Top 5 Water Heater Safety and Maintenance Tips

by Editor on October 30, 2013

63/365: Re-lighting the water heater

Water heater maintenance is one of those water heater basics that all homeowners need to know. As the winter approaches – with biting cold winds, rain and snow – it is important that your water heater is in perfect working condition. The last thing you want is to run out of hot water and not be able to take a warm bath, shower, or do the simple things, like dishes and washing your hands. Indeed, during the winter, having hot water is critical. When it comes down to it, if you don’t maintain your water heater, you could end up with not only flat, cold water, but also a big bill from a water heater repair company. Here are the top five water heater safety and maintenance tips.

1.  Empty the water heater when you can. It is recommended to empty the water heater’s contents every once and a while. If you haven’t done it in a while, perhaps it is time to do so. You can think of a water heater as a big cup of water. Overtime, minerals and other things can start to make deposits, which can make it hard for water to heat up and transport. Not only that, but these minerals can start to damage the metal in the water heater. So, emptying the water heater and re-filling it is critical.

2.  Always turn off the water when you plan on making fixes or when you plan on maintaining your hot water heater. If you don’t turn off the water, you could risk a number of things happening that you probably won’t like. For one, the water could be scalding hot, which can pose a serious burn risk. Not only that, but you could also open up the possibility of water damage, which can be equally as frustrating.

3.  Check the temperature on your hot water heater. On most hot water heaters, there is a temperature gauge. This gauge is important for a number of reasons. The most important reason is so that you don’t burn yourself when you attempt to fix or maintain the unit. If you are going to make a fix or perform routing maintenance, you want to make sure the temperature is far below the usual 130 to 160 degrees.

4.  Make sure the temperature isn’t above 130 degrees. When it comes down to it, sometimes your hot water heater could be set to too high of a temperature setting. What can happen is that not only can you increase the risk of scalding hot water coming out, but you can actually damage the unit. Also, as the water becomes hotter, it can also become more acidic, which can further degrade the heater.

5.  Clean your hot water heater regularly. When it comes down to it, keeping your hot water heater clean is one of the best ways to increase the lifespan of your hot water heater. You must remove sediment, dirt and other stuff that can build up overtime. It is important, though, that you call the professionals if you don’t know what you are doing.

photo by: Mr.Thomas

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