A water heater that is well maintained is a water heater that will last longer and performs better. Better performance saves YOU money and reduces the chances that you’ll have an unexpected repair bill. While we always suggest that you call for professional maintenance services like the ones we offer at Rooter Hero Plumbing, there are still little things that homeowners can do to make sure their water heater is working its best year-round.
Leaky water heaters not only underperform, but when these leaks go unnoticed they can cause water damage to flooring, foundations, and walls. Water that sits for long periods of time can cause rot, mold, and even lead to structural issues. Leaks can come from broken valves or damaged pipes. You don’t need to be a plumber to identify a leak. Most leaks are noticeable right away because they have caused puddling on the floor. Expert tip: Is your water heater located in a utility closet or in a dark corner of your basement? Take a flashlight with you and be methodical when searching for leaks. Leaks can go undetected when heaters are in dark, tight spaces.
Your tank water heater, whether it is gas-powered or electric, has an overflow pipe with a pressure release valve that should be inspected annually. Homeowners can test this valve by pulling on it very gently. A working valve will release water from the overflow pipe. You want this valve to be in good working order because it is designed to relieve pressure when it builds up. Without this valve, a water heater’s pressure could build to a point where the heater could explode.
Water heaters are susceptible to sediment build up and will last longer when the tank is drained once a year. Tanks with too much sediment don’t heat as well or stop heating altogether. Sediment can clog heating elements and will reduce the tank’s efficiently, making it work harder for less than ideal results. If you have hard water and do not have a softener or whole-house filtration system, you may benefit draining the tank once a year. Before you drain the tank, make sure to turn the water supply off. Also, turn off the fuel or electrical supply (depending on the kind of heater you have) before doing any work. Draining a water heater tank isn’t rocket science, but most homeowners feel better letting the pros take care of this maintenance task. At Rooter Hero Plumbing, we offer a menu of residential plumbing repair and maintenance services that includes water heater draining. Give us a call today to learn more or, if you're outside of our service area, call your local plumber for assistance.