You depend on your water heater daily to keep yourself and your home clean and comfortable. A water heater typically lasts around a decade, but there are some key maintenance tasks you can perform to prolong its life and help it run more smoothly.
Water Heater Maintenance Checklist
A simple four-step annual maintenance plan can help extend the life of your water heater.
Lower the temperature setting on your water heater. Many water heaters come with a preset, default setting between 130 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends a setting of 120 degrees Fahrenheit for most households. Lower temperatures can reduce your energy bills, lessen the chances of your water heater overheating, minimize the risk of scalding and slow the rate at which mineral deposits will accumulate within your water heater.
Do a mini-flush of your water heater. Over the years, sediment builds up in your water heater tank, which can both decrease your heater’s efficiency and corrode the interior of your tank. To prevent these problems, you can flush your water heater regularly.
Here’s how to complete a mini-flush of your water heater:
- Place a bucket under the drain valve near the base of the water heater tank.
- Open the valve to release one to two gallons of water into the bucket. This water will be scalding, so use caution.
- Close the valve again.
Inspect the temperature and pressure relief valve, which is part of your water heater that is designed to expel excess pressure and keep your water heater running safely. Lift partway up on the lever, then let it drop back into place. The result should be a gurgling noise as the valve sends some water to the drain.
Get an annual professional water heater inspection. Like other complex machinery such as your car or your air conditioner, your water heater needs certified, trained professionals to examine it periodically. Professional plumbing technicians have the training, tools and experience to conduct a thorough examination of your water heater, and will be able to tell you whether it’s better to repair your current equipment, or replace it.
Call Colorado’s Water Heater Experts
Serving Denver, Aurora, Colorado Springs and Boulder, Affordable Plumbing, Heat & Electrical brings more than 20 years of experience to every task. Contact us today for reliable water heater service in Colorado.