Whether you use a conventional tank water heater or one without storage tanks, regular maintenance can benefit both units to help avoid costly problems and extend their lifespan.
Some homeowners must pay more attention to proper water heater maintenance, leading to costly repairs or even an emergency replacement. You can prevent these issues and prolong their lifespan by taking simple steps.
So, if you want to avoid those unexpected pricey repairs, a little maintenance can go a long way, and for expert help, consider contacting plumbing contractors in Arizona.
Check the thermostat
Two heating elements and thermostats are present in your water heater; if one of them stops functioning, it may be necessary to replace one of the two. – but don’t panic; diagnosing it’s simple with just a multimeter and some screwdrivers!
Start by verifying that there is no power running to the thermostat using a voltage stick or voltmeter to avoid shock. Next, remove both top and bottom access panels using a flathead screwdriver before finding an insulation flap with cutouts for your thermostat on top of your unit; depending on its construction, it may need to be folded accordingly.
Assign one lead of your multimeter to the lower thermostat’s reset terminal and switch leads, moving one lead onto the upper thermostat’s lower heating element terminal and vice versa. Your multimeter should display zero ohms if your thermostat is working as intended.
Check the anode rod
If your water heater is making rattling noises, it could be time to replace the anode rod. This metal piece attracts corrosion-causing elements while protecting its tank. Without this protective measure, rust would build up quickly, breaking it down entirely and leading to leakage issues.
Anode rod replacement should be undertaken every few years for optimal water treatment, although it can be more complex if working around hot water outlets is required.
First, to replace an anode rod, shut off power or gas and open a hot water tap to relieve pressure in the tank. Fastening a hose to the drain valve and draining approximately a quart of water is recommended to ensure no contact with the rusty rod as you pull it from its location in the tank. Before screwing in your new anode rod securely in place, seal it off using Teflon tape for water-tight sealage.
Check the drain valve
A water heater’s drain valve is one of its most essential features. It lets you drain its tank and eliminate sediment buildup that could otherwise overheat or break down its operation.
To test the drain valve, turn off the power and water supply to your water heater, then connect a garden hose to its drain faucet resembling a garden hose bibb. Run this hose to either a nearby drain or window.
Backflushing or hose stomping are other effective methods for testing drain valves. Both techniques may help clear clogged drains; if none work, it’s time for replacement.
When selecting your new brass-bodied valve, make sure it comes equipped with Teflon tape to avoid future clogs that may form with plastic valves; also, consider getting some Teflon tape to place on its nipple before screwing it in!
Check the pressure
Testing the pressure in your water heater, whether traditional tank or tankless model, is vitally important. Doing this inspection can help identify problems that require professional assistance before they become severe and potentially hazardous.
Screw a pressure gauge onto a faucet or hose bibb near your water heater and turn off all appliances that use water, such as showerheads, dishwashers, washing machines and refrigerator ice makers. After shutting off all water sources, open a faucet and read off its reading to ensure it falls below 80 psi.
Make sure to check the pressure relief valve and temperature to ensure it functions as intended. This valve releases excess pressure from a hot water heater, so ensuring its surrounding area is clear of combustible materials will prevent fire.