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Water Heater Maintenance

Greatly extend the life of your heating equipment and tank with proper maintenance.

Home water heaters are among the more under-appreciated conveniences of modern living. This likely stems from their historical reliability.

They normally provide us with comfortable showers, and we do not appreciate them until they cease functioning and our soothing showers turn ice cold. The water heater’s reliability is a result of its simple operation.

Here is a summation of the process:

Cold water enters the tank at the top and flows down the dip tube, a plastic, water-carrying pipe. The dip tube empties at the bottom of the tank, just above the burners. Burners below the bottom heat the water to a set temperature.

The hot water flows to the top of the tank and exits based on demand. Whenever hot water leaves the unit, more cold water enters. Then entire tank is insulated and covered by an outer, metal shell to maintain temperature.

Maintaining Your Water Heater

In spite of its simple operation, your water heater still requires care and attention. Regular water heater maintenance will result in years of uninterrupted service from the appliance. Additionally, proper care can lower your utility bills.

The following water heater maintenance program can help you keep your system running efficiently for a long time.

Inspect the anode rod annually. This part is located at the top of the water heater, where it attracts corrosive elements to keep them out of the tank. If the anode rod begins to look worn, replace it. This part can be purchased at any plumbing supply store.

Flush your tank to remove sediment from the bottom. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve and drain for several minutes. Exercise caution: the water will be hot.

Inspect your tank’s dip tube. You can locate this thin plastic pipe at the top of the water heater tank. If the temperature becomes erratic, try replacing the dip tube.

Inspect the water heater thermostat. If it looks damage, try to get a replacement. A qualified expert should replace the thermostat.

Examine and test the relief valve every six months by toggling the valve’s test lever. This will help you avoid corrosion problems.

Inspect the flue pipe often. Hold a match under the vent pipe and ensure that the flame is drawn toward the pipe and not away.

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