Want to keep your husband/wife in hot water?
Even though summer is now half over, we’re all still out there enjoying the sunshine and all that this great season has to offer. And I’m sure you’re not sitting around wondering how your hot water heater is doing. Up until summer, your hot water heater had fewer demands placed on it. Now that summer is here, your hot water heater has been working harder… more showers, more company and usually more clothes and dishes need to be washed, too.
But can your hot water heater continue to give you the same reliable, repair-free performance you’ve become accustomed to?
The hot water heater is the most ignored plumbing appliance in the home. That is, until it stops working or starts leaking. If you are like most people, you’ve been ignoring your hot water heater too. But with some regular maintenance you can increase its efficiency, save money on your water and heating bills and extend the life of your water heater.
If you choose to do your own regular maintenance, we always recommend you read your manufacturer’s manual and follow their instructions carefully. If you’re uncomfortable with performing any of the maintenance steps, please call for professional service.
What is included in a professional hot water tank service?
- Flushing of the water heater – Most manufacturers recommend annual or semi-annual flushing to remove sediment from within the tank. Calcium, lime and iron in the water build up in your tank and can cause many problems, mainly affecting your heating elements. Flushing the tank removes this sediment allowing your heating elements to function more efficiently, thus saving you money on heating. It also increases the longevity of your hot water heater.
- Inspecting the temperature and pressure relief valve (T & P valve) – The T & P valve is a piece of safety equipment that protects your tank from getting too hot or over pressurized. Over time sediment can build up on the inside of the valve affecting its ability to operate correctly. If your T & P valve is older than you manufacturer’s warranty, we highly recommend you have it changed.
- Checking the anode rod – Corrosion is the number one reason tanks leak. Corrosive elements will attack the easiest metal to corrode first. That is why every hot water heater contains a replaceable anode rod. It’s designed to be ‘eaten’ away by corrosion so your tank won’t be. How often your anode rod needs to be replaced depends upon the age of your heater and the quality of your water, but typically it’s every 2 – 5 years. If it’s half corroded, it’s time for a new one.
- Checking the dip tube – The dip tube directs the incoming cold water to the bottom of the tank to get heated before it mixes in with the already heated water. If you aren’t getting enough hot water one possibility is a broken dip tube.
Specifically for gas hot water heaters:
- Inspecting the venting and air supply – Checking for obstructions or damage to the vent piping. We’ll ensure that any flammable or corrosive items are away from the venting to prevent fires.
- Checking the pilot light – The pilot light ignites the gas burner that heats your water in the tank. A clean burning and correctly adjusted pilot light will allow your water heater to function more efficiently.
We’ll also check all working parts and look for any signs of carbon monoxide leaks. If your hot water heater requires any repairs, we’ll discuss those with you and can take care of them immediately.
While our professional is there, he may have some suggestions for you for safety or to save money. Some suggestions may be:
- To wrap your water heater with an insulation jacket/blanket to maintain the temperature of your water. This would not only help to reduce your heating bill it would extend the life of your heating elements as they wouldn’t have to work as hard
- To clear the area around the hot water heater, especially flammables
- To install a tank pan under your water heater to prevent damage from a leaking tank
- To install an inexpensive water leak detector that will sound an alarm if water comes in contact with it. Or you may wish to consider a more expensive alarm that will also alert you via a message on your smart phone. Great for when you’re at work or on vacation.
Annual maintenance can extend the life of your hot water heater and keep you in hot water. If you’re interested in having your water heater professional serviced, we’re only a phone call away.