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Why is Regular Water Heater Maintenance Important?

The reason why water heater maintenance is important is simple. Being without hot water isn’t fun especially in the winter. It is true that a family can heat up their water when necessary the way they used to back in the day, but who wants to do that? A modern home needs a ready supply of hot water, and hot water heaters are not terribly expensive, easy to maintain and have replaceable parts. A well cared for hot water tank should last at least 10 years.

How to Care for a Hot Water Heater

One of the most important tasks you can do to care of your hot water heater happens when it is new. It is to flush the tank every week or so for the first three months after the heater is installed. This washes out sediment, a necessary practice since sediment clogs fresh water lines and shortens the life of the heater.

First, turn off the electrical power to the heater or turn off the pilot light if it's powered by gas. Then, shut off the cold water to the heater and connect a length of old garden hose to the drain valve. Place the drain end of the hose in a bucket then open the heater’s pressure relief valve followed by the drain valve. Let the tank drain until it’s empty. Then, close the valve, disconnect the hose, and shut the pressure relief valve. Go back into the house, and open up the hot water spigots and let cold water into the tank by turning on the inlet. When hot water starts coming from the spigots, shut them down one by one. Then, turn the power to the water heater back on or relight the pilot light. The tank should be flushed every six months or so.

Don’t Turn on the Power Before the Tank is Full

It’s a mistake to switch on an electric water heater tank before it’s full. This burns out the top of the heating element. When the electric heater is installed, open a hot water spigot, and let it run for three minutes to make sure that the air in the tank has been bled out, and it’s topped up with water. If you’re still not getting heat after a couple of hours, look to see if the water heater is getting the right voltage. If it’s not, call one of our professionals at EJ Plumbing.

Have Regular Checks of the Anode Rod

The anode rod is a simple rod that hangs inside the tank and prevents corrosion by drawing minerals to it. It should be checked for the first time about a year after the heater is installed and every three years after. To check it, drain a couple of gallons of water from the heater then unscrew the anode rod with a socket wrench. Pull it out. If it looks very thin or is corroded, it’s time to buy a new one.

Don’t Hesitate to Call Our Professionals

If you live in the Santa Clara area and are nervous about troubleshooting your hot water heater, want to give it a thorough, professional check-up or find something the matter that you can’t fix, don’t hesitate to call our professionals at EJ Plumbing. Our number here is (650) 513-8852.