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There are very few home appliances that do as much as the water heater. For one, it has to provide hot water on tap for activities including bathing, laundry, cooking and washing dishes. On top of that, it also has to go undergo internal pressure and constant temperature changes. That’s why maintenance is essential to keep it functioning at peak condition and getting the best performance out of it. A professional plumber will advise you, these are things you need to do to achieve that.
1. Flushing the Tank
Flushing the tank every once in a while is a vital part of maintaining your water heater. Over time, hard-water minerals can start to build up inside it, the most common of which are calcium, sand and rust. It’s not just a matter of your water heater’s efficiency either; that sediment build-up can also lead to clogged lines, which is an inconvenience every Weatherford, TX, homeowner would do well to avoid.
It’s recommended that you flush your tank at least once a year. There are a few steps to follow when it comes to flushing the tank, and missing one or two can potentially lead to other water heater problems down the line. The surest way to ensure that you’re keeping your water heater in good working condition while avoiding down-the-line problems is to call a plumber, who will include that as part of regular maintenance.
It’s important to note that homes with hard water will experience this problem much more, meaning they’ll have to flush their tanks more often and be overall more cautious when it comes to this maintenance task. If you’re unsure how often your tank should be getting flushed or even how to go about it, it’s always best to have a plumber take care of it for you.
2. Checking the Pressure Relief Valve
There’s usually a switch on one side of the water heater, right beside a copper or plastic discharge pipe. That’s called the pressure relief valve and it helps to avoid the build-up of pressure in your water heater. When pressure starts to build up, it’s rigged to automatically open.
There are some ways to check the pressure release valve, such as placing an empty bucket under the discharge pipe and lifting the lever. However, these are often inconclusive. The best way to ensure that everything is working is to have your plumber check it, as they can check the various parts of it and do in-depth tests that offer more insight.
If you’re in Weatherford, TX, and you’re worried that your pressure relief valve may not be working well, call us and we’ll have it fixed for you.
3. Inspecting the Anode Rod
The anode rod is a vital part of your water heater has a vital function. It attracts corrosive materials that, without it, would wreak havoc on the stainless steel and other exposed components. Generally, the anode rod should be replaced every four or five years.
Given how essential this component is and considering that damaging it could heavily affect the entire water heater, you’re better off calling a plumber to check if it’s working well. If your anode rod is severely corroded, it’s likely that they’ll advise you to replace it. This is essential as further corrosion to an already compromised pipe can result in often costly repairs.
If you want to make sure that the anode rod in your water heater is still in a good state, call us and we’ll get the plumbing in your Weatherford, TX, home back in good order.
4. Adding Insulation
One of the best ways to minimize loss of efficiency over your water heater’s lifetime is to add insulation. You’ll only need to do this is once but it’ll make a significant improvement to your water heater and how it serves your Weatherford, TX, home.
Adding insulation reduces heat loss by as much as 45%, sending your energy costs dropping by 9%. In addition to that, insulation also significantly reduces the risk of scalding, which only adds to your water heater’s efficiency.
Water heaters with higher temperatures tend to wear down much faster, and if you’ve been noticing a gradual decrease in efficiency, that may be the culprit.
From a safety standpoint, this is also a good move if you have children around since they’ll be less likely to get scalded. A plumber can add the insulation for you, ensuring that you get all those benefits.
5. Scheduled Maintenance
The best way to ensure that your water heater is functioning well is to have a professional come in every once in a while. One of the biggest advantages to this is that they can spot problems as they start to form, meaning that they can tackle them before they cause you greater inconvenience.
A plumber will generally check for common faults like leaks. They’ll do this through checking all the pipes leading to and from the unit, and with traditional water heaters they’ll check the tank itself.
They’ll also check the plumbing joints, looking for corrosion, which tends to develop there over time. If they spot corrosion or something that’s just unusual, they’ll be able to tell if it points to a leak or another problem. Further to that, they might also check gas hoses and couplings if you have a gas-powered water heater.
Those are just a few of the things a plumber will look out for, and they’ll be well-placed to tell you if there’s anything that looks amiss, before investigating further. If everything looks fine and dandy with your Weatherford, TX, regular scheduled maintenance with Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is the best way to keep them that way.
Water heater maintenance is one of those things that can help you to avoid the major inconveniences that come with a fault, including not being able to take hot showers and baths, do laundry or wash the dishes. As always, the best move is to have a plumber identify potential problems and nip them in the bud.