How to Maintain a Water Heater Step By Step Guide?

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How to Maintain a Water HeaterDid you know that you can increase the efficiency and lifespan of your water heater, using simple methods? When you take up simple things like adjusting the temperature and enhancing the insulation, will improve the performance of the water heater. There are other procedures for inspecting the anode rod and flushing the heater tank, which can be carried out periodically.

As long as you take proper care of your water heater, there are countless benefits that you will enjoy. For instance, when the insulation is added, heat loss is reduced by over 45%. This will allow you to save quite some money due to the reduced energy consumption. When you flush the tank, the sediments are removed and this will prolong the lifespan of the water heater while improving its efficiency.

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Steps to Maintain Your Water Heater


You will not need to hire a professional to maintain the water heater; there are simple hacks, which you can pull and keep your water heater in perfect shape.

If you are looking for DIY maintenance procedures for the water heater, here are the steps to follow:

Step – 1: Test the TPR Valve:

Test the TPR ValveThe TRP valve refers to the temperature-pressure-release valve, which is on the top part of the tank. When carrying out routine maintenance, you should shut off the cold-water supply valve as well as the power. The TRP valve opens up when there is too much pressure in the tank.

To test it, lift it and allow some water to flow and then let it go. If the water keeps flowing, this means that the valve is faulty and need to be replaced right away.

Step – 2:  Check the Anode Rod:

The second step in the maintenance process of the water heater is checking the anode rod. To do this, you should place a hose pipe into the drain cock of the tank and let the water flow for a while. After this, you should lift a 1- 1/16 inch socket to the hex head of the socket and unscrew it. This is usually on the top part of the heater.

If you find that it is less than ½ inch or find traces of calcium, you should buy a new one. When you fit in a new one, wrap it with Teflon tape and place it back into the tank. Make sure that it is securely tightened.

Step – 3:  Drain the Tank and Wash out Sediment:

Drain all the water from the tank and stir the sediment, which is at the bottom of the tank. Open the water supply valve and drain the tank again. Repeat the process until the tank is clean, then close the drain, fill the tank and power it back on.

Step – 4:  Adjust the Temperature:

Adjust the temperature to about 120 degrees. Use a flathead screwdriver to adjust the temperature. If you plan to travel, adjust the temperature to the lowest point.

Step – 5:  Insulate the Pipes:

Use the self-sticking foam pipe insulation, which is equal to the diameter of the pipe. Apply the foam to the pipe to insulate the pipes. For pipes that are about 6 inches from the flue, you can cover them with un-faced fiberglass with 1-inch thickness.

Step – 6: Insulate the Heater:

Use an insulating blanket to wrap the pipes. Ensure that the temperature control and TRP valve are not covered. Use foil tape to seal the cuts, and ensure the side of the tank is covered.


Tips for Maintaining Your Water Heater


For most people, the water heater is not taken care of until the day it stops working. The moment you will take a cold shower, unexpectedly, that is the moment you will realize the value of the water heater. It is important to consider taking proper care of your water heater.

The essence of Water Heater Maintenance:

Proper maintenance of the water heater will enhance its efficiency and prolong its life. Flushing the tank is one way to get rid of debris and other minerals that may affect the proper functioning of the water heater. Failure to accord the water heater proper maintenance will result in malfunction and complete botch.

The Frequency of Maintenance:

There are different recommendations as to how often you should drain the water heater. Some suggest once a year, while other experts recommend frequent draining, especially if your water is hard. The best option would be checking the owners’ manual and follow the recommendation by the manufacturer.



DIY Process of Draining the Water Heater


First and foremost, you should identify the where the water heater is placed. If you are not sure about the process, you can always hire a plumber for professional draining. Here are the steps to follow:

  • You should start by turning off the water supply line. This is the line that brings water into the heater and you can turn the valve off at the top of the water heater.DIY Process of Draining the Water Heater
  • The next step is to turn off the power source. If you are using a gas water heater, you should turn the valve on the gas supply off so as to shut off the gas supply. If you have an electric water heater, you should turn it off from the circuit breaker. Failure to turn off the power source will result in burning of the element of the water heater.
  • Do not start the draining right away, instead, you should allow it some time to cool off. The water is usually quite hot and you can allow it to sit overnight, before attempting to drain it. This will prevent any injuries that may be caused by the hot water.
  • When the water has completed cooled off, you should attach a hose to the drain valve. The other end of the hose should be attached to the floor drain, or if it is linked enough it can be directed out of the house.
  • In order to ease the pressure, turn the hot water tap like the sink faucet, or any other that is near the water heater.
  • You can now open the drain valve and allow the water to the floor from the tank. You should exercise patience as it may take some time, depending on the amount of water in the tank.
  • Open the water line supply and allow clean water to fill the tank with the drain valve remaining open. This will eliminate any debris or sediments that may be resisting at the bottom of the tank. You should allow the water to keep flowing, up to the point when the water in the tank appears clear. At this point, you can turn off the valve.
  • Finally, remove the hose pipe from the water heater’s drain valve and turn back on the water valve so as to refill the tank with clean water. Once the water is full, turn the power back on.
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With these simple tips, you should be able to drain the water heater effectively. This will enhance its efficiency and you will keep enjoying hot showers for a very long period of time.

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Hey there, my name is Erik Larry, glad you found your way here. With my great experience with water heaters, you will be able to learn a whole lot on Sweet Home Insider. I have been installing and maintenance the water heaters for a number of years, and as a result, I have gained vast experience in this field. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to get in touch.