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5 water heater maintenance tips


If your water heater were to break down or stop working, you would realize it as soon as you went to do the dishes, take a shower, or wash your hands.

And this would be especially bad in the middle of a freezing winter, when you’re hosting guests over the holidays, or when you’re away on a winter vacation and there’s a risk the pipes will freeze.

Luckily, you can help prevent breakdowns and damage by performing regular maintenance on your water heater, and here are five tips you can do to get yours ready for the fall and winter.

Tips 1 and 2: Rust

#1: Inspect the anode rod. The anode rod is an integral component in a water heater that draws corrosive elements away from the tank, thereby preventing rust. But because those elements are instead drawn to the anode rod, it corrodes completely over the course of five years or so, at which time it must be replaced. You should inspect your anode rod every couple years to make sure it’s still got metal left.

#2: Flush the tank. When sediment builds up in the bottom of your tank, it creates a protective layer that allows microbes and bacteria to grow in the water. As long as you keep your water temperature high enough, this shouldn’t pose a health threat, but the bacteria and microbes can eat away at the inside of the tank and cause rust to form.

Tips 3 and 4: Safety


#3: Test the TPR valve. This is another vital part of your water heater because it allows the unit to self-regulate when the internal pressure gets too high. Testing the valve regularly will give you peace of mind and help you rest quietly knowing that your family and home are safe.

#4: Check the temperature. The temperature of the water heater is where you can ensure that bacteria and microbes in the water do not make their way into your food and drinks. A safe temperature for your water heater is 140 F, because this will kill bacteria but won’t burn skin. However, some people prefer to keep their water heater at 120 F, because this is an energy-saving temperature.

Tip 5: Efficiency and Money

#5: Look for insulation. If your water heater tank and pipes don’t have any insulation, then you can drastically improve their efficiency by adding some. The pipes can easily be outfitted with insulating sleeves, and the water heater tank can be fitted with an insulating jacket or blanket. Just make sure to cut holes for access panels and controls.

Water heaters are modern marvels that make hot water fast and easy. Without them, today’s homes wouldn’t be able to do dishes or laundry conveniently, and taking a hot bath would involve heating bucketful after bucketful of water over an open fire.

To ensure that your home doesn’t have to revert to such pre-technological methods, take care to go over these water heater maintenance tips for the fall and winter. And if you have trouble or experience a breakdown anyway, call (815) 781-2567 to schedule a visit from a trusted Duane Blanton Plumbing Sewer & Drainage technician, in Round Lake, IL.

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