Tips for Maintaining Your Hot Water Heater

Hand Turning Down Water Heater Thermostat
Here's What Should Be on Your Water Heater Maintenance Checklist

Your hot water heater is an essential part of your home, providing you with hot water for cooking, cleaning, and bathing. But despite its importance, many homeowners neglect to properly maintain their hot water heaters. As a result, they end up dealing with inconsistent water temperatures, poor water pressure, or a water heater that has to be replaced far sooner than necessary.

To help you avoid this costly mistake, and keep your water heater running at peak performance, Mr. Rooter Plumbing's Torrance plumbers have put together a few tips for maintaining your hot water heater. By following the maintenance outlined in this guide, you can extend the life of your hot water heater and save yourself money in the long run!

Check the Water Heater Temperature Regularly

Keeping your water heater properly maintained is important for both safety and efficiency. This starts with routinely checking the temperature, especially if you've been dealing with fluctuating water temperatures. You can easily do this yourself by adjusting the temperature setting directly on your water heater.

But how hot should it be? Around 120 – 140 degrees Fahrenheit seems to be ideal for keeping your water heater running efficiently and safely. Anything higher could be dangerous, possibly leading to accidental scalding. Setting it to the right temperature can be a simple but effective way to protect yourself and enjoy energy savings.

Drain Any Water in the Water Heater (At Least Once a Year)

Neglecting to drain your water heater annually is a mistake that should not be taken lightly. A yearly drain can help flush out sediment from the tank and prevent numerous potential problems, such as:

  • Discolored water
  • Dirty tasting water
  • Higher energy bills
  • Accelerated water heater failure

While it's something you can do yourself, the job can be tricky and labor-intensive. That's why it's best to leave it to a professional from Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Torrance.

Check the Pressure-Relief Valve

Pressure-relief valves on water heaters are an important safety feature. They allow pressure to escape from the water heater before it reaches a dangerous level, helping to prevent explosions and other issues. The valve opens when the pressure inside the tank exceeds a certain limit, allowing hot water or steam to be released into a nearby drain or outside the home.

It's important to regularly check your pressure-relief valve for proper operation. Here's what to consider when inspecting yours:

  • When checking the pressure-relief valve, you should first assess if any debris has blocked it in any way. If so, use a brush to gently remove the debris, but always remember to wear protective gloves for safety.
  • It is also important to check that the lever on the valve moves freely and does not feel stuck or jammed. If this is the case, the pressure-relief valve must be replaced immediately.
  • Finally, you should run some hot water from a nearby faucet while opening and closing the pressure-relief valve until it releases water from both sides, proving it is working properly.

Inspect for Physical Water Heater Damage

Be on the lookout for any leaks or signs of physical damage that could mean it requires repair or maintenance. Common locations to check include exposed pipes around the tank, the connection where the pipes attach to the tank, and the bottom of the tank. If you notice any leaks or signs of rust, contact a plumber immediately for water heater repair before water damage becomes a reality.

Doing routine inspections of your water heater and having it serviced as needed will go a long way in keeping it working safely and efficiently!

Replace Your Water Heater Every Few Decades

Replacing your water heater can help it continue to operate efficiently and safely. In order to get the best performance from your system, consider replacing it every ten years or so. Doing so will ensure that the tank isn't posing any safety hazards and that energy bills stay low due to efficient heating.

Replacing an old water heater can also help ensure you don't have to deal with unexpected breakdowns and slow recovery times. Be sure to choose a model that works for your lifestyle, space, and budget before purchasing – and always hire a qualified professional for installation!

Turn to Our Plumbers for Torrance Water Heater Services

All of these steps will help keep your water heater in tip-top shape! If you think something is wrong with your water heater and need professional assistance handling anything in this guide, don't hesitate to reach out! Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Torrance is here for all of your water heater maintenance, repair, and replacement needs in Torrance, CA, and the nearby areas!

Contact us online to request your water heater service estimate today!