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House water heating boiler with pump, ball valves and filters

Tips for Maintaining Your Water Heater

Because water heaters are generally low-maintenance, and they run quietly in the background, it can be easy to forget about them. As with many of the best things in life, we may not appreciate just how much a water heater does for us until something goes terribly wrong, so it’s important you don’t neglect it.

To help you avoid shivering cold showers, a rough time doing dishes, or, worse, a flood in your garage, Buckeye Plumbing is here to give you some helpful tips for easy water heater maintenance that’ll ensure your heater runs smoothly for years to come.

Regularly Perform Some Simple Checks

Just a quick peek every now and then on your water heater can prevent small issues from turning into very costly headaches. Here are a few key things you should look at when you inspect your water heater:

  • Check the draft hood for any discoloration or rusting (for gas heaters).
  • Check for staining or corrosion around the top and bottom.
  • Test the temperature release valve every six months. Simply pull the valve, and make sure you can hear the water properly running. Make sure it is not leaking.
  • Check the heater’s anode rod annually. If the rod is less than half an inch thick or covered in calcium, it needs to be replaced.

If you see anything that might be of concern or simply looks off to you, give our team at Buckeye Plumbing a call! We will gladly diagnose your water heater and get it running at optimal efficiency.

Drain and Clean Your Water Heater Annually

Over time, sediment will build up at the bottom of your water heater. It is good practice to drain your water once a year to ensure that it does not damage and malfunction.

In gas water heaters, sediment will slow the transfer of heat, causing your heater to run less efficiently. In electric water heaters, sediment buildup can overheat and burn out the system.

If you live in an area with hard water (water high in calcium and magnesium), you may need to drain your water heater more often.

Check the Temperature of Your Water Heater

Your water heater’s temperature should never be less than 120 degrees and never more than 140 degrees. The United States Environmental Protection Agency actually recommends keeping your water heater closer to 120.

Water needs will vary from household to household, but 120 degrees will be sufficient for most families. The hotter your water heater is, the harder it needs to work, and the more it will cost you on your utility bill.

Insulate the Pipes During Winter

If you live in a particularly cold region where winters regularly drop below freezing, it might be a good idea to insulate your water heater’s pipes, especially if you have an older model.

Call a Buckeye Plumbing Professional

After all is said and done, the absolute best way to maintain a water heater is to call a professional. Buckeye Plumbing & Property Solutions has been serving the Dayton, OH area for over 90 years, so you can believe that we’ve seen it all and done it all. Our certified and friendly professionals can fix and diagnose any possible problems with your water heater, so give us a call!