Whether they’re learning from home or in school, back-to-school season means that your kids are finally occupied, and you get back some much needed time to take care of things around the house. Make good use of this time by performing maintenance on your water heater, whether tank or tankless, before winter touches down in Austin, TX.
Do Water Heaters Need Maintenance?
Absolutely! Your water heater is just like any other home appliance that gets used all year long — it suffers from wear and tear even if you don’t notice an immediate decline in its performance; that usually only happens when something is seriously wrong. However, if you want to get the most out of such an important investment and extend your water heater’s lifespan while simultaneously keeping your utility bills low, spending a few hours tuning it up will do wonders for your appliance.
4 Tank Water Heater Maintenance Tips
Keep a Two Foot Radius Around the Water Heater
If you’re trying to keep things tidy in your home, it can be easy to justify hiding your water heater in a tight spot; out of sight, out of mind! However, experts recommend leaving at least two feet of distance around your water heater. It’s a super simple maintenance step that keeps your water heater from getting accidentally damaged.
Test the Pressure Relief Valve
Probably the most important safety mechanism built into every traditional water heater is the pressure relief valve. If the pressure inside the tank gets too high, this valve automatically opens to relieve the pressure and release water through the discharge pipe.
Check the Anode Rod
The hard water that travels through your pipes and plumbing appliances always leaves behind a little bit of sediment that builds up over time. The anode rod in the water heater attracts the sediment, so it doesn’t settle at the bottom of the tank. Inspecting an anode rod isn’t recommended if you’re not comfortable performing some next-level maintenance steps yourself, but you can always ask your plumber to take care of it during your next service.
Flush the Tank
Last but not least, you’ll want to flush your tank on a regular basis — at least once or twice a year — to prevent mineral deposits and clean out existing sediment. Again, this would be a task a plumber would take care of for you.
Tankless Water Heater Maintenance
Flush the System
Although tankless water heaters don’t store water in a giant container, they still transport it from one place to another. Eventually, hard water minerals build up and affect your tankless water heater’s performance. To clean out the system and avoid a plumbing catastrophe, flush out the water heater as often as directed in the owner’s manual or set up a maintenance plan with your plumber and they’ll routinely flush the system for you. A routine water heater flush is essential for the health of your home’s plumbing system.
Keep Up with Annual Maintenance
Most homeowners think that tankless water heaters don’t require maintenance because they provide water on demand. This is simply not the case! Your tankless water heater requires tune-ups just as much as the next plumbing appliance, so make sure you keep up with regular maintenance.
How Often Should You Service a Water Heater?
Once a year will do!
Believe it or not, just one tune-up can make a huge difference in your water heater’s performance. We recommend scheduling a service sometime during the fall to prepare your water heater for the cold months ahead, which requires it to work harder than ever before. However, if the water in your area is particularly hard, you should consider flushing your water heater every six months or more often.