Tag Archives: water heater maintenance

When You Should Schedule a Water Heater Tune-Up

When You Should Schedule a Water Heater Tune-UpThe centuries-old axiom, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” still rings true today when it comes to taking care of your home’s essential systems. Why wait for something to break down before you call a professional? It doesn’t make sense. What does make good sense is scheduling regular water heater tune ups in the spring or fall to keep your hot water flowing efficiently year-round.

Prevent Corrosion

Water heaters are susceptible to corrosion because they are manufactured of steel. To help prevent the storage tank from rusting, an aluminum or magnesium anode rod is installed. The aluminum and magnesium metals rust before the steel storage tank does.

Anode rods last about three to four years before they have corroded beyond the point of usefulness. So, it’s very important that your plumber replaces the anode rod every few years to prevent the storage tank from rusting and leaking water in your home.

Water Heating Efficiency

Water heaters warm up cold intake water with an electric heating element or a gas burner. Three common situations that occur with water heaters that reduce heating efficiency are:

  • The electric heating element or the combustion components age and falter.
  • The heating components become dirty and heat water less efficiently.
  • Sediment on the bottom of the storage tank inhibits efficient heating.

During annual preventive maintenance, your plumber drains the tank to remove deposits, cleans the combustion chamber, and inspects the heating element — saving you energy and helping your water heater last longer.

Schedule Pro Maintenance or DIY?

Modern home comfort systems, such as your water heater and HVAC systems, are sophisticated equipment that requires a knowledgeable pro to service. There are electrical parts to check, combustion parts to test and inspect, and much more.

As a homeowner, you can help maintain your storage tank between service visits by draining a gallon of water from the drain bib of the tank every few months. This helps keep sediment and deposits to a minimum.

To learn more about maintenance of your water heater, contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical to schedule water heater service.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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5 Ways to Maintain Your Water Heater to Keep It Running Longer

5 Ways to Maintain Your Water Heater to Keep It Running LongerThe water heater is one appliance that often doesn’t get the attention it deserves until problems develop. If you’re like most homeowners, you may not realize that maintaining your water heater is critical to keep it running reliably. Ensure your water heater has a long life with these tips.

Maintenance Tips

  • Check the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. Be sure to check the specific instructions found in your owner’s manual before performing any maintenance on the appliance.
  • Test the temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve regularly. The T&P valve is a vital safety feature designed to open and release hot water if the temperature or pressure inside the tank reaches unsafe levels. To keep it functional, test it every six months.
  • Flush the tank twice a year. Minerals in water form turn into sediment deposits during the normal heating process. Over time, they’ll build up on the gas burner or electric elements and decrease efficiency. They can also clog the drain and water lines and shorten the water heater’s life span. To avert these issues, flush out the tank twice a year.
  • Make safety a priority. If you prefer to tackle water heater maintenance yourself instead of hiring an experienced professional, take proper safety precautions like wearing goggles, gloves and protective clothing to prevent scalds and burns.
  • Note the installation date. The expected life span of a water heater is approximately 10 to 13 years. Keeping the appliance’s age in mind can help you plan ahead for the best replacement option so you’re not left in a lurch by an unexpected failure.

Along with routine maintenance, you can take additional steps to keep your hot water costs in check.

  • Lower the thermostat setting to 120 degrees and insulate accessible hot water pipes.
  • If the tank feels warm to the touch, add an insulated jacket.
  • Get plumbing leaks fixed promptly and have low-flow shower heads and faucets installed.
  • When purchasing a new dishwasher or clothes washer, opt for the most efficient model possible.

For more advice about maintaining your water heater, contact the Portland home comfort experts at Roth Heating & Cooling.

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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Prepare for Cold Weather With Fall Water Heater Maintenance

Prepare for Cold Weather With Fall Water Heater MaintenanceWater 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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