Major appliances such as hot water heaters are used every single day and over time will wear down and break. Replacing a hot water heater is an expensive appliance that no one wants to have to replace too often. To extend the life of a hot water heater it is important to perform basic maintenance. Most people never maintain their hot water heater or even know they should. However, a hot water heater greatly benefits with proper maintenance and will last longer. Randall’s Plumbing will share how a hot water heater should be maintained.
How Do You Test a Temperature & Pressure Relief (TPR) Valve?
When maintaining a hot water heater, one component to always check is the TPR valve. It is bad for the hot water heater when the pressure gets too high. If the pressure is too high, you will want to release the pressure by lifting the TPR valve. At times the valve may need to be replaced as it can become damaged.
When Should an Anode Rod Be Checked in a Water Heater?
There is an anode rod that is used to heat up the water inside the tank. Over time the anode rod can erode or break apart. Anode rods can be replaced and often need to be replaced a few times in the life of the hot water heater. Once a year it is recommended to inspect the anode rod. You will need to drain the hot water heater’s tank. Once the water has drained out you will see a hex socket. Most of them are 1 1/16 inch. Unscrew this hex head which is the anode rod. Pull out the anode rod and inspect it for erosion or signs of breakage. Hard water can cause calcium to build up inside the tank. The minerals and calcium in hard water can eat way at the anode rod. This is why they will need to be replaced over time. If the rod show any signs of erosion consider replacing it now in order to prevent unexpected hot water loss.
Can You Get Sediment Out of a Hot Water Heater?
A hot water heater that is filled with hard water will develop sediment such as calcium and minerals which collect together and can form large balls. You can often hear the sound of rocks bouncing around inside the tank. Over time the sediments can build up and fill the bottom of the tank. When the sediment fills the tank it will damage the anode rod and more. To prevent sediment from building up inside the tank, you will need to flush the tank. Depending on your water and how high the mineral content is, you may need to flush your tank once or twice a year.
How Do You Insulate Outdoor Hot Water Pipes?
To help improve your hot water efficiency consider insulating the exposed pipe. During the cold winters the exterior pipes can get cold, forcing the hot water to work harder to keep the water hot. When insulating the pipe you will want to use a 3/8 thick pipe foam that fits the diameter of your pipe. Cover the pipes and seal the foam closed. You can use tape to seal the foam or some have an adhesive. You can also use an insulation blanket over the hot water heater.