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Like every other mechanical system in your house, including the furnace, HVAC, and others, the water heater requires periodic maintenance.

Many people check all their systems for proper functioning in the spring. Here are some tips for water heater maintenance from a professional plumber.

The First Step: Flush your Water Heater.

Most people have a water heater with a tank. The tanks need to be flushed annually to ensure proper function.

  • Turn off the water heater.
  • In addition, shut the cold water valve off also.
  • Let the hot water cool off for a while.
  • Attach a hose to the drain valve.
  • Place the other end of the hose into a large bucket or another drain.
  • Be sure to turn on several of your hot water faucets in the house and let the hot water drain out of the water heater.

With the tank drained, remove the hose, close the valve and dispose of the hot water. Turn the water supply and the water heater on again.

Check Your Insulation.

The tank and pipes should be insulated. If there is a problem with the insulation, you will waste money heating water that is exposed to cold air. Simply visually inspect them and call us if you see gaps or tears in the insulation.

Decrease the Temperature Setting.

During the winter, people want to feel hot water that warms them up when they take a shower. But in the spring and summer, as the temperature warms up, people simply need showers that are warm enough. Indeed, if the water’s too warm, you will start sweating as soon you step out of the shower. Reduce your heater temperature by ten degrees, and you will never notice the difference, except in your monthly bill. It is important to keep your water heater temperature between 120 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent developing waterborne pathogens. It also prevents scalds and burns.

Check the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

The temperature and pressure relief valve is a safety feature on conventional tank water heaters that eases pressure if temperatures get out of control. If the relief valve is not working the way it should, the temperature and pressure in the water heater can get so high that explosions may occur. Never forget to check the relief valve regularly. You can check the valve by opening the lever and seeing if the water rushes into an attached discharge pipe. If you do not detect water going into the pipe, shut off the water heater immediately and contact your plumber.

It isn’t just safer to perform these maintenance steps on your water heater every spring. They can also make your hot water heater run better and cheaper. And, going further, checking your water heater regularly will give you a good sense of whether it is time to replace it with a more efficient or smaller model.

If you need help with your annual water heater maintenance or any other plumbing issue, contact the experts at Plumbing Outfitters. We can handle all your plumbing needs, large or small. Contact us today to make an appointment.

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