As kids head back to the classroom and the leaves begin to change, homeowners are reminded of the impending season change and the accompanying home maintenance that this time of year brings. Because home water heaters work harder during the winter months fall is a key time for water heater upkeep and repair.
Check You Water Heater’s Pressure Valve: Both gas and electric water heaters feature a safety device known as a pressure valve. The purpose of this valve is to open and release pressure in the event that the water heater tank becomes over pressurized. To avoid problems pressure valves should be checked every six months.
To do so, turn of your water heater’s electricity (if you have a gas water heater simply turn the thermostat to the “pilot” setting) and shut off the cold-water running to the water heater. Place a bucket underneath the pressure valve and pull the valve’s trip lever. A properly working pressure valve will release a slight rush of air, vapors, or a small amount of water. If you do not see any of these signs contact us at NowThen Plumbing to replace the valve.
Flush Your Water Heater Tank: Over time sediment can collect in your hot water heater forcing it to work harder than necessary and eventually lead to leaks, rust, and corrosion. Because of this, hot water heaters should be drained on a regular basis to eliminate sediment build-up and help to extend the water heater’s life.
While your water heater’s electricity and the water running to it are both turned off, connect a garden hose to the tank’s drain valve. Place the end of the draining hose in a collection bucket. Open both the pressure relief valve and the drain valve to allow the tank to empty completely. Once it has done so, close the drain valve, disconnect the hose and close the pressure relief valve. To restart your water heater, open all the hot-water spigots in the house and turn the cold-water flowing into the tank back on. As water begins to flow from each hot-water spigot, close them in turn until all the spigots have been turned off. Finally turn the electricity back on to the water heater.
Because each tank may vary, always read the warnings and instructions accompanying your hot water heater. For more information about home water heater maintenance or to schedule an appointment to have your home water heater inspected, call us at Nowthen Plumbing for a low-cost consultation!