KEEPING YOUR HOT WATER TANK MAINTAINED
KEEPING YOUR HOT WATER HEATER MAINTAINED
Ongoing hot water tank maintenance is important in ensuring years of trouble-free operation from your water heater. As with all machinery, worn items and consumables impact the performance of your water heater. To ensure maximum efficiency and reliability, be sure to place maintenance on your annual checklist.
For most homes, annual hot water tank maintenance is sufficient. While the occasional breakdown may take place, it is unlikely to be unexpected as annual maintenance will give you a consistent overall health of your hot water heater.
ASSESSING THE CONDITION OF YOUR WATER HEATER
The overall health of your hot water heater can be maintained by staying on top of a few individually-minor but collectively-significant maintenance items
Drain your hot water heater
If your hot water heater employs the use of a storage tank, as most do, this is important and often overlooked. If you live in an area with hard water, which is quite common throughout the lower mainland, your hot water heater’s storage tank will begin to accumulate calcium and sediment build-up. This build-up, if left unchecked, will significantly impact the efficiency and performance of your water heater. Eventually, it will cause your water heater to fail.
Check the temperature and pressure value
The temperature and pressure valve is a safety device designed to prevent severe catastrophic failure of your hot water heater. In the event your hot water storage tank over pressurizes, the temperature and pressure valve opens and releases the water down the drain. This decreases pressure in the tank, avoiding a potential explosion. Once or twice per year, open and close the valve a few times. This will release some water from the tank (harmlessly). The value should open with ease and release no water when closed.
Check the anode for corrosion
The anode is a rod, made of zinc, that is a purpose-built wear item. The anode corrodes inside of your tank (thus preventing the interior of the tank itself from corroding).
Confirm operation of the pilot light
Most hot water heaters installed in BC homes use natural gas as their source of heat. The pilot light remains constantly lit to ensure that there is no slow build-up of natural gas in the vicinity. As you can imagine, a slow natural gas leak represents a major safety hazard.
OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND ABOUT YOUR HOT WATER HEATER
Most water heaters have a shelf life in the fifteen-year range. Over time the rigors of 24/7 operation will take their toll, necessitating a replacement.
In order to get your value from your water heater, it is imperative that you stay on top of maintenance. After all, an annual water heater tune-up will almost certainly cost less than a premature replacement or major repair.
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