Water heaters keep hot water ready to use. When tank temperature dips due to usage or gradual losses through insulation loss, the heater kicks on automatically to restore it up to ideal levels.
Tanks also feature pressure-release valves to release any excessive pressure that builds up, such as boiling hot water or steam accumulating. Every year this should be tested by switching off power, disconnecting pipes, and lifting its lever.
Also, remember that a home warranty might not give you the coverage you need. Read more here: Does a home warranty cover water heaters? | Cinch Home Services
Most homeowners don’t give much thought to their water heater until it stops working, but regular maintenance can extend its life, make it more energy-efficient, and prevent costly plumbing emergencies.
The thermostat is an essential component of your water heater, as it regulates how hot the water gets and ensures you have sufficient hot water to meet daily needs. If it stops functioning efficiently, your entire water heating system becomes less effective.
Mercury thermostats (common in older homes) may be less energy-efficient than digital ones but still serve their purpose. Consisting of a small vial of mercury connected by three wires, current passes through to one blue wire which connects directly with a lug on the circuit board’s lower left corner for power distribution.
Routine maintenance checks on your water heater’s thermocouple and pressure relief valve can go a long way towards keeping it running efficiently, and could save you from unexpected headaches in the future! These checks are easy to perform and may save you from numerous potential hassles later.
Regular draining of your water heater tank, at least once every year, is vital in clearing away sediment that builds up over time and reduces the efficiency of operation. Doing this also extends its lifespan while making the heater run more effectively.
To drain your tank, disconnect both the water supply and electricity to your water heater, making sure to wear heavy-duty rubber work gloves to protect yourself from potential splashes of hot water while working. Next, open up the drain valve at the bottom of your tank and connect a hose – place its other end somewhere safe like an outdoor drain, gutter, or bathtub for example – then open and connect another hose where necessary (indoor gutter, bathtub).
Once your tank has been completely drained, close and disconnect the drain valve before disconnecting your hose. Next, depending on the style of water heater that you own, either gas or electricity should be switched off, before opening any hot water spigots that were previously opened earlier.
An important step to ensure the optimal performance of your water heater is conducting regular visual inspections to catch small issues before they escalate into bigger ones. This is true even for home automation. By inspecting regularly, you will be able to spot signs of rust, leaks, and other damage; such as water stains on the floor or an increase in your bill which could indicate there is something amiss with it.
At a visual inspection, it is also important to inspect the temperature and pressure release valve. This valve’s purpose is to prevent an overheated water heater from overheating or building too much pressure; its normal color should be blue; however, if its hue changes from blue to orange or yellow it could indicate other issues with your heater.
Visual inspections should include inspecting the anode rod. This rod helps protect the tank from corrosion and should be easily maintained either by yourself or a professional plumber.
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