Water Heater Maintenance

Water heaters are essential to the functioning of your household, but unfortunately they need maintenance to work efficiently.  Homeowners should perform routine water heater maintenance every so often to ensure efficient functioning and to extend the lives of these expensive pieces of equipment.

At the very least you should check your water heater once a year for leaks.  Inspect the pipe and valves for any water seeping out.  Also, you should check underneath the water heater for any pooling water, which could indicate a leak.  This is extremely important because pooling water can damage the floors of your home by causing mildew and rot.  Keep in mind that leaks can often be very small and invisible to the naked eye.

Over time, mineral deposits build up at the bottom of the water heater.  It’s usually quite simple to flush these minerals out: turn off the water supply feeding into the tank and then use the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank to drain the tank.  Leave the drain open and turn the water back on allowing it to cycle through the water heater until the water looks clear.  It is recommended that homeowners drain their water heaters at least once a year.

Another cause of inefficient water heaters is a corroded Anode Rod.  This is the part of the water heater that extracts corrosive agents.  If this rod wears out then your water heater will age much quicker.  When you examine the rod and notice any sort of flaking, it means you should replace it.  Anode Rods usually take at least 5 years to wear down.

Hopefully these methods will restore hot water flow to your entire house.  However, sometimes water heaters cannot be fixed by the simple maintenance techniques described above.  If none of these techniques fix your water heater problems then it’s time to call in an expert.  He will repair your water heater or let you know it’s time to buy a new one.