Is your water heater not performing the way it used to? Is it slowly losing out the pressure? Maintenance is a big part and if you are casual about it, the heater will start responding less.
Once this happens, there is no turning back. The contaminants inside your heater may start affecting the interior components of the heater and eventually worsen the heating element.
Getting scary, right?
Just imagine, you invest 10 minutes of your time every 3 months and the heater will start working perfectly.
This is what I call maintenance. But without proper maintenance, you’ll not be able to run the heater for 5 years, so forget about 8-12 years as I do.
So if you are eager to know how you can reduce such problems and what would be the correct measures to maintain the heater, here is a distinctive guide below that you can follow.
How to maintain Water Heater in 4 Simple Steps
Servicing a Water Heater
The most important part of maintenance is servicing and keeping it healthy. Of course with proper servicing done, you can expect your heater to run for about 10 years. But, all that you need is a simple annual maintenance plan that will help you to extend the life of the heater.
But for this, you may not even call for a professional, if you just know how to assemble and dismantle the heater. But if you are unsure about this, I’ll suggest that you contact the manufacturer for the maintenance.
If you’re doing this by yourself, remember to turn off the power or the gas connection before you start the procedure.
In the case of an electric tankless water heater, you need to switch off the circuit breaker in the breaker box. This will completely turn off the heater and you can now bring out the parts to clean them properly.
In the case of the gas-based heaters, the one thing that you need to do is to turn off the pilot knob. This knob is responsible for providing ignition to the heater. Once it is completely off, you can take out the interior components and then clear the parts.
Offer a Mini Flush
Flushing is an important concept that you need to consider if you wish to remove the sediment from the bottom of the tank. If you live in a highly contaminated locality, it is evident that there will be sediment and rust formation at the bottom of the tank.
This will gradually start affecting the interior components. To get rid of this, the only solution is to opt for a complete flush at times. The mini-flush may work well and you can get it done in the least possible time. Here are some steps mentioned below that you can follow.
- The first thing that you need to do is to bring out the casing of the heater and then you need to place a bucket under the drain valve. This will allow you to catch the water that needs to be drained out. Place it near the bottom of the tank.
- After this, you need to turn the valve to start releasing the water. Turn it counter-clockwise to release at least 1-2 gallons of hot water. But you need to make sure that you are not hurt because the water inside will be hot. So wear protective gear before you allow the water to flush out.
- Once the water is entirely drained out, you need to close the valve to the original position. Make sure that no more water is dripping off the valve and it is completely stopped.
Temperature and Pressure Valve
One of the most important components of any water heater is the Temperature and Pressure Valve. Because of this valve, the heater can relate and control the water temperature and also the pressure available.
The T&P valve is a critical safety feature that must be present on any water heater. This valve is designed to compel excessive high temperature and pressure build-up inside the tank.
Without this safety valve, the heater may damage itself at any time. So to replace or clean the T&P valve, you need to bring it down. It may be located on the sidewall. So follow the steps below.
- Before you start with the proceedings, you need to place a bucket under the valve and make sure that the end of the discharge tube is connected with the valve.
- Once you are done, you need to lift the lever upward to open the valve manually. Make sure that you are using protective gear, because it may be hot. This will help to release the hot water through the discharge tube.
- The next thing that you need to do is to let the water flow for a second. Once this is done, you can let go off the lever and then place it back to the original place. Make sure that you have tightened the screws that will help you to seal the place.
Dial down the Temperature
In any water heater that you buy, there is a preset temperature set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This is done by the manufacturers for a standard heating procedure. It is mainly because at 140 degrees, the energy consumption is standard and the energy costs for heating are balanced.
So if you are living in a high altitude locality and you are not being able to get a high temperature, you just need to adjust the temperature settings. So to do it, you can follow the steps mentioned below:
- Turn off the power completely. Now you need to remove the metal heating panel with the help of a screwdriver. Make sure to gently take it out so that it does not break.
- The next thing that you need to consider is to remove the thermostat access panel. This will allow you to adjust the temperature to the appropriate settings.
- Once you are done, you will now have to replace the thermostat cover. Make sure that it is clean and now you can turn the power back to the breaker box.
Of course, maintaining your heater is a must irrespective of your locality and also the water quality. But if you are specifically staying in a locality with hard water, I’ll suggest you to keep flushing the heater once every month.
This is mainly because the levels of contamination and sediments are much higher. Flushing it regularly and following the steps that I’ve mentioned above will help the heater to perform well. Even after flushing, if you’re facing the same problem, it’s because some of the components are not responding.
Drop your comments below if you have any confusion regarding the maintenance or any queries related to the heater service.