Water heaters are an essential part of any household, providing hot water for bathing, cleaning, and cooking. However, they are also one of the most expensive appliances to replace or repair. Therefore, it’s important to keep your water heater well-maintained to ensure it lasts as long as possible and doesn’t break down unexpectedly. Here are some tips for water heater maintenance that can save you money in the long run.
Tips For Water Heater Maintenance That Can Save You Money
Regularly Check the Pressure Relief Valve
The pressure relief valve is a safety feature that prevents your water heater from exploding due to excessive pressure. It’s important to check this valve at least once a year to ensure it’s functioning properly. To test the valve, turn off the power or gas to the heater, place a bucket under the valve, and lift the valve’s tab. If you hear a rush of air or see water flowing into the bucket, the valve is working correctly. If not, you may need to replace it.
Drain the Tank Annually
Over time, sediment can build up in the bottom of your water heater tank, reducing efficiency and shortening its lifespan. To prevent this, drain the tank at least once a year. Turn off the power or gas supply to the heater, connect a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank, and open the valve to let the water drain out. Be careful, as the water may be hot. After the tank is empty, close the valve and refill the tank.
Insulate Your Pipes and Tank
Insulating your pipes and tank can help to reduce heat loss, meaning that your heater doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the water hot. This can save you money on your energy bills. You can buy pre-cut pipe insulation at most hardware stores and wrap it around your hot water pipes. You can also buy a water heater blanket to insulate the tank itself.
Check the Anode Rod
The anode rod is a metal rod that is inserted into the top of your water heater tank to prevent corrosion. Over time, the rod will deteriorate and need to be replaced. You can check the anode rod by turning off the power or gas to the heater, locating the rod at the top of the tank, and unscrewing it. If the rod is less than ½ inch thick or coated in calcium, it’s time to replace it.
Schedule Professional Maintenance
While many aspects of water heater maintenance can be done by the homeowner, it’s important to schedule professional maintenance at least once a year. A licensed plumber can perform a thorough inspection of your water heater, checking for leaks, corrosion, and other issues that may require repair. Regular maintenance can help to extend the life of your water heater and prevent costly breakdowns.
In conclusion, regular maintenance of your water heater can save you money in the long run by extending the life of your appliance and reducing your energy bills. By checking the pressure relief valve, draining the tank, insulating your pipes and tank, checking the anode rod, and scheduling professional maintenance, you can ensure your water heater is functioning at its best.