Water Heater Care and Maintenance

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Water heater maintenance maintains maximum efficiency and performance.

Imagine your life without the steady stream of hot water your water heater provides. Life’s daily household chores grind to a halt—and surprise cold showers become all too common. Many homeowners have faced the realities of a failed heater. While water heaters are tireless appliances, they do require regular maintenance and care. When correctly maintained your water heater will run more efficiently, produce cleaner hot water and reach its expected lifespan. Here are a few things you can do to protect one of your home’s most important components—your water heater:

1. Flushing

As the years go by calcium, lime and sediment can build up in the bottom of a heater tank. When this occurs, efficiency decreases. In addition, the sediment can work its way to the rest of your plumbing fixtures. The sediment can then cause blockages and even permanent damage. This is true for both gas and electric heaters. By scheduling an annual flush, you can help maintain energy efficiency within your home, while reducing the chance of contaminating your water supply lines and plumbing fixtures.

2. Insulating the Water Heater

Insulating your water heater is an inexpensive way to improve energy efficiency. Insulating also reduces energy consumption and saves you money on your utility bills. This is because insulating your water heater reduces heat loss by 25%-45% (saving you roughly 4%-9% percent in energy consumption). You can reduce energy loss and increase energy efficiency even further by insulating the water supply pipes that connect to the heater.

3. Getting an Anode Rod Inspection

An anode rod is an aluminum or magnesium rod about 3/4-inches in diameter. Its main function is to attract the electrolytes in the water (and thus prevent them from corroding the tank). Without the rod, the tank could fail prematurely— and reduce the lifespan of the appliance. A tank failure such as a rupture or even a small leak could cause significant damage to flooring, walls, baseboards and trim.

4. Temperature Adjustment

Manufacturers preset heater temperatures up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Most households do just fine when the temperature is set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. However, higher temperatures can waste anywhere from $35 to $60 annually in heat loss (and up to $400 in demand losses).

5. Water Heater Pilot Orifice

A gas heater relies on the pilot orifice to control the flow of gas to the pilot. The smallest amount of debris can interfere with the operation of the pilot light, causing your appliance to fail. Annual cleaning of the pilot light, thermocouple and burner/manifold eliminates failures due to debris restrictions.

As you can see, it is beneficial to care and maintain your water heater. Not only does it maintain maximum efficiency, but it can also save you a few dollars.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

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