Should I Service My Water Heater? - 535 Plumbing
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535 Water Heater Maintenance

Should I Service My Water Heater?

Water heaters are an important part of any home. They are durable and get the job done behind the scenes so that we can have hot water at will.  Although we rarely notice the condition of our water heaters, they should be cared for just as any other essential home appliance.  Years of neglect can lead to costly repairs or an expensive replacement. As such, we’ve decided to provide you with some information regarding the importance of maintaining your water heater to extend its useful life, thus saving you time and money.

Water heaters have been known to last 10 – 12 years when properly maintained. Therefore, we recommend that you inspect and service your water heater at least once a yearto ensure everything is running properly and efficiently. To further assist you, here are some maintenance tips to help keep things running smoothly:

All Water Heaters

Space – First check to see if there’s anything around the water heater that could potentially cause a problem.  Water heaters need adequate space and ventilation to work efficiently. 

Corrosion & Mineral Deposits – Check to see if any connections have corrosion or mineral deposits. This is the one of the main causes of early replacement.  As we live on an island with lots of salt air, we need to be vigilant in regards to checking for corrosion. Check all joints and connections and be on the lookout for any signs of rust or buildup.

Anode Rod(s) – These wires covered in aluminum or magnesium help to keep your water heater from rusting. When checking this wire, make sure that the aluminum or magnesium coating is still covering the wire.  If the steel wire is visible, you must replace your anode rod.  Further, you may have more than one anode rod, so make sure to check each one.

Flush – You should flush out the existing water in your water heater.  Flushing helps to wash out the sediment that has built up in the tank over the past year(s) of use.

Leaks – While inspecting your water heater, be sure to check all connections and pipes and look for any signs of leaks.  Leaks can cause a lot of problems when left unrepaired and therefore should be addressed immediately.

T&P Valve – Check the T&P valve to ensure that excess pressure and temperatures are not building up in your tank. If your T&P valve continues to drip after testing it, you should probably replace it.

Specifically For Electric Water Heaters

Electricty – Electricy and water do not mix well.  Before you start working on an electric water heater, make sure to turn off the breaker that controls the electricity to the water heater and surrounding area.

Insulation – Check the insulation around your water heater. If the insulation has fallen off or is falling off, make sure to replace or rewrap your water heater.  Insulation helps to maintain the temperature of the water for longer periods, which will help to minimize the frequency of the on/off cycle of the water heater.  This will help to extend the life of the heating element due to less use.

Heating Element(s) – Use a multimeter to check the heating element(s) in your water heater. This takes some effort, but is a common culprit to your electric water heater breaking down.  Some electric water heaters have two heating elements (upper and lower), therefore, make sure to look up the specifications for your specific brand of water heater to learn what needs to be tested.

Specifically For Gas Water Heaters

Venting System – Check your air supply and venting system to ensure it’s free of obstruction.  Further make sure that there is no other flammable or corrosive material on or by the vent, which could cause a fire.  Any obvious visual damage to venting should be addressed immediately.

Pilot Light – Check your pilot light to ensure that it’s working correctly. To check your pilot light, simply make sure it lights easily. Further check the color of the flame, which is an indicator of health.  If the light is a strong blue (natural gas) or glue/green (propane) with a little yellow tip, your pilot light is just fine.  If you find that the light is weak, fully yellow or has a split flame, then you should have your lighting system repaired.

We hope that our information and tips provided above gives you an idea of how often you should service your water heater, as well as the things you should be aware of when inspecting and servicing your water heater.  We understand that busy schedules and more pressing concerns can lead us to neglect the things that are not in plain sight (such as our water heaters).  That’s what we’re here for! Give us a call if you need assistance with your water heater and we’ll strive to go beyond the call to ensure that your time and money can be best spent on your family and not on costly repairs.  We look forward to serving you, Mahalo!

535 Plumbing LLC Team

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