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Hot Water Heater Maintenance Guide

Residential Hot Water Heater

Preventative maintenance is key to extending the lifespan of your hot water heater for your commercial or residential building. Hot water heater maintenance not only helps to prolong the working condition of your hot water heater but also helps to keep energy consumption efficient and promotes the safety of the unit by catching issues before failures or accidents can occur.

Why Do I Need to Maintain My Water Heater?

Neglecting water heater maintenance can be dangerous. With a gas-fired water heater, fatal accidents can occur. Gas-fired water heaters should be checked regularly for issues such as gas leaks.
Water heaters that have tanks have features that will allow excess temperature and pressure to escape if there is too much buildup. These safety features need to be checked regularly by professionals to ensure they are working properly. If these features fail, tank explosions can occur.
Typically, a water heater can last for a decade without any maintenance. By conducting regular water heater maintenance, you can extend the lifespan of your water heater and catch any issues before they can become more serious. Over time, water heaters can develop a sediment buildup, especially if you have hard water, which can affect the efficiency of your water heater.

How Often do I Need to Perform Water Heater Maintenance?

If you have a commercial or industrial water heater, yearly maintenance is ideal. For residential water heaters, we recommend maintenance every six months. We recommend doing the maintenance during autumn before your water gets cold requires more warmth from water heaters to reach the desired temperature.
If you have hard water in your area, you will want to have water heater maintenance completed more often to ensure that your hot water tank is properly flushed and drained to remove the formed sediments and mineral buildup.
For those who plan to complete their hot water heater maintenance on their hot water heater, be sure to check the manufacturer’s warnings and follow the water heater maintenance checklist from 412 Plumbing. This will help to make sure that your maintenance is done correctly and safely.

Water Heater Maintenance Checklist

A water heater maintenance checklist can be sued by contractors, facilities managers, and homeowners to help them stay on track during their water heater maintenance tasks. There are five main steps that should be included on your checklist:

  1. Shut off the water heater. To prevent injuries such as scalding, you will want to shut off the water heater and allow it to cool overnight before you start your water heater maintenance.
  2. Look for leaks on pipes, joints, and check the valves. If you are checking for possible leaks, you can apply soapy water to the pipes and pipe joints. If bubbles appear, there is a leak. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the Temperature and Pressure valve to check that it is working correctly. You will also want to check the water pressure valve to ensure that it Is displaying the recommended water pressure of 40-60 psi during the day.
  3. Flush out sediment buildup. Before you begin flushing out sediment buildup, hook a hose to the drain valve. This will help improve your water heating efficiency and will also prolong the lifespan of your water heater.
  4. Check the anode rod. The anode rod protects the water heater lining and the inside of the tank from any damage or corrosion. The anode rod needs to be checked for corrosion.  Your anode rod will typically need to be replaced every 3-5 years. Refill your water heater tank. Close the drain valve and open the cold-water supply valve. Open one of your hot water faucets and let the water run for around 3-5 minutes. This will help ensure that there is no air remaining in the tank prior to turning the water heater back on.

It is crucial to check the manufacturer’s instructions on the use and maintenance of your water heater. We recommend having a water heater professional conduct your water heater maintenance.

Need Water Heater Maintenance?

At 412 Plumbing, we provide our clients with expert water heater maintenance, repair, and replacement in the South Hills. Contact us today to learn more!

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