A hot water heater is crucial for your home, especially during the winter season if you want a steady supply of hot water for your family.
Without a fully functional hot water heater, you will need to manually heat water if you want to wash your hands or take a bath. This is an additional task that will take time, time that you can use to perform other tasks.
If you want to have a continuous supply of hot water on your taps and plumbing fixtures, it is crucial that you take care of your hot water system and the easiest way to do it is by hiring a professional that provides hot water system service.
How does a Water Heater work?
A water heater works by bringing in cold water from your water supply into a holding tank. Once the cold water is inside the tank, the heating mechanism of the water heater heats the cold water.
Hot water rises to the top of the tank and is ready for you to use in bathing or as a water supply to your taps or dishwasher.
If you don’t use the hot water immediately, the water heater will keep on working to maintain the hot temperature of the water until the time that you need it.
There are two main types of water heaters, depending on the type of heating mechanism. There are:
Gas Water Heater
A gas water heater uses a gas burner to heat cold water, which gets stored in an insulated tank.
Electric Water Heater
An electric water heater works the same way as a gas water heater, but instead of a gas burner, the water heater uses electric heating elements inside the tank to supply you with hot water.
Steps on How to Maintain a Hot Water Heater
Maintaining a hot water heater may sound complicated, but it isn’t. Any homeowner needs to know how to take care of their water heater to extend its life and prevent damages that may need repairs.
Here are some simple steps that you can follow to ensure that your hot water system service is always in top condition:
Test the TPR Valve
The Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve (TPR Valve) is a safety feature of your water heater. It releases water and pressure to prevent build-up that can damage the tank.
Test the TPR Valve by lifting it up and down several times. As the water gets released into the drain tube, you should hear a gurgling sound.
If you don’t hear water getting released or if only a trickle of water gets released, you need to replace the TPR Valve.
Check the Anode Rod
The anode rod is another safety component of your water heater. It uses electrolysis to protect the steel inside your tank from rust by taking all the damage that would otherwise go to the pipes or the tank itself.
Most water systems have the anode rod positioned on the top portion of the water heater. After locating the anode rod, check its condition because anode rods deteriorate over time.
You should replace a depleted anode rod if you want to extend the life of your water heater. You can use HIREtrades to look for a local plumber who can replace the anode rod for you.
Drain the Tank and Wash Out Sediment
Before draining the tank and washing out sediment, power off your water heater and ensure that the cold-water valve is off. Allow the water inside the tank to cool down.
Locate the drain valve on the side of the tank and attach a water hose to it with the other end connected to a bucket or directly into your drainage system.
Open a hot water faucet to avoid a vacuum from forming within the water pipes. Turn on the drain valve to start draining water and flushing out sediment.
When the water tank is empty, you can remove the water hose and turn off the drain valve. You can now power on your water heater and cold-water intake to resume the normal operations of your water heater.
Adjust the Temperature
Setting the right temperature on your water heater is crucial because setting the temperature too low means that you will have to content yourself with lukewarm water, promoting bacterial growth.
On the other hand, setting the water temperature too high can potentially be dangerous and expose you to potential scalding or burns. This is especially problematic if there are children in your home.
The optimum range of a water heater should be between 120- and 140-degrees Fahrenheit. You can adjust the temperature of the water heater through the thermostat on the heater.
Ensure that the water heater is powered off before accessing the thermostat. Use a flathead screwdriver to increase or decrease the temperature, depending on your preference.
Insulate the Pipes
If you want to prevent heat loss on your water heater, start by insulating the hot water pipes on your water heater. Be sure to check how much insulation material you will need so you can cover the entirety of the hot water pipe.
Measure the insulation against the hot water pipe and make sure that you cover all hot water pipes that you can access. You should also insulate the first three feet of the cold-water inlet pipes.
Secure the insulation to the pipe using tape or wire every two feet. You can also clamp the insulation with the help of cable ties.
Insulate the Heater
Insulating the heater is a home project that can improve the energy efficiency of your water heater and save you money, and you will need a water heater insulating blanket to do this.
Turn off your water heater before you start, and then measure the insulating blanket against your water heater but ensure that the top of the water heater is left open. If the blanket is too large, cut off any excess.
Wrap the blanket around the heater and temporarily secure it using tape. Mark the areas where the controls are and cut the blanket so you can still access the controls.
Wrap the blanket around the heater and permanently secure it in place before turning on your water heater.
Get Quotes from Hot Water System Technician
If you feel that you need the help of hot water system technicians to properly maintain your water heater, you can post a job at HIREtrades to receive no-obligation quotes.
After receiving quotes from hot water system technicians in your area, try and find out more about them to decide who you want to hire.
Ask for credentials or proof of previous work so you can scrutinize the quality of work that they can deliver. Carefully selecting the tradie you will hire can help also assist for future service and maintenance.
With the help of HIREtrades and local hot water system experts, you can save money on utilities and extend your water heater’s life while enjoying a steady supply of hot water for you and your family.
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