5 Tips for Maintaining Your Water HeaterReading Time: 3 minutes
How to Preserve Your Water Heater Through Regular Maintenance
As a Kelowna homeowner, your water heater is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your home. Without one, you’d never be able to take relaxing hot showers, have a long, luxurious bath, wash your dishes, and so many other everyday conveniences. But like any other type of equipment, regular maintenance is essential to ensure that your water heater lasts for many years and doesn’t require replacing and costly repairs.
In this article, we’ll go over the importance of taking care of your residential water heater and how you can take care of it long-term to ensure it runs efficiently for many years. Find out more below.
What is a Water Heater and What is Its Life Expectancy?
A water heater is a piece of equipment that lives in your home and uses an energy source to heat your water. Water heaters are typically powered by gas, electricity, propane, or fuel oil.
There are two types of water heaters used in residential properties – storage, which is the most common, and tankless.
Storage water heaters use a tank to store and continuously heat a certain volume of water. Any time someone turns on a faucet and turns it to ‘hot’, the hot water will be immediately available so that it’s readily available whenever a hot water tap is opened.
Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, heat water on demand. This means that anytime you turn on your tap, the tank will heat the water and dispense it as needed.
The average life expectancy of a water heater depends on how it’s powered. You can typically expect a gas water heater to last between eight and 12 years, while an electric water heater can last up to 15 years. However, in order to get your water heater to last for 10 to 15 years, regular maintenance is needed.
How to Maintain Your Water Heater and Prevent Issues Over Time
Do you have a new or older water heater and are hoping to keep it running for as long as possible? Follow these tips to ensure your water heater is properly maintained and taken care of.
Know the Manual Inside and Out
It’s so important to familiarize yourself with the manual for your hot water tank as soon as it comes into your possession. The manual will likely contain crucial information regarding the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for maintenance, so don’t wait until an issue arises to read this important document.
Flush Your Tank Periodically
Every six months, you should be draining and flushing your water heater to remove any sediment that has built up at the bottom of the tank. As sediment accumulates, it can reduce the efficiency of the water heater and lead to corrosion, so be sure to do the following at least twice a year (more often if you have hard water):
- Turn off the power supply (electricity or gas) to the water heater.
- Connect a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank.
- Open the valve and drain several gallons of water into a drain or bucket to flush out the sediment.
Check the Pressure Relief Valve
All hot water tanks have a safety feature called a pressure relief valve that is designed to release excess pressure from the tank. Every year, you should be testing the valve to make sure it is functioning properly. Simply lift the lever partially to release a small amount of water. If water continues to flow after you release the lever, the valve may need replacing.
Check For Leaks
Leaks are a sign that something is not right with your water heater. Do regular inspections to check for signs of leakage so you can resolve the issue promptly and avoid more serious, costly damage.
Check Your Temperature Settings
Do regular checks to ensure that your water heater is set to the right temperature. For most households, the best temperature to aim for is 49°C, as the water will be hot enough for showering or washing dishes without scalding or using too much energy.
Call a Plumber
If you are a Kelowna homeowner that needs a water heater system replaced or repaired, give us a call. At My Plumber Kelowna, we have a team of trained HVAC professionals who can help you choose the perfect water heating system for your home and lifestyle and install it for you, or inspect and fix the one you already have.