Chances are, you don’t see or think about your water heater every day. We don’t blame you one bit–it’s really easy to forget about them until problems start popping up. Unfortunately, when problems do pop up, you’ll have to spend a disproportionate amount of time (and money) fixing them. We recommend spending a little time and energy on your water heater all the time. It’ll save you from spending a lot of time and energy on it every now and then.
Luckily, performing a little TLC on your water heater is surprisingly easy and low-maintenance. You just need to know how to do it correctly. Here are four easy ways to take care of your water heater the right way. Following these tips will help you avoid serious water heater problems in the future without wasting your time today:
Figure out what kind of water heater you have.
It’s always good to read the manuals that come with your home’s appliances. Take the time to do that now. Do you have a tankless water heater, a traditional gas model, or a traditional electric model?
Your unit’s manufacturer’s instructions will always be the final word in how to care for your water heater. Become aware of any specifications they require before going forward.
Make sure the temperature is set at 120 degrees.
Not all water heaters default to 120 degrees, but it’s generally a good temperature setting for yours. You’ll save approximately 5% on your energy bill each ten degrees you lower your water heaters heat.
120 is hot enough to maintain hot water, but isn’t so hot that you run the risk of scalding. Plus, it’ll save you money and help maintain your tank’s health and longevity.
Drain the tank around every four months.
To drain your water heater tank, start by turning off the cold water supply connected to your water heater. Then, hook up a hose to the drain valve on one end. Place the other end of the hose into a large bucket. Let the water in the tank run out of the tank through the hose and into the bucket. Keep going until there isn’t any water left in the tank, emptying the bucket when necessary. After the tank is clear, close the valve and turn the water back on.
Draining the tank will help remove sediment before it has a chance to build-up on the tank’s walls. This is important, because the main cause of water heater malfunctions is sediment build-up.
Never forget about “vacation” mode.
If you’ll be away from your water heater for longer than a weekend, set it to “vacation” mode. Your unit’s user manual will tell you where it is, but it’s just a switch you can flip. Vacation mode maintains the heater’s pilot light without actually heating water. This keeps the heater from doing unnecessary work without shutting it down entirely. This helps preserve the heater’s longevity and saves you money.
If you want to avoid unexpected freezing showers, follow these maintenance tips to give your tank a little TLC. If you’re worried there’s something wrong with your water heater, give us a call right away. Whatever the problem, rest assured that The Pink Plumber can solve it quickly and effectively.