You probably turn on your tap first thing n the morning to get the water for your coffee, wash your face, perhaps take a shower and even flush the toilet. It’s highly likely that you do all of this without thinking about the water, its delivery system and the appliances you rely on. You are taking them for granted.
Unfortunately if you don’t maintain your electric water heater you may find yourself with a serious bill. It’s important to know the basics regarding maintaining your water heater. However, it is also equally important to recognize that you are not a qualified emergency plumber. It’s a good idea to have the number of one handy just in case you ever need them.
Maintenance won’t stop a water heater from getting old and failing but it can extend its life.
You may also be interested to note that something as simple as adding insulation can reduce heat loss by as much as 45%; which could actually reduce your energy bill by 9%!
Temperature Pressure Release Valve
As the name suggests this valve releases pressure if the pressure in your tank gets to high; preventing the tank from exploding!
However, this valve can become blocked or even wear out. To check it you need to shut off the power and the water supply. You can then lift the tab on the valve and let a little water out. Then let go of the valve; it should drop back down. However, if water continues to flow then the valve s faulty; it will need to be removed and replaced.
Inside your hot water heater is an anode rod. This is a weaker metal than the tank which means it will corrode before the tank does. Having an anode rod will extend the life of your tank. However, you need to check it and replace it when it is almost completely worn away.
You’ll need to shut the water off and let some water out before you unscrew the rod at the top of your tank. Slide it out and inspect it; ideally it will be at least ½ inch thick. If it’s less than this you need to replace it.
Sediment is minerals in the water, debris in the pipes and tank and even rust particles. These will gather at the bottom of your tank and can be sucked into your water supply pipes. In turn this could cause a blockage. To prevent this you’ll need to flush your tank.
Turn off the water and drain the tank. Then turn the water back on and allow the water to flush out the bottom; once it comes out clean you can tighten the drain cock back up and refill the tank.
Read Also: Home Improvement Projects for the Winter
You’ve probably realized it’s a good idea to insulate the tank but you should also insulate the pipes. This will reduce heat loss allowing the water heater to work more efficiently. It will also help to prevent any issue of the pipes freezing; if you’re winters are cold.