Purchase a matching one at a home supply or pipes center and. install.
- Reverse the above process, keeping in mind not to turn the power on until the tank is complete.
How to Test the Pressure Release Valve
One more thing to check when performing yearly, water heater maintenance is the pressure relief valve. This is a valve on the side of the tank near the top. It needs to be attached to a pipeline that guides the water downward
and away from the tank ensuring that scalding water does not spray an individual if the valve releases due to extreme pressure.
The valves should certainly be opened at least once a year to make sure that they function properly and do not end up being obstructed with calcium carbonate. You can examine the valve while the water tank is at capacity by elevating the handle slightly. Do this carefully as it will release hot water. Put a container under the drain to capture the water. If the valve fails to release or to shut off after testing, then it is rusted and needs to be changed.
To change, turn off the incoming cold water valve above the tank and open a nearby faucet. Then release the pressure by loosening the pressure release valve, and installing a brand-new one.
Understanding the Dip Tube
The dip tube is a little-discussed yet essential part of a water heater. Dip tubes are internal pipes that extend from the cold water inlet almost to the bottom of the water heater tank. Normally, the tube directs cold water to
the bottom where it will be heated before rising to the top of the heater.
- If you think you have a malfunctioning dip tube, take these actions.to repair it:
- Shut down the incoming water valve.
- Remove the flex line from the incoming cold water to the water heater.
- Eliminate the fitting on the top of the tank. and remove the dip tube.
- Purchase a compatible replacement and reinstall.
- Reconnect piping and turn the water back on.
Water Heater Maintenance Temperature Tips
Lastly, keep the water temperature level from 115 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Reduced temperature levels do not just conserve energy, but also, prevent overheating. If your water heater pops and fractures on a normal basis, it is perhaps due to the fact that the temperature level setting is too high. The extreme heat is triggering the tank and pipelines to expand and agree. Pressure expansion tanks can be added to the water line near the tank to manage this issue.
Gas Water Heaters and Pilot Lights
For gas water heater maintenance, you should frequently. inspect the venting system and pilot burner. This should be checked every three months. Look at the venting and air system to see if there are any problems. Remove any objects that are or may be flammable or harmful that are near the water heater. Be sure to repair anything damaged in the venting. location, plus whatever caused it to rust so you don’t have it repeat it again. The pilot light also needs to be checked often due to the fact that it helps your heating system perform. The light should be blue or blue/green.