When it comes to plumbing it’s safe to
say, out of sight out of mind, right? Wrong!! This type of mentality is the
exact reason plumbing calls are considered emergencies. Whether it’s a leak in
a water line, a backed-up drain, or the pesky old water heater that fires up
one day and dies the next. It’s important to remember that even small plumbing
issues can lead to bigger problems if not addressed promptly. Performing
regular maintenance and inspections of your water heater will keep you abreast
of the water heaters condition performance and extend the longevity of your
water heater. Neglecting your water heaters maintenance will result in water
damage to your home, increased utility bills and having to pay for repairs
during the most in opportune moments.
Below, I have outlined several
different ways you as a homeowner can stay on top of your water heater
maintenance and ensure you do everything possible to extend the life of your
water heater. Assuming your water heater was installed by a professional
and up to code, we can jump straight into what you as a homeowner can do it
extend the life of your water heater.
fittings- Make sure all water line connections are tight and leak free. This
will ensure excess water is not leaking onto heater and potentially causing
rust spots that can weaken the tank walls, as you can see below.
rod - The anode rod serves to draw in sediments and corrosive
substances, such as minerals found in water, so that they corrode the anode rod
rather than the interior of the tank of the water heater. In doing so, it acts
as a shield for the water heater, safeguarding it from elements that can cause
it harm. With the anode rod consistently going to battle with today’s
poor-quality water, the anode rod should be inspected at least once a year to
ensure that it is not chipped, cracked, corroded, pitted, or covered in gunk.
Anodes that have these signs are no longer protecting the water heater and should
be changed immediately.
and pressure relief valve - The temperature and pressure relief valve is
designed to alleviate pressure from the water heater if your water heater
temperature exceeds 210 degrees or 150psi. If you notice hard water build up on
the valve or relief line, it’s time to change it. Take note, testing the
t&p valve manually by lifting the lever can result in sediment within the
tank getting stuck in between the rubber grommet that seals the valve resulting
in a leaking t&p valve.
Burner assembly closed chamber or open - Inspecting
around the burner assembly is a key component in safety inspections for water
heaters as sometimes flame from the burner assembly escapes the chamber and
causes what’s called “flame rollout”, where signs of scorched marks, yellowing
of the paint and metal even small smoke trails can be seen. Below are some
causes of flame roll out:
A. Clogged burner assembly.
Lack of combustible air.
Incorrect vent size.
Blockage with vent pipe.
flush- Performing a yearly flush on your water heater is vital to the health of
your water heater. Not only does it force out mineral and sediment build up
within your water heater, but it also helps keep the heater running
efficiently. Buildup of sediment accumulates on the bottom side of the water
heater, which will directly affect the way the water is heated. Think of it
like this, when you double boil chocolate you have water in a pan which has
a glass dish inside filled with chocolate, the flame boils the water, water
heats up glass and chocolate starts to melt. The indirect heat source takes
more time and more gas to heat. This same concept applies to the water heater
having to heat up the sediment at bottom of tank before it can heat up the
Out of sight out of mind will only get you into hot water when it comes
to your water heater, and not in a good way.