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Water Heater Maintenance Tips


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Your water heater is an important part of your family’s everyday life. According to Aris Parviz of Able Air-1, Inc. , a single visit from your plumbing contractor once a year will keep your water heater in tip-top shape. Here, Parviz explains the type of maintenance your water heater needs in order to ensure its long-term safety and performance.

If your water heating system is over 10 years old, you need to get it replaced or at least have it serviced. The life of a typical water heater is about 10 years, and unfortunately, there have been many cases where older water heaters, especially the ones that have not been properly maintained, have ruptured and flooded the space.

Servicing your water heater is important for two reasons. First, proper maintenance will prolong the life of your water heater and help you avoid costly service calls. Second, if improperly maintained, your water heater can also pose a safety risk. Most manufacturers recommend that you have your water heater professionally serviced at least once a year, and each water heater comes with a list of recommended yearly maintenance tasks. Regardless of your water heater’s type or model, the following are some maintenance tips you can never overlook.

Thorough Inspection and Cleaning

In order to ensure that your water heater continues to function properly and doesn’t become a health or safety hazard, it’s important to conduct a thorough inspection each year. This is best handled by a professional and will include such items as the pressure-relief valve, combustion chamber and flue vent (for gas- and oil-fueled models), and anode rod.

If you have an electric model, the heating elements will need to be checked as well. After inspecting each element, your contractor will perform a thorough cleaning and re-calibrate the unit as necessary. This cleaning will include the burner ports and anode rod, which will help keep your pilot light burning evenly. The contractor will also check to make sure no debris is near the unit. You can do your part to ensure your water heater’s ongoing safety and performance by checking for and clearing out debris and dust from the water heater enclosure on an ongoing basis.

How to Avoid Sediment Buildup

Over time, sediment builds up in your water heater tank, which can interfere with the water heater’s efficiency and decrease its lifespan. It can also combine with chlorine to form unhealthy chemical compounds in your water. To avoid sediment buildup, water heaters need to be drained periodically. Self-cleaning water heaters eliminate sediment concerns, but older water heaters should be drained at least once a year.

Draining your water heater isn’t tricky, since you can either do it yourself or have a contractor handle it as part of your yearly maintenance. To drain it yourself, first turn off the gas or electricity to the unit, then turn off the cold water supply to the water heater. Next, attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Turn on a hot water faucet somewhere in your home (to avoid the formation of a vacuum) and then open the drain valve on your water heater tank. Once the water runs clear, close the drain valve and turn the cold water supply back on.

If you have an older water heater that hasn’t been drained within the last five years, you’re out of luck as the unit will need to be replaced. Water heaters normally have a lifespan of about 10 years, but sediment can certainly speed their declines. Don’t take the chance of thousands of dollars worth of flood damages. Call AbleAir-1 today for a plumber to check your water heating system.

Aris Parviz is a writer for Yodle, a business directory and online advertising company. Find an HVAC contractor or more HVAC contractor articles at Yodle Consumer Guide.


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