A home’s water heater is an unsung workhorse. It sits calmly in the basement and provides our family with hot water every month of the year. But as with most maintenance-free appliances, when they start to go bad it’s difficult to tell. It’s only when you wake up one day to no hot water that you know it’s time to replace your water heater.
When you perform regular maintenance on your water heater, however, you’ll have a better idea as to its condition, which will allow you to pinpoint when it’s time to replace the unit. Here are some water heater maintenance tips to keep in mind.
Perform an annual flush of the water heater. Turn the valve located near the bottom to let out a few gallons of water into a bucket or to an attached hose. If you notice an abundance of sediment in the water, turn the thermostat down, drain the heater completely, refill with fresh water, and turn the thermostat back up to your desired temperature.
Keep an eye out for corrosion around all piping and valves. If you have a gas water heater, ensure the draft hood is also corrosion free and attached properly. It’s also a good idea to check all gas fittings for corrosion at this time.
A buildup of black residue or charring around the top of a water heater or near fittings might be a sign of combustion issues. Always call a professional if you see signs of this.
Further, if you ever smell gas coming from the water heater or gas line, turn off the gas supply and contact an expert.
Last, for electric water heaters, any signs that wiring is burning or melting is an indication of something worse. It’s best to never let these types of warning signs go unchecked, so always call a professional.
As a water heater ages, there is a greater chance of degradation and eventual failure. If you are unsure if it’s time for a new water heater in your home or business, always contact a professional, like J.R. Perkins Heating & Cooling, for advice.