Water Heater Maintenance Prolongs Its Life and Your Comfort
Water heater maintenance is critical to getting an average of 10 years of service life out of a typical heater. A four-person household uses about 75,000 gallons of hot water per year. That’s nearly three-quarters of a million gallons your unit may be required to heat over its lifespan. Whether it fulfills that capacity, as well as the manufacturer’s efficiency specs, depends largely on regular water heater maintenance.
Here are three simple steps you can take to make sure you get every gallon out of your water heater before its time for a replacement.
- Turn down the thermostat. Higher temperature settings mean excessive burner heat that stresses the bottom of the heater tank. Excessively hot water may also contribute to increased sediment accumulation inside the tank. Keeping the water heater thermostat set between 115 and 120 degrees provides longer heater service and sufficiently hot water.
- Verify the temperature and pressure relief valve. Excessive heat and pressure inside the water heater can shorten the life of the heater and may be dangerous, as well. The temperature and pressure relief valve midway up the side of the tank automatically opens when heat and pressure exceed the manufacturer’s specifications. Briefly lift the valve’s spring-loaded operating lever, listen for the sound of water being released into the drain tube, then release the lever. If no water is released, call your HVAC contractor.
- Flush the tank. Hard water sediment accumulates at the bottom of the heater tank. This thick layer of sediment insulates the water from the burner, causing the burner to run longer to meet thermostat settings. Excessive heat from the burner damages the bottom of the tank, resulting in leaks. Place a bucket under the drain faucet at the bottom of the tank. Open the drain and allow several gallons of water to flow into the bucket. Close the valve and pour the water down the drain.
Sobieski Services offers comprehensive plumbing, heating and cooling service, including water heater maintenance.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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