November 25, 2020

Water Heater Maintenance

How often do you take a minute to appreciate the hot water filling up your bathtub or running through your shower head? Most of the time we don’t even think twice about it. It isn’t until we turn the handle to find nothing but cold, icy water that we are thankful for our hot water heater working tirelessly to keep our water warm. 

How do we ensure that our hot water heater is always working properly? There are a few things that need to be checked each year in order to maintain optimum functioning. 

Leaks and Connections 

Nobody wants a leaky water heater! Leaks could mean that connections are too loose, your water heater is aging and wearing out, or that something has broken. This might call for a replacement of your current water heater or just some quick repairs. Regardless, if you let leaks and connections go unchecked for too long, you’ll have a larger problem on your hands. If a leak is present, contact a plumber. A professional will be able to locate the source of the leak and advise you as to how to fix the problem. 

Drain and Wash Out 

Water heaters need to be properly drained as part of its regular yearly maintenance. Over time, sediment can build up in the bottom of your tank interfering with the proper function of the water heater. Draining and washing out your water heater can ensure that all parts of the tank can operate properly.  You can always reach out to a plumber to drain your water heater to ensure that it’s done correctly, or you can give it a try yourself! Start by shutting off the water supply and power. Once the water has had time to cool off, insert a hose to the drain valve. Turn on a hot water tap, such as a sink faucet, to relieve pressure and then open the drain valve. Complete the drain by turning back on the water supply to refill the tank with clean water and allow it to refill. 

Check the Temperature

In order to establish how effectively the thermostat is working, check the temperature of your water heater once a year. Do this by allowing your water heater to work for at least one hour without using any hot water. After the hour is up, use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature of the water coming from a faucet. If there is a discrepancy between the set temperature on the thermostat and the actual temperature of the water, you might want to call a professional. Be sure to only change the temperature in 10-degree increments when adjusting the settings on your thermostat. 

Check the Anode Rod

An anode rod helps to prevent water heaters from corroding or wearing out. It is a steel wire coated with aluminum or magnesium sometimes called the “sacrificial” rod. It’s designed to rust so that your tank doesn’t! If there are more than 6 inches of steel exposed, it’s time to replace the anode rod. If there is calcium build-up or the rod is less than half an inch thick, you will want to consider a replacement. 

Next time you jump in for a hot shower, remind yourself that you need to do regular checks to keep your hot water heater functioning properly! Nobody wants a cold shower, so do these few checkups once a year to make sure that your water is always warm. After performing these, if you find that problems still remain, call a professional plumber and let them guide you through the maintenance process. 

As always, let our team at Method Mortgage lead you to the smartest way home! Give us a call today.