Hot Water Tank Maintenance
The water heater is one of those appliances in your home, you don't think about as long as it's working properly, this actually can be a bit of a mistake
Hot water tank maintenance will cost you nothing but a few moments of your time, and may considerably improve the actual life of the water heater
Water heaters like anything else in your house require appropriate ongoing maintenance to make sure they last as long as possible
There are two types of water heaters that you commonly come across, the first and most common is the gas hot water tank, which consist of a large holding tank where the water is heated before to circulate through your house.
The second type which is the newer version is the electric tankless water heater which is more of an instant-on type of water heater
We are not going to spend a whole lot of time talking about this today. As far as a tank water heater is concern they come in a lot of shapes and sizes and two basic types one is powered by gas the other by electricity.
There are different differences between those two types, but what we really want to focus on is not the details of how the water heaters function, but what you can do to maintain them and what you should look out for when it comes to troubleshooting your water heater here so the first thing you need to do is to understand a few key components of your water heater.
Let's start with the shut -off valve.
In the event of emergency, such as a leak the first thing you want to do is shut off the water coming into the water heater.
You do that using the shut off valve, your water heater will have multiple pipes coming out of the top usually at a minimum it will have an inlet valve that brings cold water into the tank and the outlet valve, the outlet pipe that takes the hot water out, you want to find the shut off valve
that is on the inlet line.
The way to do that is to check the pipe if it feels cold, then you know that's the cold water coming into the tank, once you have identified the right pipe all you do simply turn the valve until it perpendicular to the pipe and you have shut off the water
The second component of a water heater that you want to be aware of what's being called the pressure relief valve that's the valve that sits on top side of the tank and has a pipe that runs down along the side.
What does the pressure relief valve does is essentially prevented your water heater from blowing up from too much pressure, If the burners run too long or some other malfunction occurs that allows the pressure to build up inside the tank, this valve will allow air to escape out to relieve that pressure. The one thing that you need to look for around the pressure relief valve is signs of water around the floor coming out of this pipe
The third key component of your water heater is the drain valve. This serves several functions, if you ever need to replace your water heater or for whatever reason empty it this is where you would do that.
This is where you can perform some basic water heater maintenance on your water heater to prolong its useful life as I mentioned before there are gas water heaters and electric water heaters, this one happens to be a gas as you tell by the cast iron gas pipe running into the unit
Here are some basic hot water heater maintenance that you can do yourself to maintain and prolong the life of your water heater. The most basic item is to drain water off of it on a regular basis, this can do every couple of months and the reason for doing is that water coming into your unit
From the water source contains contaminants debris silt etc... That overtime buildup in the bottom of your water heater as they do, it can lead to corrosion not only on the bottom of the tank but can also do damage to burner elements and other components of your water heater so what do you do about it, well, it's actually a very simple task what you do is you take a hose, a bucket and you drain the water from the bottom of the water heater
The first step is you need to remove the cap from the drain valve, then take a basic garden and securely attach to the drain valve, make sure it's nice and tight so when you turn the drain valve it doesn't end up leaking all over the floor, then make sure you keep the other end in the bucket securely since the water will come out with some pressure
Be careful the water is hot you want to run the water a couple of gallons worth until the water starts to clear.
It's very simple detach the hose from the valve and put your cap back on to make sure things are not dripping on the floor.
So you have taken care of crud that builds up at the bottom of the water heater Next, you want to conduct a visual inspection of the unit look for the signs of rust or corrosion on the top of the unit, on the bottom around the intake and outlet valves around the shut off valve and if it's a gas unit that has a ventilation unit pipe coming out of the top you want to check and to make sure that the pipe is intact and hasn't come apart in any place. Finally, what you need to do is to invest in a small water alarm that sit on the floor next to your water heater, it's only 12 or 13.00 dollars and can save you from a major catastrophe.
In case of an emergency first step is to turn off your water heater and then get in touch with a service professional