water heater in modern boiler room, close-up view

Maintain Your Water Heater With These 5 Tips

Most homeowners don’t realize how much they rely on their water heater until it suddenly stops producing hot water. Most traditional tank water heaters last about 10 to 15 years, although some can last longer when properly maintained. Regular maintenance not only makes your heater last longer but will also keep it running more efficiently. Follow these easy tips for an efficient water heater.

1. Inspect Regularly

Every few months, visually inspect your water heater, looking for cracks, corrosion, and small leaks. If you think you have a problem, you can always get a professional inspection from one of the plumbers at Assure Plumbing & Septic. Finding problems when they are small will save money in the long run. Our plumbers have the experience and necessary knowledge to catch problems in the early stages.

2. Flush the Tank Annually

Drain the tank annually to clean it and remove sediment buildup. Shut off the water and power to the heater before starting, and let the water cool before beginning the job. Attach a hose to the water heater to drain the water out of the tank, and then stir up the sediment on the tank bottom by briefly turning on the cold-water valve. Drain again and repeat until the water is clear. Refill the tank and turn on the power. Although sediment won’t damage your water heater, it can affect your heater’s efficiency.

3. Adjust the Temperature

Many water heaters are set too high, making the device work harder. Set the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. For every 10 degrees you lower the temperature, you’ll save about 5% in energy costs.

4. Check the Anode Rod

Drain a few gallons of water from the tank and then unscrew the rod from the top of the tank. The anode rod is an important component that needs replacing about every five years. This piece attracts corrosive minerals, so those particles do not coat the inside of the tank. If the rod is less than 1/2-inch thick or has a coating of calcium, replace it. The anode rod must function properly to protect your water heater.

5. Insulate the Pipes and Tank

Buy some insulating foil or foam insulation for pipes and wrap the sides of the tank, the TPR valve, and the temperature control coming out of the tank. Insulating the pipe will help prevent burst pipes during the cold Virginia winters while also helping the heater’s efficiency.

Your water heater won’t last forever. The professionals at Assure Plumbing and Septic in Richmond, VA can provide sales and installation for all types of water heaters. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

Contact us today at (540) 507-2904 for plumbing services in Richmond, VA!