Three Tips for Maintaining Your Water Heater

Posted on: 16 January 2017

Properly maintaining your water heater can significantly increase its life span, yet it's easy to overlook upkeep. Maintaining your water heater will reduce the occurrence of costly breakdowns, improve efficiency, increase safety, and ensure that your water is at the appropriate temperature. To top things off, you need to perform maintenance only once a year to keep your water heater in tip-top condition. Here are three tips for keeping your water heater running smoothly. 

Water Pressure

Water heaters can withstand pressure of up to 150 pounds per square inch, but that doesn't mean your water pressure should be set this high. In fact, anything above 80 psi is bad news for your water heater. Check the water pressure at the drain valve and set it to around 50 to 60 psi. This way your daytime and nighttime pressure will adjust accordingly but won't go too high, as this can damage your water heater. Inspect your temperature and pressure valve to ensure it's not dripping. If the water pressure has been too high, your temperature and pressure valves will drip. 

Thermal Expansion

When water pressure is allowed to build up, it can damage internal parts of your water heater and an improper thermal expansion can contribute to a buildup of water pressure, even if you have a pressure-reducing valve installed. Thermal expansion is the volume by which the water expands when it heats up. The thermal-expansion tank helps maintain balanced water pressure, so it's crucial that yours is working properly. The thermal-expansion tank is a small tank that hangs next to your water heater. Check it by removing the cap from the air valve and pushing the pin inside. Listen for air to come hissing out. If it does, your thermal-expansion tank is working properly. If it doesn't, you'll need to have the tank serviced or replaced.

Drain-and-Flush Tank

Over time, sediment settles at the bottom of your water heater. So you'll need to drain and flush it annually. To do this, shut off the water and open the drain valve and the temperature and pressure valve to relieve pressure. If the water is particularly milky, drain the entire tank. Otherwise, if the water is clear, you need to drain only about three gallons of water. After draining, open the valve to the cold water and close the drain valve. Next turn on the hot water on your faucet and allow the hot water to run for three-to-five minutes. This will ensure that all of the air is out of the tank. After that you're done.

Talk to a company such as Cascade Plumbing & Mechanical, LLC for professional help. 

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