Plenty of people are catching up on housework as we continue into fall, and pretty soon, the winter season. These household checks and inspections should include your water heater as well! Completing these water heater maintenance checks can ensure you’re satisfied with your hot water supply as the temperature drops outside and prevent any major issues from happening with this critical home appliance. These tips mainly apply to storage water heater maintenance, but you might pick up some useful knowledge even if you have a tankless water heater.
Flushing Out the Tank
It’s best to empty the water tank and clean it out at least once a year. Doing so allows you to clean out any sediments that may have accumulated in the water heater tank. You’ll want to do this right around fall time, as most households tend to use more hot water in the upcoming colder months. Leaving excessive sediment to collect in the tank can cause corrosion to happen sooner.
Replace Anode Rod
Anode rods are made of magnesium, zinc, or aluminum around a steel core. These rods are temporary but play a crucial role in preventing the water tank from rusting. In general, the anode rod is meant to react and corrode in place of the metal within the water storage tank. Therefore, if you inspect the anode rod and it’s very corroded, you should replace it to prevent damage to the tank. Anode rods can actually last for three to five years before needing a replacement, but it could be sooner depending on several factors. It’s a good practice to check it every few months as part of water heater maintenance.
Turning Up the Water Temperature
When the outdoor temperatures drop, your water heater may not be able to make up the difference in temperature with how hot you currently have the settings at. After all, the heated water will need to travel through the pipes before reaching your sink or shower. To compensate, you may need to increase the water heater’s temperature by a few degrees in order to experience sufficiently heated water. Just be careful about this step and consult a professional for help if necessary so you don’t accidentally scald yourself with too hot water. Comfort is always key, so too-cold or too-hot water simply won’t do.
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