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Water Heater Troubles? These 5 Maintenance Tips are Great for Fall and Winter

Water heaters can be one of the greatest things in the world, but when they aren’t functioning properly, they can spell expensive repairs and a lot of headaches.
In order to keep your water heater in good working order, there are some regular and annual maintenance steps you should take. And if you’re wondering what those are, here are five tips to get you and your water heater off on the right foot for this fall and winter.

Prevent Rust Inside the Tank

5. Replace the anode rod.

check-pressure-relief-valveThe anode rod in your water heater stops the tank from rusting by attracting elements in the water to the rod instead of the tank.
So when the rod corrodes, and there’s no untouched metal left, it needs to be replaced to continue preventing rust.

4. Flush the tank.

Flushing the tank is another rust prevention method because sediment and minerals that build up over time can lead to corrosion within the tank. But when you do flush out the tank and refill it with fresh water, just remember to fill the tank before turning the power back on.

Keep Your Family and Home Safe

3. Test the Pressure Valve.

The temperature and pressure relief valve is a safety mechanism that every water heater has. The purpose of it is to open if the pressure and temperature inside the tank get too high. Test the valve by opening the lever, and check that water flows from the discharge pipe. As long as water comes rushing out, your TPR valve is working just fine.

2. Adjust the Temperature.

checking-water-heater-temperatureThere are two reasons you may need to adjust the temperature of your water heater for the health and safety of your family. On the one hand, you may need to increase the temperature to 140° F to kill bacteria if anybody in your family has chronic lung problems.
However, if your family is healthy, you may want to decrease the temperature to 120° F to prevent burns from water that’s too hot.
Note: 120° F is not hot enough to kill Legionella bacteria, which can cause Legionellosis. People with weak immune systems or chronic lung diseases are particularly susceptible.

Improve Efficiency

1. Add insulation.

Increasing the amount of insulation on your water heater tank and pipes can drastically improve the efficiency of the unit. In fact, you may be able to lower your energy bill by up to 15 percent by insulating the tank and could save even more money by insulating the pipes.
Water heater maintenance is something that many homeowners can successfully tackle on their own to keep their units running smoothly.
If you require more extensive repairs, then the experts at The Plumbing Dr in Arlington, VA are here to help. Call us at 703-525-9280 to schedule an appointment, or to discuss your annual water heater maintenance.