5 Simple Steps to Maintain Your Water Heater

​Maintaining a water heater only requires a beginner skill set and a couple of hours. A few simple steps are all it takes to extend the life of your water heater.

​Why It Needs Maintenance

​You don’t notice how often you use hot water until your water heater breaks. By maintaining your water heater, you can prevent a dreaded replacement. A few things that you will want to check regularly are the pressure release valve, the amount of sediment in the tank, and the anode rod. Before beginning your maintenance if you have a gas heater, turn off the gas valve that feeds burner and if you use an electric heater look for the breaker to turn off electricity.

​How to Do It

  1. The first step is to close the valves that fill the tank.
  2. You will begin by testing the pressure release valve. The release valve is designed to fail before the tank does as not to damage the tank. Pull the lever on the valve to release water and vapor; then the valve needs to be replaced.
  3. There are dirt and deposits in the tank from the water that settles on the bottom and these cause rust, corrosion, and reduce energy efficiency and clog the water line. To clean these out flush your water heater every six months. To drain, attach a water hose to the water heater drain (near the base) and drain into a bucket. Once the water runs clear, then the tank is free of sediment.
  4. The next step is to make sure your anode rod is in good shape. The anode rod collects particles that cause corrosion inside the tank. The anode rod is made of aluminum or magnesium. If it is past its prime, it will no longer attract particles and needs to be replaced. The rod is factory installed, so it will need to be replaced by a plumber.
  5. The last step is to reopen the valves and refill the tank before turning on your heating element. Otherwise, you will burn out the heating element.

​You’ll Be Glad You Did

Maintaining a water heater is an excellent way to extend the life of your water heater and only needs to be done every six months to a year. If you have any questions about water heaters or plumbing, we are Boise’s best, call us today!