Water heaters are one of those things that you set and forget. They just sit off to the side and do their own thing, and when you turn on the water tap or the shower, you are rewarded with hot water. In most cases, and depending on what type of water you have, you can expect your hot water heater to last between 8 to 12 years.
But by doing a little water heater maintenance every fall, you’ll assure yourself trouble free operation for the entire service life of your water heater. Here are a few tips on what to do.
- Set your thermostat to 120 degrees. Yes, you have set it before, but it never hurts to check it and make sure it hasn’t been bumped, or that someone hasn’t turned up the temperature inadvertently. One hundred-twenty degrees is optimal for hot water comfort and overall energy savings.
- Test the pressure relief valve. This valve is located on the top or near the top on the side. Put a bucket under the discharge tube and flip the valve handle up and down a few times to make sure it sets back in place. This action will purge any sediment from the seals.
- Drain 1/4 of the tank. Ideally, this should be done a couple of times per year to remove any built-up sediment inside the water tank. But if you only have time to only do it once, make it part of your fall maintenance schedule.
- Insulate the tank. If you haven’t done it yet, get a tank jacket that will keep the water inside hotter longer and also to conserve energy. If you have one in place, make sure it is still wrapped tightly and that it effectively covers the entire tank.
Doing these easy water heater maintenance tasks every fall on your hot water heater, will keep it giving you the hot water you need every time you turn the hot water faucet on.
For more ideas about water heater maintenance, please contact Roth Heating and Cooling. We have been serving the Portland, Oregon, area since 1976.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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