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Plumbing Tips: Water Heater Preventative Maintenance

Do you like to take warm showers? Perhaps on those chilly evenings, you like to fill the tub and take a bubble bath in order to soothe your aching muscles. Can you imagine how your life would change if you suddenly had no hot water? Your water heater is one of the most important plumbing appliances in your home. You not only use it to bathe, but it is important in dish washing, sanitizing your kitchen, and washing clothes. Like any other appliance, your water heater requires regular preventative maintenance in order to stay in optimal working order. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Water Heater General Maintenance

A few times a year, go into the utility room where your water heater is located. Check around the base of the heater, especially around the burner, and remove any dirt, debris, or stray items like misplaced laundry or toys from that area. If there are any flammable items near your water heater, move them to a safer location such as in a safety cabinet in your garage.

Check the top vents of your water heater. Clean any dirt and dust from this location. Make sure there are no obstructions to the free-flow of air around the vents. If your water heater is not secured to the wall or another sturdy structure, visit your local hardware store for metal strapping to secure the water heater. In the event of a natural disaster, your heater could tip over and injure someone or burst, thus causing a flood.

You’ll also want to look at the water heater’s insulated covering and ensure it isn’t damaged. If your water heater isn’t insulated, you can increase its energy efficiency by purchasing and installing insulation.

Water Heater Flushing

Because sediment and hard water build up in your water heater tank, it is necessary to flush the system about once a year. Turn off the incoming fresh water valve located at the top of the tank. If yours is an electric heater, turn off the power supply. Hook a hose to the drain valve. Point the hose end into a sink or drain that can safely accept hot water. Open the drain valve and allow the tank to empty. When empty, open the fresh water supply to flush out any remaining sediment. After you are satisfied the tank is clean, close the drain valve, restore power, and allow the tank to refill. After about thirty minutes, test the hot water to make sure the heater is working normally.

Remember, for any plumbing assistance with your water heater, be sure to call our hotline.

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