Regardless of where one lives in the US, water heaters have become an essential household appliance. A good quality water heater, gas or electric, can cost a lot, but it can easily be considered a long term investment.
Typically, a water heater can last as long as fifteen to twenty years. Yet, people often complain about the frequent or seasonal repair it requires. Chandler plumbing experts suggest that regular maintenance at home can not only minimize the number of repairs; it can also improve the overall performance of the appliance. While professional plumbing help may be required for bigger problems such as repair or replacement of leaking pipe, here are a few hot DIY tips to help you avoid and solve smaller water heater problems at home.
Keeping it Clean
Water contains impurities, debris and sediment that can eventually accumulate on the internal components of gas or electric water heaters. This can greatly hinder the performance of the appliance. As a result, the heater loses its efficiency. This may reflect badly on your utility expenses. In order to avoid this situation, make sure you drain and flush your water heater at least once every year.
The Right Heat
It is important, especially in case of electric water heaters, to keep the temperature below 120 degrees. Heating beyond this temperature can make water too acidic and corrosive. Not to mention, your utility bills will also climb higher. The best way to maintain the temperature is to insulate the water heater with a fire-proof insulating material.
The Sacrifice Anode
The anode rod is there to prevent the tank from rusting. It can be made of aluminum or magnesium wrapped around a steel wire. Keep an eye on this rod. It is best to replace the rod as soon as the wire starts to show. While this may depend on the quality of water, it is advisable to perform this check twice a year. Your water heater manufacturer can help you find the right anode for your appliance.
When Not in Use
If you have to go on a vacation for a few days, better leave the pilot flame on. Newer models of water heaters also have an option to set the thermostats to ‘vacation.’ This will also keep the pilot flame on so that the appliance remains in the running. For longer vacations, however, it is safer to properly turn the heater off or install a water and gas safety valve to prevent any kind of risk.
It may not be a proper DIY tip, but it can save you from thousands of dollars in repair and replacement of water heaters. Make sure you hire a professional plumbing company to conduct a proper inspection of water heaters for degrading components such as rusting rods and leaking pipes. These professionals can help you identify the problem in its early stage so that it can be solved in the least possible time and cost.
Follow these tips to improve the efficiency and longevity of your water heaters. Proper maintenance ensures that you get the best value for your money.